God i hate parties. I love partying, but i hate parties. Like, events that are planned beforehand, that you're obliged to show up for, and people get drunk and listen to God-awful pop music and try to socialize because that's what you are supposed to do even though the time and the place and the music and the company is not what anyone would choose if they had their own choice. I can't relax - i can't "party" - if other people are expecting something of me. That's why i like going clubbing alone and randomly dropping into dive bars - so i can enjoy myself in peace, and on my own terms.
But, you know, i guess going away parties aren't really for the person going away, they are for the people being left behind. So i grit my teeth and bore it, and it wasn't too bad. Unfortunately my stomach has been a wreck this week. Perhaps partly because i haven't had any fresh fruit or veg since Saturday and have basically subsisted off of canned beans, rice cakes and whatever takeout food was fast and vegan. Perhaps mostly because i had been holding back all the stress and exhaustion and my body hit the brick wall around 5pm Thursday. Either way, i could hardly eat, i definitely couldn't drink any alcohol, my face was green and i was a shy, quivering puddle in the corner all night. My colleagues have rarely seen me so anxious and vulnerable, because when i am at work i put on my Boss Face and handle shit like a boss. Last day? Yeah, not so much.
They also totally blew me away with their thoughtfulness and generosity. They all know i am going traveling and they all know i am a social justice warrior and a champion of simple living, so basically i'm about the worst person in the world to buy gifts for. All my previous colleagues just bought me a ton of alcohol when i left. These guys got me a Kindle, a solar panel charger (!) and a Leatherman. Like, for realz, that is probably the most on-point gifts anyone has ever gotten me ever. My last Kindle died 4-5 years ago, and i have been loathe to buy another one because it felt wasteful - even though i love reading. Solar panel charger - green, geeky and useful when you are traveling to sunny places around the world. And a Leatherman, well, it's always handy to have a bottle opener and a knife and a pliers on your belt. I don't want to look up how much it all cost, because i fear they all gave too much. But it is so damn sweet i can't even. I was speechless.
So today even though it would probably be a prime time to call my bank and figure out mail redirection i am going to sit at home and eat fruit and drink coffee and wash blankets and maybe play a video game or something. I need the downtime, i need to get back to normal, i need a break after going hard right till the very last day. I kept the password to my work email so i am quietly checking in to make sure nothing explodes, and i will probably have a Skype date with R tonight since it might be our last chance for a while, but otherwise it's me-time. And next week i am on the road. It probably all seems impulsive and crazy, but for me it feels like i am just a few days away from finally being free again.