“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

I think there is a part of me that feels returning to Arizona is the easy path to take, that I am chickening out, so to speak, on something that takes much more courage.

But then I remember how incredibly difficult it was for me the last time I left AZ and returned. I had expected to come back, for every single person to be overjoyed at my arrival, for it to be an easy transition because it was home, and for nothing to have changed.

It turned out to be one of the hardest transitions of my life. Everything had changed…. including myself.

When I return to AZ, I know there will be much joy, reuniting with good friends, fellowship with my church, being in my home state, but I am afraid I will face much: loss, change, and adjustment.

I will return to Arizona without a home, without my parents, and without a stable job. I will return to a church in transition and a bible study group debating between dissolving or not. I will return to a ministry, already begun and deep into friendships with others. I will return without the ability to volunteer at my 2nd home with my favorite people: zoo teens.

That’s what sparked all of this actually. Seeing pictures of orientation at the zoo, familiar and new faces…. it kind of hurt. How I wish more than anything I could work there, whether as a volunteer or an employee. It’s not easy to be replaced either. Others have taken my position and the will do marvelous. There’s an ache seeing life move on without you.

And all I can really do is remember. Remember to praise the Lord for what He has given me. Just a Winnie the Pooh said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” But, especially, I just remember that God is in control. If His plan included my being at the Phoenix Zoo, I’d be there. Yet here I am, in the midst of mystery, on the edge of a precipice. My confidence in my Lord’s plan is what allows me to look behind me and praise Him, as well as step off the ledge in front of me, trusting His everlasting arms to catch me in some way, at some time, that I really have no right to know.



2 thoughts on ““Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

  1. I understand exactly how you feel. Though I haven’t left my home so much has changed. I left a job that I loved for what I told everyone was to help with my family. That was a half truth there were many reasons behind my decision.

    Then there was the fantasy that I had created in my own mind. That fantasy that someday I would be welcomed back with open arms. The word VALUE comes to mind when I think about this situation. People told me that I had value that I was missed and they gave me this illusion that I was more valuable than I was. With that in mind one starts to think if I am valuable then others will do what ever it takes to get me back. The truth is I am no more valuable than the next person… I am easy replaced! Yes it hurts but yes it’s the truth. Armed with this new truth this wake up call I will no longer give my time away to a place that has proved to me that they do not value me and you shouldn’t either.

    We are valuable and we have something too offer! I say go out and find a job that you can learn and grown as a person. Don’t think that the Zoo is going to be the best place for you. Look at other places the Arizona Science Center, the new aquarium and maybe even schools. Grow, change and learn you are a bright loving person and you are going to find your place in this world.

    • I am sure you understand this feeling greatly. I thought of you when writing this!
      I would encourage you, as much as you can, though I know right now it feels impossible, to not be bitter or resentful over it all.

      I will tell you, that having worked 7 free years at the zoo, giving them every bit of myself, and all my time, I came to a point where I was angry resentful. 7 YEARS! And somehow I didn’t get a job where I wanted and it didn’t really seem like anyone was willing to help me get there. I expected something in return for all my hard work, in a way. But then, I came to utter peace about it all. I shouldn’t be asking for anything in return, that’s not why I gave them those 7 years. And really, they had given me SO much! Friends, family, the zoo every weekend and more, experience, knowledge on animals, and so much more. How could I ask for anything in return when I could never truly pay them back!?

      You are valued Robin. I know it because I have heard over and over again how much people love you and miss you at the zoo. Yes, even Wayne values you! You did an incredible job and I hope someday you can look back on it all and only see joy and the impact you made because that is the absolute truth. I fully believe you are no longer there for a reason, whether it is to be with your grandchildren and family, or to find an incredible job elsewhere. You can foresee the reasons right now, and it may be a time, but I believe someday you’ll see, “Oh, that’s why I didn’t get that job and that’s why it was good for me to leave.”

      I think it’s exciting that you are looking elsewhere! I want you to bring your light and joy to other places, they need it just as much as the zoo.
      I am applying to lots of different places… not the science center as much because they require weekends a lot and I can’t do weekends that much, but plenty of other places.
      One including is the zoo because I know I love the zoo, I love the people, I love the work, and I love the teens. I will continue to work hard to get back to working with teens, meanwhile, I can have a job at the place I love (thankfully not the conservation center ;)).

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