How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
– Winnie the Pooh
It is never easy on the last day of work – especially when for once in a long long time, you’re able to say, “Wow. My life is really good right now”, only for you to realise it’s time to take up another career challenge that’d require you to uproot and do something completely different. In my case, I’m leaving Shanghai after 6 years to return to London.
I am terrible with goodbyes in general. And it’s the reason why I have decided against a huge piss-up leaving do in favour for lunches and dinners with different work colleagues over the last 2 weeks. I feel I’m too old for getting drunk and pally with people I hardly ever say 5 words to (a month) and are only really at my party to make me look like I’m popular and/or for a free drink that the bosses will end up paying. Sod that.
Yesterday was my final day at PHD Shanghai. Or rather, last working day in China. Ever ever. I’ve been good and done the whole eating thing (the Chinese LOVE their food) with various colleagues and now it’s D-Day and all I want to do is to spend the entire day with my team. You know, with the people that actually helped made my career the way it is today. The people who would pull out all stops to ensure the work is done to a high standard. The people who are fiercely loyal to me even though sometimes, I do make mistakes and am not the most likeable person at work. The people who stuck around with me the last 3 years without ever considering leaving for greener pastures. The people who taught me how to be a better leader, a more compassionate person. The people whom I can never ever thank enough.
And as I now refocus my efforts in the next 3 weeks to packing and sorting out my move to London, I will look back with a lot of fondness and gratitude for all the people I’ve worked with in the past 6 years in Shanghai. From the ones who stood by me, to the ones who believed in me, to the one or two who almost caused me to lose my job and my dignity by defaming me in public, to the ones who might seem to play a small role (like the office cleaners, security guards) but have taught me humility and the appreciation that everyone has a role to play in this big ecosystem of Life. I want to thank each and everyone of you and I hope to take this “new me” and make something for myself in London. And when I do, please remember you’ve been a part of my success and will always be.
Today, give thanks to the people who have helped you along the way. Not just the ones who picked you up, but the also the ones who put you down – because without polarities, we would just be living in a world devoid of appreciation and gratitude.
Thank you, PHD Shanghai. You’ve been truly awesome. Thank you.