I would not have imagined I would become so teary during my last week at Mercy Corps. As my last day at work approaches, I am overcome with so many competing and often contradictory feelings.
I am first of all surprised that I would feel like staying in this NGO world despite all my frustrations and issues with the aid industry which I had for a long time and, also during this recent stint with Mercy Corps. But I am came to appreciate my job as a job and, for what I managed to learn because of it.
I have also been grappling with irritable feelings because after all the work I put in, after my very conscious efforts to fit back into this world and, leveraging myself for a second round of funding, I found myself without a position on second phase of the programme. The reasons are obvious and practical - my department was over staffed and, had too many expatriate staffing - but it stings.
But I've kept the most professional face and demeanor. Ask anyone!
The most difficult and enjoyable aspect of my last couple of weeks at Mercy Corps has been having nothing to do.
We're between programmes so not much is going on at the moment.
I mostly enjoyed myself with this free time, cleaned up my desk, cleaned up my desk top, spent some time with my colleagues, planned my social calendar, started looking for jobs, lined up coffee meets, thought of some things to closely follow up at NATC, surfed the net, and did some day dreaming. As it is in this day age, one can get so distracted online, lost in our laptops, in our social media, news sites, favourite secret sites and, the stream of information and photos.
After a while, though, it gets quite demotivating and boring to have such an unstructured day. I felt quite sad especially today, mulling over my departure and thinking about this very interesting and significant chapter of my life. For the past few years, I have been very consciously writing my life's narrative in my head, justifying all my decisions, and holding myself up to certain principles. The decision to re-enter the development world was such a U-turn, which surprised me, and, was later constructed carefully in my head, blog, notes and then rehearsed lines to friends and colleagues. And, now all I can think about today is the good bye I've been saying to Mercy Corps this week.
Good byes and farewells really are, for a lack of better word, bittersweet.
I've started to miss the sense of camaraderie, sense of home and familiarity that took some time to come together.
As I said in the farewell luncheon organised by my team, I have even started to miss the annoying things like Mercy Corps running out of water, vehicle mix ups, and dirty bathrooms.
Farewell Mercy Corps, I miss you already.