Cleaned out my office today. Amazing what accumulates in five years. Five years in that office, nine at that place of work. Most of the books are work reference and, since I’m staying in Marketing and Communications, most of them will go to my new office next week.
The mementos though… It’s funny, I had already been thinking of what I wanted to take to remember this place. Nine years and a bit is almost to the day 25% of my life. I want to make sure that what I take are the very best memories of that time. The big projects, the wonderful people, the lessons learned. My boss asked what I might want as a farewell present and I had no idea what to ask. I have signed posters from my favourite shows already. I asked for a prop that I expect is long gone, so we shall see what appears. It matters not.
I left behind a Clue board game, a few books that were specific to theatre work, and some props that were nice decoration but won’t fit my next aesthetic. I did keep a couple of props. We did a play that had scenes in a record producer’s office and our wonderful props mistress created about a dozen of these faux Grammys. We also did the Broadway smash The 39 Steps a few years back and I grabbed a prop map from that show.
I think I will box up some of the specific items for a while. I need a bit of distance to truly know what brings back the best thoughts and which connect to frustrating or troublesome memories. Into the crawlspace with you, dear Things. We’ll see you in June for a look-see.
My name is on the wall of the theatre, quite literally. As a good friend once said “I know where the bodies are buried, and I know where they keep the shovel.” My mark was made and now it’s time for a new adventure.
There’s a line from one of the best shows we did that goes “What I’ve learned is that life is bits of time.” And so it goes.
Starting late in my first year we began keeping the string and rolling it onto a ball. The centre of the ball was tied by the lovely Nancy who used to be our admin assistant. When I got promoted I had my staff continue to dump the string in my office. When I had video to watch, a script to read, or just an empty time around holidays, I would add the loose string. It was a nice quiet task to keep my hands busy while my mind was on other things.
One of my staff is taking over the ball of string and he took a picture and posted it to Facebook. I got a message from one of my old staff who wrote “words cannot describe my joy to see that you continued the string ball for all those years.”
As I reach the end of my time at the theatre, I am continually reminded of all the people who have touched my life. To bring even the smallest moment of joy to one of them means the world to me.
Never ever under-estimate the impact you have on those around you. My life has changed profoundly over the past few months because someone I barely knew asked me honestly how I was. I am embarking on this new adventure because someone nudged me ever so slightly off the path I was on.
They aren’t memories. They were bits of time.