Estimated Read Time: Long. (We're all quarantined anyway *shrug emoji*)
Definitely NSFW, but neither is COVID-19 so also *shrug emoji*
As I've said in a previous post, work is a huge part of my life and my career has always been top priority ahead of sooo many other things. It's been a wild ride to say the least. I thought I'd write about my experience as part of my way of processing what's just happened. FYI: I'm going to refrain from saying names, out of respect for the company and the hardworking people that are still with them at the time that I write this.
It was just coming onto its 5th year and I think I joined about a year and half in. I wasn't part of the OG OG crew, but maybe just the OG crew. Over the course of my tenure I've seen a lot of things occur. Everything from the expected startup life, to the usual small team "gos" (short for gossip obvs), the do-whatever-we-want and build-our-own-shit freedom, high growth (at times questionable growth), stability one day, wild west the next, payroll anxiety, investor anxiety... lawd have mercy. Lots of things. There isn't even a word that I could use to encompass the experience.
They always say that startups are a "fast-paced environment" but they never warn you for the rate of change you will experience. They never tell you how much work it is to keep going when you have nothing left. Best believe your personal life is clear waters, cause startup life can get real muddy, real quick. Regardless, I'm thankful. I'm thankful I got to work in this truly F'd place lol. I say that with more than just love - and for all those who know me and have worked with me, I know you understand.
To the ones of the past and ones who are still kickin' it: thanks! I'm not trying to be too long winded or cheesy with it, but just a sincere: thanks. I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone, or tell you what I appreciated about you individually, but it all boils down to: thank you.
I've had the privilege to work with so many talented people. Some of them left while I was still trucking along. I look at where they are now, and they are thriving and living their best lives. Sometimes I look like that Kermit meme, staring out the rainy window, thinking, "damn bitch, you shoulda left too," but it wasn't my time... Some of these colleagues have gone on have kids and start families! Some went to live abroad. Some of have gone onto roles where they have never been more happy. Some of them have pursued work in things they love. Everyone kept living, and kept doing whatever it is they wanted to do. That's life.
I was, am and will always be happy for them, and happy for the time we got to spend together.
So many colleagues are also my friends. I have never worked in a place where so many people have actually become my real friends. You know, usually you have 1 or 2 "colleagues" that are your ride or die that you actually hang out with and care about. Yeah, I have more than 1 or 2. I can't even believe it because I was team "no new friends" for so long. Working here, I have acquired so many new friendships with people that I genuinely find to be good people. If there was anything this workplace was successful at, it was finding good people.
It would have been impossible to work in this environment for as long as I have without the people. We have so many memories.
The best part about making all these new friends is that I never feel alone. I can't tell you how many lovely messages I've received full of love, laughs and thankfulness. I didn't even know people really thought of me that way - so it was emotional but so appreciated. This is how I know that the friendships are real - nothing will change for us. We will always be friends (until we beef but that's expected). I do not feel sad at all because I have you.
Where we work, every time someone leaves, we do this thing called a "memory box," where each member of staff draws something that represents a memory they had with that particular person. So, because I didn't get that privilege, I'm writing my own damn memory box. #suckit #createthefutureidesire. (Side note: some of these are inside jokes or those "you had to be there" situations. Shoutout to the people who get it.).
I mean, that's just 5. I have sooooo many more.
When our co-founder and CEO stepped down early last year, I wrote this in his goodbye card: "Thank you for making a place I love and hate so much." LOL. I didn't mean anything by it. I just wanted to convey how much I love a place that at the exact same time frustrates me, so much. Then I knew why I was always so frustrated - because holy shit: I cared. I only get annoyed, angry, mad, sad... whatever... by something I care for - and that's this place.
Professionally, I've been privileged. I managed to pivot my career from over 10 years of marketing into Learning Design and Development. I've finally found work that is meaningful to me - something I enjoy that gives me purpose and pride. I found the work that brings value to my life because I can bring value to others. There isn't a single bad thing I can say about that. It was a hard road to get here, but it was worth it.
So thank you to the people and the company that made me who I am today, and for opening the opportunity for a new career path. Thanks to everyone for entertaining me and listening to me vent. Thanks to everyone for their gratitude and believing in me - that I was actually a good facilitator, teacher, trainer, manager, supporter, friend. The countless overtime was my choice, and I would have gladly continued to work hard for everyone if it was at all possible.
SHIT. I almost forgot...
How could I forget? LOL. I don't even really know how many students I've taught, or instructors I've been lucky enough to train. But shit! Thank you! I'm really thankful I got to teach you even if only 1 thing really stuck with you. Sorry I swore so much, got distracted easily and used bad analogies to explain theories. Without you, I wouldn't have enjoyed coming to work everyday. I'm so lucky that I still get to talk with some of you, and some of you are legit friends. Thank you to everyone who gives me a big hug or says hi when I see you on the street. BTW, I always cry a little after or get misty. Don't judge me. Special shoutout to the first work-study cohort: I would have not been able to survive one of my most hard times in my personal life if it was not for your group. If any of you become famous or rich, please hire me.