Saying Goodbye

Dear Undercurrent, past and present,

In his talk at TED this year about reinventing palliative care, BJ Miller, the founder of Zen Hospice, said that there were 5 things that everyone wants to or wishes they could say to the people they care about before they die: Forgive me, I forgive you, Thank you, I love you, Goodbye.

From what I understand, this is derived from an ancient Hawaiian tradition called Hoʻoponopono.

Apologies for the morbid provenance. Thank goodness, I have no intention of making such a permanent exit any time soon.

But, I think it’s a beautiful way to say goodbye to people that you’ve shared something really special with.

I very much look forward to seeing all of you again soon. I am certain that our careers will cross paths again.

As I head for the exit, there are a few parting thoughts I wanted to share.

Forgive me.

For all the times I was painfully direct. For the times when you needed a little sensitivity and I was brutally blunt.

For being impatient. For not giving you the space you needed to work out your own thoughts. For the times you needed a little bit more time to come around, and I plowed forward without your consent.

For being lazy. For the times I phoned it in. For the times when I procrastinated until the eleventh hour, and coasted on the bare minimum of effort. (It probably happened more often than you realize.)

For being stubborn. For coming to my own overly confident conclusions at a breakneck pace, setting up camp, and laying siege to your ideas.

For giving up. For all the times I threw in the towel — on a project, on a client, on a fellow team member, on a decision or a course of action — before you were ready.

For not giving you the public recognition you deserved. For being more vocal about what you could do better than I was about everything you #crushed.

For not hiding my feelings. For all the times I should have just smiled, given you the benefit of the doubt, and kept my opinions to myself.

For the times I took this for granted.

I forgive you.

For the times you valued my weaknesses even over my strengths. For the times you made me feel inferior because the stuff that the business seemed to value most was different than the stuff I do best.

For making me feel shut out. For all the times you left me out of a discussion I wanted to be a part of. For the times you didn’t listen, but wish you had.

For the times you didn’t live up to our shared ideals. For setting our principles aside — usually with the best intentions — in exchange for short term security, stability, or even just because reasons.

Thank you.

For the career. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again for the record: I didn’t have a career before I joined Undercurrent. I had jobs; some good, some bad. But, I didn’t have a career. Undercurrent gave me one. And as I look toward the future, I couldn’t imagine a more exciting and inspiring professional calling for myself.

For the people. Getting to spend 7+ years, day after day, surrounded by such a unique, brilliant, bizarre, creative, and curious set of misfits will be one of the all time great pleasures of my life. So many geeks. So many lolz. So many intellectual rabbit holes. I’ve always been a fan of the “Do you have a best friend at work?” question on the engagement survey because it’s been a monthly reminder for me of how many best friends I’ve been able to work with since I started back in February 2008.

Thank you for everything.

I love you.

I mean it. Even the people I didn’t particularly enjoy working with (you know who you are ;-). Everyone, past and present. I have deep, deep gratitude for every person who helped make Undercurrent what it is.

The care and warmth that I’ve witnessed among this team is astounding. And I feel so grateful for getting to share it.

I will always feel indebted to you for what you helped create for me. And I will always be rooting for you in whatever you do.


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