“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation which is not nurturing...”― Maya Angelou
Today is my last day at New Hope Natural Media. This may come as a surprise to many who know me personally or have followed me regularly on social media. Over the past 14 months I have shared much joy, pride, and Instagrams from the workplace while meeting great people and supporting electric events like Natural Products Expo West & East. I got to work closely with an old friend named Jeff, and some new, impactful people like Gabe. It was a great time of professional and personal growth for me.
Those that know me, know I value Collaboration, Communication, & Community with utmost importance. Those three traits are key to making real progress in life as an employee and as a person. I owe most of my success to the strong people who have supported me along the way, and would not have had those people had I not learned at an early age how to talk and relate to them, and work with them.
I've never enjoyed conflict - taking sides. I never understood the "us vs. them" mentality. I much prefer to build bridges than burn them. I'd much rather be a connector in place of a contester. When I worked in the music industry in Chicago, some bands I knew used to play the game "Six Degrees of Coate" for a reason.
All of this is preface. It's background, or context for what I'll say next.
When I started at New Hope in November 2011, I couldn't have been more thrilled. Seemingly overnight I went from frustration and angst over my position in life to, well, hopeful. I was returning to a place I loved (Boulder, CO) to work closely with a friend I respected (Jeff) at a company that had the motto "More Health to More People". This move - I had decided - was exactly about that. It was about health. I would become healthier. And I did. In the early half of 2012, I was healthier than I'd ever been - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
But this move is also about health.
Sometime over summer things began to shift. The company went through some changes, and without going into great detail, those three C's I referenced above became harder to find in the workplace. It became harder to succeed at the level I expected of myself, and harder to stay upbeat. My excitement wore off. My health began to wear down.
One night well after hours I sat at my desk wondering "how am I supposed to bring more health to more people if I'm not healthy myself?"
Now this post isn't meant to be an indictment of New Hope. They gave me a great opportunity when I started, and I learned a lot there. As Ameila Barr says:
"All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves."
I'm leaving a bunch of myself back at New Hope and I'm taking a bunch of New Hope with me.
But as I sat there pondering that question, I took a sip out of my Columbia College Chicago mug that has the words "Create Change" etched on it.
That's what this is about. Creating change.
It's time to discover some new possibilities. It's time to get back to those three C's. It's time to get healthier again.
It's time for change.