Farewell and Following Seas!

Since August 2006, the summer after I graduated from college, I’ve been working for a private consulting firm as a DoD contractor supporting the Navy.  Now, 3.5 years later, my time has come to move on from my Navy contract and switch to supporting the United States Coast Guard.  It was a hard decision to make when I requested to change contracts, but in hindsight, it is a decision I am very proud of and very excited about.  You see, I was in a bubble – a very comfortable bubble – and I could’ve stayed in that bubble for quite some time without having to exert myself or leave my comfort zone.  But something in me just told me it was time.  It was time for a change, for a challenge, for a new adventure in my life, for something fresh and unknown.  So starting next week I will be leaving the Navy and moving on to the Coast Guard.

So today was my farewell luncheon with the Navy (my first “farewell” of any sort ever, actually) and I think it went well.  It was a little smaller turnout then I might’ve hoped, but it was in the middle of a work day and the notice for the luncheon was sent out two days prior to about 25% of the people I work with with the expectation it would get spread around (not how I might’ve organized such an event, but I guess it’s not proper etiquette to plan your own farewell luncheon?).  Oh well.  It was nice, my boss gave a little speech and then I got to give a little speech (a very little speech), then we all ate food and off we went back to our cubicles.

Now none of that is really the fun part – the fun part is actually my gift!  The usual farewell gift is a random picture of something in D.C. which your coworkers sign the mat of and then they frame it (which without fail ends up cutting off half the messages your coworkers personalized for you) and there you have it.  My gift, however, is not a signed picture, it is actually something that I think is super cool!  It’s a Navy Ship Deck Prism (see picture) that’s engraved with my name and my start/end dates of my time supporting the Navy.  I wasn’t really familiar with Ship Deck Prisms, so I did a little research and learned the following:

“In the seafaring days before electricity, light below a vessel’s deck was provided by lighted tallow candles, whale oil and kerosene lamps – all of which were dangerous hazards aboard the wooden ships of yore.  One solution to illuminating a ship’s passageways was the glass deck prism.  Set flush into the upper deck, small diamond shaped prisms gathered light and drew it down below without structurally weakening the planks topside.”

It’s definitely not something I expected, but something that will make me think of the Navy and I will cherish for years to come.  I mean, when all is said and done, my time with the Navy definitely had it’s ups and downs, but moving forward I really believe I’ll only take with me my fond memories, the professional experience I gained and the great friendships I formed.  I know that sounds totally cheesy – but it’s totally true.  This was my first job fresh out of college, so yeah, it might’ve sucked at times, but I’m nostalgic toward it!  I’m almost sad to leave (almost), but I know no matter what, I’m very ready to start tackling the next challenge and begin the next chapter in my book.  So here’s to new adventures, here’s to new lessons learned, here’s to new friendships formed and here’s to expanding my horizons!  So farewell and following seas to you, Navy!  And look out, Coast Guard, because here I come!

  1. Oooh, pretty! It’s past my bedtime so I didn’t actually read this post yet, but I will. Just wanted to let you know that I approve of your new formatting (in case lack of that knowledge was keeping you awake!)

  2. Neat gift! Back in the day buildings used to have sidewalk vault lights that were very similar, placed in the sidewalk to light the spaces in the basement of a building. Lame as this is, my office has a publication on how to restore them! I had no idea that those prisms were basically the same thing on a ship. cool.

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