It's bittersweet, leaving the Shipping office. It's practically been my home for the past five-some months and I got a little attached. (Fie on me, in a Buddhist retreat center!) I grew into the position while my personality manifested in how it looked, what got prioritized, where things were, how people acted in there.
Tomorrow marks the end of the first two weeks for Bridget, the new shipper. It's been a good, solid two weeks and I'm confident that she'll do well in Shipping, providing good, solid, honest, and cheerful service to our customers, to the company, to the community, and to herself. In these past two weeks, she's learned and practiced on all essential tasks for the position: handling the database, printing shipping labels, packing orders, and making the different kinds of art. Bridget's gotten good enough that I felt comfortable leaving her in charge on afternoons and just providing advice when she calls to ask for it. This best example came this morning, when I had to leave the office halfway through training another new volunteer on the database and came back to see Bridget up the final stretch for the task. Even though she doesn't know everything about Shipping yet, it's only been two weeks and I didn't know much at all until after two months of poking around. However, she has enough knowledge to be independent from me and a good support team upstairs on whom she can depend.
The shipping office is getting a long-needed reboot, and now it's Bridget's home. If there were any shiny surfaces in there, they'd be sparkling after her cleanup job this afternoon with Marianne and Keek. As for all my junk that's been accumulating like barnacles in there, it's been scraped off the desk and is now just in a box in my bedroom, ready to be dealt with properly. The place really is her's, embodying her energy infused by the ideals of Dharma Publishing.
I'm glad to be walking away from the position knowing that, despite my mistakes and bad habits, I've still contributed plenty to the company, both for their public image and internally. After all, I worked on their websites, I kept orders going out (most of them on time), and now I'm adding a visual reference howto guide to the shipping manual. Moreover, I kept the lineage of the Shippers active, thanks to Bridget appearing when she did. By the same token, I do feel a twinge of sadness about leaving, just because it means the end of a chapter. It's somewhat difficult to give up the reins and put myself under Bridget, as it were. I suppose there's a bit of separation anxiety there, too. Despite all that, it is the beginning of a new adventure for me, the long-awaited opportunity to go wherever I want to and see what out's there to do.
What's next? I think I'll stay for the next two weeks at the Ling: assisting Bridget, finishing up my Dharma Publishing projects, and helping out in the kitchen. During that time, I hope to sort out my plans for this summer. After I tie up my loose ends here, it'll be farewell to the Ling to go visit friends and family around California and head down to Arizona for the remainder of the spring.
Will I come back? Maybe. Make that probably. While I've appreciated participating in such a positive community, I feel the need to go back to secular society for a while and experience other people and places. However, it won't be for a while -- you know, at least six months =D I do hope to keep up with the Ling folk, since each and every one of them is a super-duper person and I'm glad to have lived alongside them. So, I'd certainly appreciate the chance to return for a week or a month sometime, to help out in the factory again and be near all this - when it's the right time in my life.
All along the eastern shore, put your circuits in the sea.
This is what the world is for: making electricity.
Do what you feel now - electric feel now.