I’ve been feeling extremely thankful these days, in ways that have little to do with the recent holiday.
For the past two weeks, I’ve had a lot of time for reflection. Because exactly two weeks ago, I officially stepped back from being a working librarian and stepped down from the position I’ve held for the past 4 years at the most wonderful library I’ve had the privilege to work for.
I’m thankful that I have a partner who -when I offhandedly said one day in the deepest part of the pandemic that I had some dreams I was having trouble chasing with a full time job and felt unsettled being unable to chase them- said without hesitation, “I think we can make it work.”
I’m thankful that my managers were willing to discuss and navigate options with me for months to see if there was a way I could stay with them part time under the stipulations I wanted. I’m equally thankful to have worked in such a lovely community and among such incredible coworkers that made deciding to leave an excruciating choice. I am thankful that those same coworkers sat with me outdoors in the freezing cold during the season’s first snow to send me off with the best pandemic goodbye possible.
I’m thankful for all that I’ve learned, about both librarianship and life, from the people I’ve worked with, the communities I’ve served, the boards, committees, and panels I’ve sat on, teachers I’ve collaborated with, parents, students, and young readers I’ve assisted, and every library interaction -both meaningful and passing- I’ve had over the past decade.
I’m thankful for the times working at a public library was an easy joy, and I’m even thankful for the times it was anything but. I am thankful for the memories and how they will help me now to be an outspoken advocate and forever friend of the library from the other side of the desk.
I’m thankful for the friends and family in my life who, upon sharing this news, have been so fully supportive of and excited for me, how they continue to believe in me… sometimes even more than I believe in myself. I truly couldn’t be more thankful for that.
I am mostly thankful to even have this opportunity: to have the room to dream, the freedom to make choices that frighten me, the privilege to be able to look fondly on the story of my life thus far, and the courage and support to turn the page and begin the next chapter.
Yes. I am thankful. And hopeful. And ready.