Today, I officially tendered my resignation. My last day on campus will be in mid-July; it is going to be a busy final few weeks, but I am very much in the home stretch.
Today I also packed up just about my last box of books. I probably have one box (OK, maybe two…) left to go, plus a few more odds and ends. I also pretty much finished my purge of unnecessary papers, tossing away the last of a stack of articles, essays, and notebooks that I still had squirreled away.
The office that I have occupied for the past eight years will soon no longer be “mine.”
But it’s not just my office that I’m vacating. I am starting to let go of my connections to my current institution. I guess you could say I am vacating my sense of place within this place. Sure, I plan to remain in touch with a number of my colleagues, and I will probably be involved in some ongoing collaborations, but more generally, I am coming to terms with the fact that there is an entire future opening up for my department–and it’s a future that I am not going to be a part of. No guiding of curriculum. No strategic planning. No new program development. It will be all the work of others now.
And that’s fine. It is time to let go.
And of course, as I vacate one institution, I am preparing for arrival at another. And while it would be nice to think that the transition from one to the other would be smooth, I am fully aware that in many ways the experience will transform me in ways that I cannot even begin to imagine.
And that’s fine too. Because letting go isn’t just about the past we’re holding onto; it’s also about the image of ourselves that we project into the future.
And it is time to let go.