The best going-away gift I received last week was handed to me quite casually by my therapist. As we were wrapping up my final session, she looked down at her notes and agreed with me that I would be just fine this coming year. "You're meeting your potential, and you are going to do well." As you might remember, living up to my "potential" has always been a big burden for me. I never seem to be able to do it, I always seem to be chasing my potential and just falling short. But, finally, someone has decided that I'm doing enough, I'm maxing out my capabilities, and I should feel good about that.
The worst going-away present I received last week was a parking ticket. I was on my way back to my car with 20 minutes to spare on my meter when a faculty member stopped me to talk to me about her research plans. I kept trying to edge toward the door, but I couldn't bring myself to say, "Hey, my parking meter is about to run out of money, I gotta go!" My meter was 5 minutes expired when I got back to my car, and I had a $20 ticket because of it. It's just annoying, because I am so uptight about putting money in my meter, parking legally, and being responsible, and then, look what happens on my very last day on campus.