I said it and I did it. Friday was my last day of work at a public accounting firm. I woke up at 5:30 Friday morning in anticipation....I was like a kid on Christmas morning. The day was good and passed very quickly. It seemed very surreal to me though, especially as I was saying goodbye to all my coworkers (whom I enjoyed dearly) and started to realize that I would never be sitting in that cube or chatting with those people again. I started to get anxious about the new life I'd chosen for myself - a life without this place that I'd been a part of for the past three years. Not that I loved it here, but it was secure. Not that it was fulfilling, but it was comfortable. It had become who I was for these years, and I realized that I was actually leaving my identity behind. An identity that I never embraced, true, but nevertheless it had become the biggest single component of my life. I identified myself through my job and spent most of my time at that office and with those people. As I walked to my car Friday afternoon with the office at my back and looking out through my mind's eye with my future stretching before me fresh and clean, I felt like I was being reborn.
Not to say that it was all a bad experience. I did know deep-down that public accounting was ill-suited for me even when I chose to accept the job. However, I feel that these 3 years have been a productive experience for me. I certainly squeezed every benefit out of my job that I could. I have come away with a resume boasting three years of public accounting experience and a promotion to the next level as well as my CPA (paid for by the firm) which ensures that I will get in to almost any accounting job I want. And I do have the skills to go along with the resume; my time at this firm definitely honed those. In addition, I did a lot of growing up as a person. Being out in the "real world" and the "working world" opened my eyes to the way some of the world is, things I had never seen in my relatively sheltered experience. I encountered so many different people, personalities, situations; all a wealth of information for me to sift through, keeping the wheat and throwing out the chaff.
And now, I am looking forward.