Friday was my last day at Abbey, the company I have worked for since I left college in 1994. It was one of the worst days of my life. I am finding it difficult to put into context or understand how I feel. The most pressing feeling is one of emptiness; of a wasted thirteen years. It all seems to have been for nothing and the final few hours felt so flat and unimportant. There was no real closure to it all, just a hurried and almost unnoticed departure and that's it. Over. Finished. Nothing to acknowledge or remember how much this part of my life has meant for me. Okay its only work, just a job etc. Yep, maybe that is all it has been. Nothing more important and perhaps the final realisation of that is what is so devastating. That I've invested nothing but feel that I've lost immensely.
Its a sad truth that I had no friends at work. Not what I would call friends, just colleagues and casual acquaintances. That I have to admit is as much my fault as anyone elses. I am not an easy person to get along with and I maintain a careful distance between myself and other people. I am never fully relaxed in the company of others. I always hold something back and I think I am not one of these people that can naturally slip into familiar conversations with people or that can form lasting relationships on any kind of intimate level. I am very much an island and most of the time that suits me just fine. Sometimes though it doesn't work. Every now and again I crave to break down those barriers and be open and just be with other people. To feel free, I guess.
My way of coping, if it is that at all, is to cut adrift the past. Put it away in a box and forget about it, as if it never happened. That is what I am doing now. I am gradually distancing myself from my last job, consigning those thirteen years to history and trying to forget about them. I have no intentions of keeping in touch with anyone because truth is, what is the point? We shared nothing in common but the fact that we worked together. There is no deeper connection that. To sustain any sort of contact would be pointless and I feel as I have often done before, that there is a time to move on. I never look back and I never wish to go back. What is done is done. The past I cannot change.
Nobody really wants to keep in touch with me anyway. People say things like 'you must keep in touch' as a glib, throw-away line. They say it without meaning anything. It is said with no real intention that we must keep in touch; it just seems a social courtesy like bidding someone hello or goodbye. Surely, if anyone was serious about keeping in touch they would not have let me leave without exchanging contact details and why after thirteen years, when I have kept in touch with nobody that I have worked with, would they suddenly want to start now?
I didn't have a leaving do, I couldn't face it. I couldn't confront the insincerity of it all, the ritual of doing something just because 'you have too' without it meaning anything. Maybe I take it all too seriously in that I need meaning in everything. That there has to be something deeper to it, rather than just a few drinks after work. I just can't stand superficiality.
No, I mustn't dwell on it. Time to move on. The past is done.
Maybe I can be different in my new job. Maybe I can build up some contacts and some meaningful relationships.
The past is behind me now. Whether I've learnt anything or not I don't know. I just hope I can have a better future.