For months, Alen and I have been planning to spend New Year’s Eve and day camping and hiking at Enchanted Rock. So, when we found out the weather was going to be freezing and wet, we decided to go ahead with the plan anyways. We had gotten good sleeping bags and have warm clothes… so, no biggie, right?
Plus, we had to do something different this year. We just HAD to. December 31st 2014 was my last day working as a pharmacist. I had decided to change careers earlier in 2014, and that just seemed like the most appropriate day to stop doing something I didn’t believe in and didn’t enjoy doing anymore. Switching to what, you may ask. Well, I’m not totally sure about that. BUT. I’ve decided that I’m going to start doing the things that I enjoy doing and stop doing the things I don’t enjoy doing. AND. If for some reason that doesn’t work for me, then, no worries… I’ll figure something out.
I didn’t think leaving my job would be sad. I hadn’t really thought about any other emotion than complete joy and happiness, actually. I didn’t enjoy looking at patient profiles or making recommendations for medication therapy changes. I didn’t feel that I was empowering anybody to better themselves. I didn’t enjoy feeling like I was working a broken system: get sick, get meds, get sick, get meds… but as the last minute of my job approached, it started to sink in that I wouldn’t be coming into this office anymore. I wouldn’t be seeing these co-workers very often, if ever. I wouldn’t be video chatting with my pharmacy technicians at my accounts anymore…talking about how our weekends went and updating them on new and exciting things in my life. Sharing those celebrations with each other made up a large part of my experience that I had largely ignored up until this point.
I arrived at the dark, damp campsite, greeted by my beaming husband. He wanted to make this last day of work for me a celebration, and I was just feeling weird. We sat down and heated up some soup that my parents had given to me. Chicken and veggies tasted SO good in the cold. I started relaxing and telling him about my last day at work, and then just BROKE down. Silent tears kept rolling down my face. I wasn’t sad that I left pharmacy behind… I was sad at all the people I won’t be talking to – sharing with – on a regular basis. THEY were constant. I suppose that’s why some people stay. I TOTALLY GET IT. I wondered if I had made a mistake. Shouldn’t it be enough to have an “okay” job and nice coworkers? I suppose it would be if that’s what would make me happy. Turns out my definition is a little different.
– Being in a loving relationship.
– Doing work that empowers others to do what makes them happy.
– Having friends and family with who I can share my celebrations and struggles.
So, as you can see, pharmacy doesn’t fit into that. And that’s okay. It just means I’ll have to find a a different way to manifest my “happiness.” New career, new life. Celebrating that at Enchanted Rock State Park (Texas) was something we could both get behind… even if it was freezing and drizzly the whole time.
It was magical. We slept in our tent underneath the dark sky, listening to the other campers sing together and play guitars. Later on in the night, I was awoken by (what I assume was) coyote’s (…but it could have been the other campers fooling around) singing to the cloud-shrouded moon. And I awoke to the neon blue haze of the morning brining in the new year. 2015.
We started off our day with fruit and oatmeal on top of a massive rock, then packed up all our gear and went on the Summit Trail. There were signs that said the trail was closed, but other people were on it, so, we ignored the (probably valid) signs, as well, shrugging – “meh”. Luckily, that was not our famous last word. I’m afraid of heights. I found myself a few minutes from the summit clinging to the side of the rock… nearly in fetal position. (If you’ve climbed this rock before, you know that you can stand completely upright without any problem.) I couldn’t look back at the path I had come up. Surely, I would fall and plummet to my bloody death if the Earth’s gravity shifted.
It was slippery, but Alen gave me his hand (to cling onto for dear life) and our shoes had just enough grip to take us to the top where we found ourselves enveloped in a cloud. We couldn’t see the scenery. It was like the universe was saying: Please just enjoy where you are right now. Just this spot. And we did. We walked around the top and found a different way down that wasn’t a complete drop-off. At this point I proceeded to take us down a super rocky path that was more difficult than Alen wanted to encounter, but I heartily laughed this behavior off and told him how strong I knew he was inside. I’m SO supportive. We both felt pretty awesome having taken the hard path down and it made us even more deserving of lunch. At that point, our gloves were soaked and we were cold and it was 2pm. It was time to leave. So, we waved goodbye to the rock and drove 2 hours back home to a warm shower and comfy couch that we appreciated 10 times more than we ever have before.