Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Put the "Mental" in Sentimental

May 12th, 2010 journal entry on the bus to work:

"Last day at work... It is cold (6 degrees Celsius) and raining. It feels very strange that this is my last day. Yet I don't really "feel" anything at all. I don't feel happy, but I don't feel sad. I just feel sort of strange. I knew there would be a "last day" to this trip. I knew that day by day this day would get closer and closer until it's finally here. And tomorrow it will be gone...."

Now can I please get through today without crying? chance in hell.

I wouldn't say I am the type of person who wears their emotions on their sleeve. I think I am pretty good at hiding if I'm mad or angry if I want to. But when it comes to the sadness induced by saying good-bye, I lose complete control whether I want to or not. The day I left California I cried the week before, the night before, the morning of, and the entire way to the airport because I was dreading saying good-bye. We stopped at Taco Bell on the way and I blubbered through ordering my taco and burrito. The clerk must have thought I was mad and that someone died or something awful had happened. That's what I would think if some crazy person walked into my taco shop full of tears.

My co-workers had a little going away party for me today at work. I didn't expect much. I expected some cake because they will use any reason to bring in cake. But I didn't expect them to get the biggest craziest Danish Lady Cake and buy me so many nice presents:

They also got me some Danish liquorice that tastes like poison so I can bring it back home and trick my friends:

A Danish National Soccer Team jersey:

Some candle holders (no picture)

AND these little salt and pepper shakers:

In case you can't see them clearly in the picture the shakers are a little black ghost hugging a little white ghost. They are so cute! I saw them in a restaurant when my cousin was here and I have been looking all over for them in the shops. It is on my "to-do" list to look for them one last time on Friday. I must have mentioned it to one of my co-workers.... I was so surprised they got them!!!

All the presents and the party were really sweet and sentimental gestures. I was really happy....AND....No tears! I actually convinced myself that I have finally grown out of my cry baby phase, and am mentally patting myself on the back for a job well done, and welcoming myself into the grown-up, professional world where people don't break down in tears when they have to leave. I am so impressed with myself.

If I left work right after the party I would have been scot-free. But before I leave I have to label my slides, organize my paperwork, clean out my desk, scrub down my lab bench..... Meanwhile tomorrow is a holiday which means people are leaving early. As I scramble to finish up, I keep getting interrupted by co-workers coming in to say their final farewells. Now everybody said some nice things at the cake party "Good job," "Nice work," "Thanks for coming".... but they really saved the juicy, sentimental stuff for these last one-on-one good-bye hugs...and that is when I lost it. The first good-bye hug, I teared up a little...The second, obvious to the bathroom, clear off my face, breathe, relax, OK back to normal. Third good-bye hug, full blown tears, soaking wet face, trying not to stopping now...the flood gates are open.

Good-byes will always get the best of me.


Bridget said...

Hahaha, that is an awesome cake!

And now my eyes are tearing. I hate goodbyes also. And even reading about them makes me sad too :(

Joshua said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joshua said...

From this point forward crying upon departure is called, "going Julie." As in, "Don't hug her or she'll go Julie on you."

AL said...

If you have any video of that Taco Bell incident,
you can post it on

You might win!

Jeanette said...

Hey Julie. Bring back the licorice...I love it! Can't wait to see you! Do you cry at hellos?

Julie Erickson said...

we shall find out soon enough!!!

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing to let out those tears Ju!

That cake definetely look like a Julie cake...

Welcome back to the USA! I'm glad you got back between earthquake eruptions.


Anonymous said...

I meant volcanic.............

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