This morning I walked into my office for the last time. Its closure had been on the cards for a few months and even though our last official day on the premises was Tuesday, there were still some random bits of office furniture and cabinets lying around. Today it was bare. No one was expected there and I certainly wasn't planning on seeing anyone – I arrived at the door on the off-chance that the code would still be the same and voila – but if you are going to close a door, then do it without regret. Do it with hope.
Two years ago I walked into that office to start a career as an English teacher to adult professionals. I was a broken man. I was sober and grateful to be clean, but my sobriety was in its infancy. I was also going through the process of divorce and trying to find a place to live. “They” say that the two most stressful things in life are divorce and moving. Both together is a real picnic. That office became a home for me. Even when I wasn't working, I would go in and sit in a corner and read or chat with the secretary who mothered me and picked me up when the moisture of my eyes gave away the fact that inside I was falling to pieces. It was a refuge. A port in a storm. Even on the days when the monotony got to me, I still counted my lucky stars that I had a place to go.
The evolution of life and business means that some things come to an end and new opportunities are always there for the taking. As I strolled from room to room in silence, I looked back on the man I was and the attitudes I had. Who was that guy? Was that really me? I thought the darkness would become so black that the light would eventually go out, that getting out of bed in the morning would never be a joy. I was wrong. When I closed that door for the last time, a lot of the old me stayed back inside that building. I have gone on to become more of a freelance worker and risen to some interesting challenges. My sobriety gets better every day, my kids are the light of my life and I have fallen in love again with a woman of staggering kindness. The door that has opened in front of me is one of infinite possibility and adventure. I am free to explore the depths of myself without remorse or guilt. I am only looking back to see how far I've come.