With little more than an hour until boarding, i've decided to write a quick note regarding my thoughts on leaving. I've been avoiding this for quite some time, but I think its finally set in. While this trip sounds very cool and INSEAD will be an awesome experience, I am starting to feel a bit sad to leave NYC.
There were several moments during the last week that really drove home the point that I was leaving for some time. On Monday I met with my client for the final time, and when he said goodbye, unlike previous meetings when he sort of looked back at his laptop and began to work on other things, this time he seemed a bit hesitant to get to his next activity. In fact, the whole meeting was much less focused on "Next Steps", (key Consulting lingo) and much more oriented to the work we had done and our accomplishments. At the time, it didn't really set in that that would be our last big meeting as a team with the client.
Monday night, I joined the Cornell Hillel board of directors for my final meeting. I gave a final report on the state of IT at Hillel (something I have spent the last year perfecting) and was met with applause and many kind words from the rest of the crowd. Hillel is something that has been a part of my life for the better part of 8 years now. It is part of my life, part of every breath. I care. It didn't occur to me at the time that this would be the close of one chapter in my Hillel life.
On Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure to go out with my recent project team for a dinner at Buddakhan. During dinner, I began to notice that a real transition on the team had taken place and that I would no longer be privy to the witty remarks of my co-workers or these fab dinners. A bit weird to be honest.
Wednesday and Thursday, I finally took some time to pack all my things. Even at that point, it hadn't occured to me that packing up all my memories into storage boxes and suitcases would mark the culmination of the collecting I had done over the last 8+ years. At this point, I was starting to sense that my life was going to change dramatically.
Thursday evening, I went to my firm's last social event at The Delancey. What a great venue and what an awesome time... Here's a few photos:
Even Friday, during my last day at work, I did not fully appreciate the fact that I was leaving. My colleagues took me out to lunch and we talked about the next year and my plans. The rest of the afternoon was a total blur talking to colleagues, transitioning work, and discussing my future. The entire day went by incredibly fast, but was not an eye-opener. Not until I went to my dry-cleaner and picked up my last set of shirts did it finally register that this was it. I had never shared more than 5 words with the woman, namely the starch and hangar/box combination I wanted. As I was leaving with my shirts, I mentioned I was leaving the neighborhood to move to Singapore. She began telling me how sorry she was to see me go. What a weird thing to say! I guess we had built a particularly comfortable relationship, since I was there twice a week, every week for a year. Interesting moment to say the least...
That evening and the following day I spent time with my parents, sister and brother in law, niece and grandmother. It was nice to reminisce about the last few years and talk about our future travel plans.
On Saturday evening, I went out for one last time, having invited many colleagues and friends to attend. During a random lapse of judgement, I decided not to travel down with some friends, figuring i'd meet people at the bar... Low and behold, I got there before my friends (of course they wouldn't show up at the immediate beginning). What a funny situation and props to Chia Hsun who came to my rescue... The night was a good time, with lots of friends and co-workers showing up at random points until closing time at Luna Park bar, 2am. From there a small group ventured uptown to Japas38 for a little Karaoke action, followed by an early morning brunch and goodbye. Thanks again for all those who attended... it really meant a lot.
Sunday morning I moved my final stuff out of the apartment and went to my sister's home for a baby shower-eque event. It was great to see family, friends, cousins, etc. even though I was really quite tired. By 3pm we were done entertaining and I was able to collect some odds and ends before eating my final sushi dinner in NYC...
And now, since my flight is being called for boarding, I must go. Thanks again for all those who are reading. I should land in Tel Aviv around 2pm... Check back for more tomorrow.