The end is nigh

Tomorrow, my Amazon career comes to a close. It's been looming on the horizon for some time, but when such personally momentous events are scheduled in my future, they always seem to sneak up on me. No massive buildup of tension or anticipation, just life as usual for days on end and then suddenly the next day it arrives. I've been so busy I haven't even had time to stop to ponder the significance, though last night, for the first time, I had trouble sleeping.
Nearly seven years of my life I spent as an Amazonian. Long enough to get a PhD (and I guess I did, in Amazon 101: we made up the curriculum as we went along, my professors had names like Bezos, and we were graded on cash was cheaper than business school), and more time than I've ever spent at any institution, including Little League baseball, elementary school, and college. I ate at Andaluca just the other week, and I remembered that I'd stayed at the Mayflower Park Hotel when I flew out for my interview with Amazon. Never did I imagine at that time that if I got the job that seven years later that Amazon and I would end up where we are now. The ups, the downs, the ups, the downs, and now Amazon is all grown up, a GAAP-profitable, card-carrying member of the Fortune 500. Soon after I started, we issued debt, and it was classified as junk. Now we're generating enough cash to retire a lot of that debt. Sometimes one man's junk is that same man's treasure.
It's difficult to tease apart the emotions at a time like this. My head and heart are a jumble of Brownian motion: sorrow, exhilaration, nostalgia, fear, gratitude, uncertainty, nervous energy, intermittent resolve. I've always tried to edge up and to the right on the average daily life happiness and satisfaction chart, though, and my internal compass points in this direction, even though the map doesn't list any roads this way. I've never not taken a marked interstate, but rumor has it that it's not so bad if you have a stomach for adventure. We oldest children sometimes need a little prodding to leave the interstate, even if in this case, the foot kicking the seat of my pants is my own.
And so off I go. Who's coming with me besides Flipper here?