My last day with the bookstore was yesterday. I did an event up in La Paloma, so it wasn't really my last day at the bookstore, that was Thursday. It was nice. The area up there is beautiful, and the event itself was pretty relaxing, at least from my perspective. There was an ice sculpture. I like those.
I worked at the bookstore longer than I took classes at the UofA. I definitely spent more time in the bookstore than in class. More time with the people there than with classmates, maybe even more than with friends. But the people there became my friends, some of them became my classmates. I'm very glad for them, and I hope, just like I always hope in these situations where my life moves forward, that we don't grow too distant. I don't want to forget them, but I don't want them to become memories.
I want to thank some people specifically, and I hope I don't offend anyone by not pointing them out, because all of my coworkers have been truly phenomenal and had an enormous impact on my life. I can say with absolute certainty that I would not be who I am today without your company, advice, humor, and conversations.
First, I'd like to thank Patty, who I didn't have the opportunity to say goodbye to before I left. Thank you for being an at work mother to me. You were always sweet, and kind, and cared so deeply. I will miss you.
Thank you, Chris, for the conversations, for the recommendations, and for the lent books.
Thank you, Ben, for the advice you gave me.
Thank you Sarah, Abe, Hans, Kmac, and Dani for the awesome times had hanging out.
I'd like to thank those of you who aren't at the bookstore anymore, but have kept in touch since you left (and maybe even gotten me a job).
Most of all though, I'd like to thank Tj. For more than being an awesome friend/co-worker/conversationalist/adviser/team-mate(Hardcore-Fabulous). You, sir, are an all around good guy. I remember way back when I was still a rush employee, you're the one who made me feel welcome. The first time you did that thing where you say 'Sing it,' I don't know. I felt welcome. So, thanks for that. I'm sure I'll see you again here pretty soon, I just wanted to let you know that I value our friendship very highly.
As a side note, and probably more interesting to those of you that don't know anyone at the bookstore, last Friday I gave a talk to some middle school kids about writing. It was a fantastic experience. I know I've said that I would never want to teach before, but after that, maybe. Still probably not, I don't think I would enjoy the administrative or crowd control aspect of it very much.
One thing it made me realize, above all other things (I think), is that being an author will be an extremely weird thing. It is an extremely weird thing. People, who I haven't met, can (and will) know me better than I know them. They will have my blog to look at, but they will also have my stories.
One of the kids talked about sharing one of my stories with her brother. Someone who I haven't ever met before, has now read something I have written. And he's talked about it too! It has promoted conversation. Something I have done has been a topic of conversation between people that I don't know. That's so weird, and it feels good. I can't wait to get published. I can't wait to meet these people that have already met me. I can't wait to talk.