During my going-away party from my first job out of college, one of the editors told me to never step foot in the building again. And that guy actually liked me.
He wasn't saying it in a mean way; it was as though he knew I would find a better situation elsewhere. And he was right. That was not a happy place.
I've been thinking about that conversation since Friday, when I went to three going-away parties at the paper. It was our latest round of layoffs, and it hit closer to me than it ever has. And I'd been feeling angry and stressed about it.
But what I realized Friday is that I have not appreciated what great fortune I've had to work where I work. I work with people who care about what they do, and who care about the people they work with. I've made amazing friends -- smart, warm, hilarious. And I've gone through a lot here (including the illness that I wrote about in great detail here several years ago). I've grown up here. My life is demarcated into two eras: The time when my mom was alive, and the time when I have worked at The Pilot. On the day that my mom died, Denis called me from the paper to see if I was ready to talk about coming out here. He had no way of knowing she had died; it was only several hours after I had found out myself. He was really great about it; he just happened to call on that day. And I was ready to talk.
So it's been my mom, and The Pilot. Nothing in between, and no overlap. That's pretty big to me. And I feel good that it was here, and not somewhere else.