On Monday, I gave notice at the company I've worked at for the last 12 years (as long as I've lived in Canada!) I moved here with unclear ideas about what I wanted to be when I "grew up." I had worked in academia (as a postgrad) and university administration after that and I thought I would continue on much the same path here, dabbling in photography and side projects.
That I became a journalist was a strange cocktail of serendipity and my own bolshie arrogance. When I started here, digital was still so new. The online products played second fiddle to the print newspaper and, while sometimes frustrating, this also meant we could play and fail fast and basically create this whole field that was digital content. It was because of my job that I jumped into blogging and social and many things I may not have participated in otherwise that have become a backbone of my life in ways both personal and professional.
All these things are how I got where I am and so when I say it's time to move on, it's knowing that anything that comes next has this job as its footnote. And, yes, it's true that I've felt more and more alienated from the company I work for (and I'm not alone in that feeling). But still, the feeling that fills my heart right now is gratitude. How could I feel otherwise when I know the opportunities that have presented themselves are precisely because of the career I built here?
But most of all (and knowing it's a corny, cliché thing to say) I'm grateful for relationships. By God I could/can be a scrappy sonofabitch to work with at times. But certain people took me under their wing and mentored me. Others became friends and allies. In recent years, I helped build a talented team I'm very proud of. If you're reading, you know who you are and how much I'll miss seeing you every day.
I read all these Thanksgiving headlines last week about how gratitude is the feeling that leads to the most happiness. I've watched people leave their jobs in anger and sadness, in bitterness and defeat. I'm choosing to just feel grateful. For me, for all my own silly foibles, my work and my identity go hand in hand. And I want to be a good and grateful person more than any of the other feelings I might have.
I've been pleasantly surprised by the options I've been navigating the last few weeks (special thanks those who helped me make those tough, tough decisions). I'm so excited and nervous about what's next. And I'm also melancholy about much of what I'm leaving behind too.
But I know that what matters will last. And even what fades will have mattered too.