I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for quite some time now. Staring at a white screen, wondering how I can start my last blog post for TDRPD. It is my last post because I took a new job. This Saturday, after 18 years as a TDRPD employee, I will turn in my keys, turn off the lights, pack up my belongings and close this chapter of my life. It is a bittersweet departure, I am excited and hopeful about the opportunities that lay ahead, yet I remain full of nostalgia when I reflect on my time with TDRPD.
Where do I go from here? I am speaking literally right now, as I have started this post 6 times already and can’t quite figure out which direction to take it. Should I talk about my memories after two decades of work with TDRPD? Should I speak of the community I have formed around my job and life here in Truckee? Should I talk about last night’s snowstorm and indulge in the metaphor of how the changing seasons can correlate with the changes of life? They could all work and I could likely write for days on each of those topics.
I’m drawn instead to write about identity. The person that I am today has been formed by my career in the Parks & Recreation industry and my time with TDRPD. It is without fear or remorse that I explain that a part of me will be left behind when I leave on Saturday. Part of my identity is tied to TDRPD, the part that believes in making the lives of the people around me better.
How do my coworkers and I make the lives of people around me better? Through the facilities, open space and programs that TDRPD owns and operates. Add that to our charismatic personalities, fun-loving attitudes and huge hearts, it is easy to recognize that people’s lives are better because of what we do. I am one of the lucky ones, a person that gets to wake up every day with excitement and energy around going to work. Not everyone can say that, but it would be a better world if more people could!
I actually believe that it takes a certain bit of guts to admit that my job means so much to me. Is the expression, ‘work to live don’t live to work’?! And this is Tahoe after all. People don’t move here for jobs. They move here to play! To frolic in the outdoors and tele-commute! I could be embarrassed to admit that so much of my identity is tied to my career- but whatever! I am proud of what I’ve become and how I show up every day. I think it is cool to call myself a “professional recreator” (and if that sounds good to you too, were hiring! #PlayforaLiving) and I’m okay knowing that a part of me will be left behind when I leave.
The Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District has been a great place to work. It is an amazing job to have while raising children. It is rewarding to be a part of this community. And it is a fun place to work! These coworkers of mine are great. I am excited to see where they take the pieces I left behind and how I fill these lost parts of me with new opportunities. Here is to the future!