*sigh* It works for the theme of this post.
I recently made the decision to walk away from an organization I have been a part of for the better part of 16 years. It pained me to do it, and I didn't make the decision lightly.
My reasons for walking away were somewhat practical, but more personal. Feelings were hurt and I suspect recent snubs were deliberate rather than mere oversights.
What is interesting is when I was asked, point-blank, if I was going to continue, I said no, then vocalized my displeasure. It was great comfort to me that the people I was talking to allowed me to say my piece and they listened to me, validating my feelings. They also didn't blame me at all for moving on, as they agreed the organization was "no longer the friendly place it used to be."
I wasn't sure what to expect after that, as I spent the weekend at an event for the organization. Was there going to be tears, anger, accusations, hostility, sadness, etc?
What resulted was... nothing. Perhaps whispered resigned acceptance that I was moving on and nothing more could be said. Perhaps they were happy to be rid of me as well.
But when I was packing up my things, getting ready to go while an event was still going on, I felt, for perhaps the first time in a long time, the freedom to leave without being the last person in the arena helping wrap things up. I can look back at the last 16 years as I put my time in, hoping I made a difference, and I had nothing more to prove.