I had my last day at Holland yesterday. I was there for 10 months, first as an intern and then doing freelance work – but it always felt like it was more than that and I’d been there longer than that. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience. The team there had become my family in a new city, I learned everything I know about my chosen field of profession from them and more about Holland than I thought there was to know. I will miss the view of the Cologne Cathedral from my desk, I will miss lunch in the surrounding restaurants, I will miss- everything. Everything.
They gave me flowers yesterday, and lovely hand-written cards from everyone, and a bookstore gift card, and a hotel gift card redeemable in all major Dutch cities. My supervisor gave me a small notebook that she got for me on her vacation to Tanzania, and I gave her a summery shawl which she loved. We had lunch at my favorite restaurant and I bought them our favorite New York style cheesecake after. I couldn’t have asked for a better last day.
I don’t think I have completely understood just yet that I will not go back there next week; that these are not just a few days off work. But I feel like crying already. I get very attached to people and memories, and I’m sad not so much for a potential job lost but because I will no longer see the people I worked with every day, and walk down the Ring in the early morning, and take the elevator up to the 9th floor, and wish the adorable old doorman a nice weekend.
My experience at Holland set the bar impossibly high for whatever job may come next for me but it was an ideal first glimpse into what work life can be when you get incredibly lucky.