Before announcing I was leaving Colorado for Austin, Texas to work for Facebook, I expressed to my wife Jill some concern over how people would react.
It was a tough time to leave my company, as I was working on so many things and our team was already stretched thin. I had been one of the most vocal advocates for Kapost since my hire, and especially so during a series of recent departures. I feared I would be seen a hypocrite for making my own, or that my motivation & inspiration would be lost.
Plus, over 2 and a half years later I still have a chip on my shoulder about the way a prior company poorly handled a different move onward and upward. I simply couldn't stomach the idea of leaving this place and these people on a sour note. It would break my heart.
I wondered what others in my life would think. It's no shock to anyone meeting me or following me on them internets that I ooze passion for Colorado - Boulder especially.
It's my favorite place. It's first place that truly gave me a shot at a career; the place that helped me get my head straight, the place I fell in love. I beam about it daily. Why would I leave it behind?
Jill can attest that this really weighed on me. It took a toll.
And then the time came to tell people. And this happened:
My news was met with...excitement? Joy? Support? Celebration? I was floored.
40 people - all about to be former workers - showed up to my going away happy hour, usually much more reserved affairs for smaller teams. Many expressed detailed gratitude for specific things I had done. Many stayed with me all night. How could this be?
There's a song by John Mayer called Wheel. The final verse features these lyrics: "I believe that my life's gonna see the love I give return to me." It's a somber song and I used to listen to it in more somber times - times where I struggled to understand why I should continue to give out even a small part of myself only to feel continually abused and broken. At the core though I believed those words.
And here I am, feeling the full force of care from others. I really struggled to wrap my head around it for a few days. That could have been because I was hungover for a few days, but still.
And then I started at Facebook. And we talked about core values. And unlike many onboardings I've had in the past, we didn't just get a list of stuff to read, some confusing insurance benefits documentation, and maybe a branded coozy or something.
We talked about impact. We talked about mission. We talked about making dreams reality. We talked about Shipping Love.
And it hit me. That's why I'm here. I have impacted and loved. And now I have the opportunity - no, the obligation - to make that a core part, if not the core part of my work. I'll have revenue goals and blah blah blah to meet, but if I'm just focused on the to-do list and I forget that mission professionally and personally then I'm wasting my time going forward.
So Colorado, thank you for all that you gave me.
And Austin/Menlo Park/world you better get ready for some love. Cause I'll be shipping it.
Oh, and tee shirts. I'm totally shipping some of you tee shirts.