Seems like forever now but just a few years ago our company was just a code shop. We took designs from other firms and we made them work on the web. That was who we were and we were somewhat content.
Then we heard that someone was thinking about making a change. One of London’s most creative people was entertaining the notion of changing careers after 11 years. It would be a big step for a bunch of code geeks but we knew it was the next stage in our evolution. We took the leap.
While we knew this would have a profound impact on our company, I had no idea how much it would impact my life. Every relationship is complicated and forming a close friendship with a colleague more so. Share a small office with a good friend for 3 years and you go through pretty much everything together. You share your heartbreaks, victories and everything in between.
None of us were surprised when nik told us it was time to go. His girlfriend had a job of a lifetime opportunity and nik would join her in KW.
Now if you hang around with nik for any length of time it will become very clear that his real artistic passion is in his painting. There’s something in that work that he can’t properly communicate to the rest of us. It’s not a landscape, it’s something more – you can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. He wisely decided to go freelance so he could spend more time with his art.
This move then was a fantastic opportunity for both of them.
Now I have some deep character flaws – some of those are self protection mechanisms. I’ve never had to deal with much personal loss much in my life – at my age it’s a bit like getting chicken pox – it’s devastating. So I do everything I can to push loss away and avoid it. It’s a survival instinct that serves me very poorly.
I closed up and put on a mask for 5 months.
Yesterday was my friend nik’s last day at our office. On Monday he begins a new chapter and today, as I knew it would, it’s hitting me like a freight train.
My friendship with nik has always had personal and professional very tightly intertwined and, while I hope our friendship will endure, I know that it will change. This blog is just a marker along the way. It’s been a long road and not without it’s share of bumps but I’m glad for having the opportunity to share this part of the journey with nik.
Thank you nik for lighting the way, showing patience as I try to grow and for being my friend (I know it’s not always easy).
Love and respect, Shawn