The door swung shut behind me as I entered for the last time. Immediate cries of my name followed by the thundering footsteps that only preschoolers posses washed over me as I was swarmed by the children in the room. They didn’t even know. Later, they all swarmed me for a hug and I had to cling to a half wall to not fall on top of them. All day we sang and laughed and painted and cuddled and cried and just experienced life the way only a preschooler can. Everything is the biggest deal ever. Every moment is the best of the best or the worst of the worst. The end came all too quickly. I gathered my belongings from the closet. I took a deep breath. And I walked out the door. This time the echoes down the hallway were the “I love yous” they sent my way. And then the door closed.
The chapters of life are rarely written in a linear fashion, for all that time flows only one direction that we can perceive. Ten years ago I was excitedly applying to colleges. Six years ago I was feverishly applying to graduate schools. Four years ago I made the difficult decision to not apply for PhD programs. And closing on three years ago, I met B. Each instance has caused the direction of my life path to change.
Somewhere over the last few months, I gave up on who I was. I convinced myself that I had screwed a lot of things up. All it took was an offhand comment for me to realize that I can achieve great things. My heart and dreams are worth believing in and pursuing. My life is worth living, even if I don’t always know how everything will turn out.
As I left the building for the final time today, I stopped to hug my boss goodbye. Neither one of us said much. We both know. We both understand. Sometimes, it’s not so much about closing one door as opening another. I’ve opened the door on the next chapter in my life. I just didn’t know the closing door would shut out so many little voices of adoration.