Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Year Ago. . .

A year ago today (when today was a Friday) was my last day with the American Heart Association. It's actually pretty hard to believe that I've been gone for a year. Sometimes it feels like a completely different life. Some days it feels like I just left and am heading to a new Heart Walk or Luncheon or Gala at any time.

A year ago today, I was crying. Hard. And all damn day. I'm not a big "public display of emotion" kind of girl, especially at work, so it was both cathartic and embarrassing to spend all day as a hot mess. But in my defense, I had been at the AHA for nine years, almost my entire career, and was saying goodbye to my career thus far, but also a lot of good friends.

In fact, it wasn't until a few months later that I realized just how unique it was to have friends at work. Or at least several good friends at work. I still keep in touch with at least half a dozen (or more) current AHA staffers and at least 20 former AHA staffers. Working in the corporate world has some advantages over non-profit. Okay, it has a lot of advantages. Mostly the ability to plea for funding on strategic projects and know that you have a shot in hell in getting it, but one thing I've noticed is that the team concept is there, but a little more underlying than I was used to.And I think part of the reason was that I was lucky enough to have so many people that I liked hanging out with (don't get me wrong, i had plenty that I didn't like). When you like who you're collaborating with, the outcome of what you're doing tends to be better because we all try harder for friends than strangers.

Anyway, it's been a year. I miss my AHA friends and think (or speak) to them often. I miss my volunteers whose passion helped me through late nights of banging my head in frustration.

But I don't miss the Heart Gala. :)

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