A few weeks ago I got a phone call from my friend Ashley telling me that a position had opened up at her job and was I interested in applying? I wasn’t looking for a new job at the time, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to send in my resume.

It wasn’t very long before her boss was calling me to set up an interview. I set a date and time, then sat back to examine what was going on.

I knew I would leave my current job one day, but I hadn’t expected to do it so soon. I’m comfortable in my job, have a groove, know what IΒ am doing. I also have the best first boss I could have asked for. When I thought about the day I would eventually leave, I thought I would sit down with Mike, talk about my options and go from there.

But Mike happened to be on vacation when all of this started. And I felt awful about that. What if they offered me the job? Would Mike believe me when I told him I didn’t sneak out to interviews behind his back?

I went through the interview–an intense two hours that left me more confused than ever. The perks? They are good. The money? Even better. But was that enough for me to leave?

I didn’t give myself the chance to find out, because just a day later I told my potential new boss thanks, but no thanks. I passed on the job before it was even offered to me.

And then I started regretting it. The self evaluation that followed wasn’t pretty. I realized that the real reason I said no wasn’t because I didn’t think it was the right job for me, but because I was scared to leave the comfort of my current job. And most of all, I didn’t want to stop working with Mike.

I’m one of the lucky ones–an employee that can call her boss not just a friend, but a great friend. Mike is more like the big brother I never had; who can tease me unmercifully, then turn around and offer me great advice. He’s shown genuine concern when my sister was screwing up in school and was campaigning for me to get engaged. But most of all, he had faith in me and encouraged me to push myself. When I was panicking about giving my very first press tour, he told me I could do it. That I wasn’t seeing what he saw. That I had it in me and just had to break through my fear.

He was right. So when I was graced with a second chance and asked if I would reconsider taking the new job, I did. And after going over all my concerns with the new boss, I pushed through my fears and accepted.

But then I had to tell Mike. And the thought of it made me physically sick. I knew he would understand and be supportive, because that’s the type of guy he is. But I still didn’t want to do it.

The first sentence was the hardest. “I’ve been offered a job,” but it got easier from there. He asked questions, listened and in typical Mike fashion, even gave me advice from his days working at an agency. When all was said andΒ done he congratulated me and gave me a big hug.

Mike will find an eager recent college grad to take my place in the office. But I know he won’t replace me as a friend.

Happy Birthday, Mike. I’m going to miss you like crazy.

And PS- Of course you’re coming to the wedding!