goodbye llnl



Well, after about 9 and a half years with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 11/09 was my last day. Now, I wasn’t the only admin besides Jenny (thats the email you see there), but she was my closest friend and peer while I was there. There was a little poetic license there, but it was accurate.

It is hard to quantify the emotions about leaving LLNL. I do not know if I have the appropriate words to describe the feeling.

How about this:

Remember when you left the comfortable confines of high school? That microcosm was your entire world. You had spend the majority of your adolescent life being a part of that world; your friends, you responsibilities, and learning that environment. When you left high school, it was sort of scary, and it was hard to imagine how things would be after leaving high school. The only certainty was the regiment of “work” that you learned in school would continue on (hopefully to college).

Its a big scary world out there, and when you are “institutionalized” you may not want to leave even if it is time.

This is where I am at. It was time for me to forge a new path in my career, and I was starting to feel a little confined by the Lab’s philosophy of what I.T. is. I was also feeling a bit over-specialized. Not in what I specifically do, which is *NIX Administration, but things that only a national lab has to deal with. That is a bit more complicated, so despite the fact that I could have made a lifetime out of LLNL, I was not getting the fulfillment I require. I look for technical challenges, not inter-personally communication challenges.

Like high school, I will keep some of the friends I had made there. Also like high school, I will soon find myself in a different environment where my vantage point and perspective will be force to change and adapt to the new culture. There is nothing wrong with that as long as I continue to have a healthy respect for the past, it is after-all what brought me here.

Most importantly, I will have my anchor: the “work”. The core of my skill set may be re-balanced for the new job, but it will not fundamentally change and I am happy to accept that.

So far, after two full days have gone by, I’m pretty excited about the growing list of projects and tasks that we are facing. Renting in a shared house with two other room mates isn’t so awesome though, I’ll be a full fledged germaphobe (mysophobia) in no time. I clean my dishes but I sort of freak out of my sponge touches anything else but my dish.

Here is to new adventures!