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I am so grateful for the time that I was able to spend in the nonprofit that I worked for as VP of Marketing & Communications. The mission was close to my heart, I felt that I made a difference, and more than anything, I worked alongside the most incredible group of people one could ever dream to have as colleagues. The relationships I formed with just about every single person there were forged in mutual respect, honed through small victories, and tempered with uproarious fun.
When I left the organization, I genuinely feared that those connections would dissolve due to the fact that I was now outside the circle. What these amazing people have shown me is that we had actually drawn those circles around each other and were in no way tethered to the entity. I have eaten dinner, gone dancing, done consulting, had visits, shared secrets, digitally connected, and held profound conversations with so many of my former work friends that I feel it's safe to say that we are now, simply, friends.
Today, I had the privilege of meeting up with several of these friends from the New York area at what I deemed my "Not a Pity Party." I issued several disclaimers, warnings, and outs but everyone who said they would come came. With the company being fully remote, I hoped it would also be a nice way for local folks to get some in-person time together, as well. We sat down for brunch at As You Are in the Ace Hotel Brooklyn, where the bakery was nice, but the food… eh, not so much. It didn't even matter. The conversation was filling in and of itself and covered everything under the sun EXCEPT work.
One of the directors that I'd brung onto my team, Jayson, brought lovely gifts for me and for my daughter, Cloud; some from his recent trip back home to Hong Kong! My BFF Patti came with her boyfriend Nick, whom I have dubbed Honey Sriracha 🍯🌶️ because he is so sweet (and HOT). I got to see my girl Natasha again after our adventures in London last month perusing beautiful contraband at The British Museum. My bruv (I'm his brav) Jason has so much going on in his world, and he still found time to come through. Finally, my sweet Flurry overcame challenges of her own to show up and literally give me flowers.
All in all, it was Flurry who captured the sentiment of the day best, "You have to take a chocolate out of the box to find out what's at its gooey center." For an organization that promulgated workplace cohesion by way of get-to-know yous, people leadership trainings, collective goal-setting, department dinners, and all-team check-ins, the BEST thing they ever did toward that end was give us space to build on our own. Each of us made it a point to get to know one another as individuals with every post-Zoom meeting hangout, every Whiskey Wednesday, every off-topic Slack chat, every visit to someone's home, every little out-of-town adventure, every game of Phase 10… all while working together. I'm thrilled and relieved to know that this can and will continue despite the workplace no longer being part of the equation. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart!