I'm back from Sin City, where I attended my final board meeting for a trade association from my former life. I had been affiliated with this association for almost twenty years, one way or the other, and I had served on the board for the past several years. It is an indicator of how disconnected I feel from my former life that I didn't have a single business card with me. Of course, since my retirement from the bank will be on Dec 15th, there really was no point in bringing business cards. An announcement about my career change was made at an awards luncheon, much applause, a cake in honor of me and two others who were leaving the organization after many years...all very lovely. Many people came up to me and said goodbye and how great it was I was pursuing a "higher calling" and all that. I don't feel terribly comfortable with those conversations. I suspect it is the ongoing issue of "am I worthy?" rearing its ugly head again. It is also the discomfort of leaving, once and for all, a world in which I was viewed as an expert, a one-of-a-kind resource, occasionally adult supervision (no, I'm not going to tell stories), and a grown-up.
In this new world, I am a child.
It's a gift, being allowed to be a child again, to experiment and experience the joy of a new thing. It's a gift, learning and basking in the sheer pleasure of new knowledge and of stretching my brain in new directions.
Like childhood, it's not without its growing pains. This new childhood didn't bring with it a physical rebirth, so doing new stuff with an old brain and an old body is hard work.
I wouldn't trade it far anything, though.