Last afternoon at office

Last days at work are often awkward…

This is why I will be departing in somewhat of an Irish tradition this time, scheduled strategically on this particular Friday when most people in my team are away on inevitable business trips.

Since I will be transferring internally (my new desk is literally downstairs), my move is not a big deal logistically speaking.  No need to change email accounts, or commute routes.  There is not yet any need to hand out my personal email account.

The main task at hand in this transition process is clearing out my desk.  This desk I have grown attached to after two years in this job, the longest I have stayed in one place in the past ten years.  With a clear view of Shwedagon Pagoda and blue skies to my right but sufficiently away from glass windows to have to be concerned about UV radiations, and the right proximity to and a safe distance away from my supervisor buffered by two colleagues, I find my desk to be quite strategic in the team, though my colleagues may disagree.

Here is just a preview of unexpected findings as I strive to make my drawers and desk resemble their pristine state after two years of habitation:

  • Two bottles of hand sanitizer, one bottle of Thann conditioner (why would anyone have this at work?), and two tubes of hand creme (this one is still normal)
  • One MNK painting of owls, supposedly to watch over me as I do my job
  • Three power banks I have never used or know how to use
  • One large brown envelope titled August 2019 containing a letter for our future selves from one very drunken night at Onyx with friends last year
  • A LOT of lip glosses, although my lips remain as cracked and dehydrated as my lip moisturizing products are left intact
  • A collection of outdated name tags and strings from at least eight different conferences (I have read somewhere that I am supposed to recycle them, but where?)
  • One tiny pet lion – which I have named as Pete Lyon – from a former love interest that ended without much drama in a Skype call in my office conference room
  • One unnoticeable heart-shaped nail polish paint mark on the left handle of my chair following an incident involving a colleague of mine leaving his broken chair at my desk and claiming mine as his own (thought I left those days at kindergarten)

Did I really need these items?  As I deal concretely with an embarrassing amount of personal remnants, I remember this passage from some indie magazine I read whenever I think I can afford to splurge US$30 on a magazine proclaiming this:

The heart of essentialism isn’t about asking how little we can live with, but determining what we simply cannot live without…Perhaps the entire point of essentialism is this process of self-actualization.  If asked to identify the non-negotiables in our lives, we probably wouldn’t think about the restraints of our five item wardrobe or our abstinence from sugar, but about the times when we’ve palpably lived.  We couldn’t imagine life without the tribal rug we bought in Tangier or dad’s smoking jacket in the back of our closet, unworn but revered.  As we follow these internal pulls and sometimes irrational desires, the superfluity disappears and leaves us each with our own messy and eccentric authenticity.  And nothing is more essential than that.


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