Saying good-bye

Yesterday, I did something I’ve never done before. I started training someone to take over my job.

I’ve had interns and trained younger editors. I’ve tried to explain what all my job entails to teenagers and adults alike. But I’ve never actually trained someone to take over, to do the job because I won’t be here.

I was 24 years old when I started this job. I went to grad school straight out of undergrad and started in this position the same week I graduated with my Master’s. They actually gave me the Friday of graduation off, though I’d only worked about three or four days and didn’t have any vacation days on paper. I was a copy editor for several years, working on undated and dated curriculum pieces, then promoted to editor. For the last 10 years, I have been the editor of our daily devotional for teens, which comes out each month. I also maintain the social media presence and provide the content for the app.

There are so many memories here. The time I had coffee with the Jonas Brothers, long before they were well known. That day we stuck sticky notes all over Karen’s office. The time I was leading a visiting musician upstairs for an interview and walked right out of my shoe on the stairs. When my favorite past intern told me she had fallen down those same stairs when she came for her interview. Lunches when we laughed, so much that Mike’s face turned red and others in the cafeteria turned to stare. People who have supported, challenged, and encouraged me.

Twelve years can be a lifetime. I was 24 when I came and thought I knew so much. And now, I’m 36 and know that no one knows that much and that being an adult and a professional doesn’t mean you’ll magically have insight or wisdom. I came here for my first job, and I thought for a long time that it would be my career. But God has opened another door, and I need to see where it leads.

So, yesterday, I began to train the young woman who will replace me. I wrote outlines for an issue I won’t edit. I tried to tell her tasks and things I do that are second nature to me, as natural and commonplace as breathing. I tried to give her a history of the resource she’ll edit because, in many ways, I’m the only one here who still knows the history. I’ve created lists and spreadsheets, all trying to capture 10 years of my life’s work.

It’s hard to say good-bye, even to a job, even when you know that it’s time and are excited about your new opportunities. It’s hard to let go of something that has been a defining part of your life for so many years.

But it is also a new beginning—and beginnings are good.

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