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June 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 2:17 pm

I just sent my department head at Raytheon a letter of resignation. Or an e-mail of resignation. Whatever.

I’m nervous now. I don’t want to burn that bridge entirely. I tried to be sincere about loving the Ice but needing to spend some time with my family. It’s something I think most folks in the Program can understand. Still, you never know how people will take those things. My boss likes loyalty and I am bailing out on a contract. And every time you leave that place, there’s a chance it was your last time.

Since I graduated college, I’ve spent more time living in McMurdo than any other single place on the planet. At five years, I’ve also spent more time involved with the Program than I did with either college or high school. I’m a fundamentally different person than I was when I first deployed at 23. My friends and I sometimes talk about having “grown up” in Antarctica – how it weakens you in some ways and toughens you in others that are very different from kids who spent their 20s in the Real World. Aging has changed me, the Ice has changed me, and I’ll never be able to quite disentangle which one contributed what to my growth. But in a certain real way, Antarctica is where I’m from. McMurdo is my home town.

The problem with having a home town that’s not part of the World is that you can’t go back to visit. It’s all or nothing. There are no Thanksgivings and visiting the old treehouse in Mactown. Despite being self-imposed, it feels a little like exile. I know I’m making the decision that’s right for me. Still, I’m sad today.

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