At the end of her maiden speech to the ACT Legislative Assembly in February 2015, Meegan Fitzharris described a career in politics as the "best job going".
"It is a dream come true for a bit of a policy tragic who loves her local community and cares about everyone having the opportunity to reach their potential," Ms Fitzharris told the Assembly.
Less than four and a half years later, having risen rapidly to become one of the most senior figures in ACT politics, Ms Fitzharris is leaving her dream job.
Speaking with the The Canberra Times on Wednesday after announcing she would quit politics, the territory's health, transport and higher education minister insisted that she wasn't pushed. There's haven't been any health problems, or the occurrence of a previously unforeseen, life-altering event that has forced her hand.
It was a personal decision made for the very personal reason of wanting to be more present for her three children, both physically and emotionally, as they moved through their teenage years.
"You can't know what it [politics] is like until you are doing it and you don't know your family's journey either," she said.
"I first ran in 2012. I started thinking about this when my kids were 1, 3 and 5 and they are just at a different age now and just the reality of running an election campaign in the year that our second child starts high school, and through the next term when our elder finishes high school - that was just the critical piece of the decision."
Ms Fitzharris said the timing of the resignation meant her replacement could be ready to sit when the Assembly returns on July 30. It will also provide clarity for ACT Labor as it prepares to start the process of preselecting candidates for the 2020 election in the coming months.
Elected in 2015 to fill a vacancy left by former chief minister Katy Gallagher, Ms Fitzharris was quickly saddled with a pair of portfolios, transport and health, which were rarely out the news.
She faced constant scrutiny from the media, public and her political opponents about the delivery of the light rail and, more recently, the roll out of the redrawn bus network.
But it was as Health Minister that she endured her greatest challenge, as the public health system lurched from crisis to crisis.
Asked about her legacy in that portfolio, Ms Fitzharris was bullish, arguing the health system was in a far better state now than when she took over.
She took pride in the "small quiet victories along the way", which have changed lives, but not necessarily made headlines.
Last week, she quietly announced funding for a new paediatric palliative care nurse during last week's estimates hearings.
It was the culmination of a seven-year process, which started when she met a family whose child had brain cancer while doorknocking during the 2012 election campaign.
The funding announcement completed the circle of her political career.
"I feel like I can leave my job. I feel like I have achieved a lot."
A regular target of opposition attack, she admitted she "carried a very heavy load" during parliamentary question time.
During those torrid sitting weeks, she said her children, and early morning exercise, kept her level-headed.
"I came to terms with what sitting weeks were like," she said.
"I don't think the opposition are necessarily their best selves on some occasions. I developed really good mechanisms [for coping]."
Ms Fitzharris acknowledged that her departure would prompt renewed discussion about women in politics, but she insisted that the job was "definitely not too difficult".
A member of Andrew Barr's right faction, she had long been touted as the chief minister's likely successor.
On Wednesday, she stressed that she had no regrets stepping away with the territory's top job within reach.
"I think sometimes there is a misconception that everyone wants to reach that goal," she said.
"The closer you get to the job, gee, it's a tough job. There is definitely no tougher job in Canberra."
As for what's next, Ms Fitzharris said she had no job lined up or firm career plans.
She remained interested in health sector reform, and could picture herself mentoring and advising politicians as they navigate their own careers.
But for now, having ditched the "best job going", all she has to plan for is school holidays.