It’s always hard to leave / anglais

3 juillet 2009

The French version will come up soon. Probably during the weekend. It will be calm, peaceful and thankful. Very P.C.Probably. 

This isn’t. This is a mess, it’s pink and purple. It’s a mess of unprepared unplanned misspelled untamed words. It’s like me.

The song is Mika’s Cry on my Shoulder. It’s sad and beautiful and weirdly filled with hope.


I guess that’s how it should be. You go somewhere. You work. You get the work done. You get a pay check. 

The rest is just personal stuff. 

Whether you make friends. Whether you’re happy. Whether your work is important and appreciated. Just get it done quickly, OK.

Just get it done.


I guess if you put it down, it’s basic and simple. 


But of course, because we’re humans and complex and complicated, it’s not all that simple. We mingle. We make friends.

Or not. 

We get to know and appreciate people, collegues, people from across the hall. This girl looking a bit lost because she can’t find her glasses (and we can so relate to her don’t we), this other one who seems so confident, how we wish we could be more like her. This guy from accountance we think’s gay, except he has a girlfriend. And this other one we think’s hot, except he had a wife and two kids (and a mistress, but that we find out later over a gossipy coffee break, and oh, she’s pregnant by the way).




We get to know people, not numbers, not virtual acquaintances. They matter. They help us get the work done, they fill the day with laughter, or purpose, or sadness. 

When they’re sad, and we care, or when we’re sad, and they don’t care. 

Or when they have the power over you. The power to make you feel appreciated and part of something meaningful. Or the power to make you feel insignificant and stupid and meaningless. (What kind of manager are you? Are you sure? Is it OK to question that? What if you stop communicating with me, what then? How can I get the work done? I’m not all that magic you know…)


I’ve had that. I’ve had jobs. I came, I got the work done. I left. And I started again, somewhere else, all over, and again. And what’s more, and whatever.


In the last few months, I’ve had all that. I’ve had the human discoveries. I’ve had the joy, the sadness. The feeling that my work mattered, that I was doing something worthwhile, and the roller-coaster of quiet tears and despair from a pressured unsettled underpaid underappreciated PR scrub (= I’ve let myself become a free sand bag #fail). 


Hello hierarchy.


I’ve had friends and ennemies, I thought I couldn’t do it anymore, that it wasn’t worth it, only it was of course, because every one of these kids is worth it, and because I owed to every single one of them to get my crap together, to get over myself and to keep on walking. And of course I had help, someone strong to keep me strong. Not from whom I would have expected it (and yet, I should have), but help and support and friendship anyway. I owe her so much.


The Auteuil kids. That’s who they are, I don’t care whether my nickname’s corporate or not. 

I danced to the songs they sang. I sang with them. I sang without them, in my office, dancing along their tunes, and how lucky was I that my coworkers considered that completely normal (too bad they don’t read my blog). I’ve cried over a child I’d met and whose story was so upsetting, the only way I got over it was to hug my own children. I actually shook with shock listening to an adult telling his story. The story of a hurt unloved child who streamed throught life and had barely reconciled himself with the human kind, who at 50 was still this unloved violented child. The unique confidences of Didier. An Auteuil kid still. My leg could hardly carry me back and I really thought this journalist and I would never make it home alive (ah ah, I was driving…). I also thought this journalist and I didn’t deserve to hear that story. Maybe I was unprepared, but at least I was aware of the preciousness of what I was listening to, unlike her. If you must know, I’ve blacklisted her forever.

The worst stories, of course, remain untold. If you don’t know where to look, if you don’t remember to look at all, you won’t see them. You won’t even guess that they might exist.


It’s so easy to forget. You’re in an office with people you care about and with people you don’t. You work, you get things done. There are no kids there.

It’s so easy to forget, why you’re even here

in the first place. Because it’s not just about a pay check. It can’t be, or if it is, what kind of vampire are you, really. (and don’t get me wrong, vampires are hot and sexy. In books.)


I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve felt proud of my work and honestly, I did my best, all things considered. 

Do I have regrets? Yes. Does it matter? No. Will I be OK? Yes. 


I’ve grown. I’ve laughed. I’ve grieved. I prayed, I cursed. I’ve had great happiness and great sorrows. 

But overall, I feel blessed. It’s over, even if I wish it weren’t, that’s how it is and this decision isn’t and never was in my hands – I guess that’s all you need to know.

I might even be relieved.

Things are always like us, complex and complicated, yet I do think that we can make them simple. We can make things work. 

I can’t. We can. How subtle a difference. I can walk halfway, but I need some one to meet me once I reach the middle. Right? It’s amazing how the people who were waiting for me there were absolutely not whom I would have though of. Like, all the team BUT for one person (and not the other way around). And how blessed am I to have had this gift, this sign of appreciation for my work, and my presence, and who I am. This, more than the tokens placed on my desk, was the best gift I could have had from you. All of you there. All of you not there (thanks for your emails, and see, I already forgot the BUT.)

Thank you. 


So, it’s all a bit confused tonight I guess (can I confess this? we drank champagne. I have bubbles in my head and I feel fuzzy and cuddly). As the days go by, some stuff will become more focused, while some other stuff will blur and disappear forever.


I guess, what I meant to say all along, is that this job was a learning experience for me, and that I feel priviledged in a way. I met great people. 


And maybe you too. 

Some I got to know real well, and others I feel I barely got to know – I wish I had more time but that’s how it is. 


I won’t get the work done anymore but you will (and everytime Mika’s Relax will come on the radio, you’ll be looking for my phone).

I might learn how to spell, I might be able to make subtle changes or decisions, like, which picture here I did not tamper with? Iphoto is so much fun. And like, is Ellie Goulding’s version of Sam Sparro’s Black and Gold absolutely unbearable or genius?

It doesn’t matter.


You’ll still be there. Carrying your load and twice more. Grieving personal losses, some shared and some unspoken. You’ll keep on taking a stand. For the kids. And because of that, I can go on. Somewhere else. With somepeople else. Grieving my personal crap, some shared some unspoken. And knowing that life can be beautiful, and that I can make a difference for the better, however small. It will still be a difference. 


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