Moving Forward.

Published in life on 2013-10-27 14:57:41 UTC

I wasn't sure whether to file this under Life, Community, or Code. It's a little bit of it all.

Leaving Neo

This is one of the hardest things I've ever done. It's been almost a year now. I came from writing Ruby code in a closet which I wasn't allowed to leave in a big giant company to someplace that embraced how weird it all was -- and how weird I am. My creativity was told to be put away where I was, when I got to Neo the opposite was true.

Being thrown head first into the Ruby community was one of the best things to ever happen in my life. The memories I've made and the ones I continue to make with the people I've had the privilege of working with there have changed my life completely.

There's Donut burgers on my birthday at the diner...

Seeing faces when they tried bacon-sausage pretzels for the first time...

Commit pics and face swaps...

The awesome, awesome, awesome project I started with Chandu. We got to a point where we could grunt and point and it was the only communication we needed...

Felix Gersing...

People who truly cared when I've had illness in the family -- people who told me just to go when I really needed to...

The people I've met at CRB's and Hack Nights... the moments when I'd see someone go "AH HA" when they got something, the moments when I went "AH HA" when learning something myself...

There was the GM that made my Mom's day when he raced for my dad in the Peletonia, which in turn made mine...

Watching Ken eat 3 day old DK donuts for lunch when he was really in crunch mode making everything work smoothly...

All the heart to heart conversations that made every single day of my life spectacular. The reasons I'd sit on Sunday and wish it was Monday morning. A lot of people don't know this, but I'm often the first person in the office on Monday morning just to see everyone's wonderful faces when they roll in.

I could go on forever, and the longer I'd go, the harder it would be to continue.

Why then?

Because of the only reason any one would leave a place like that -- the right opportunity arose. It's not about dissatisfaction, on the contrary, I've already said and I really mean that this is one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.

I'll be honest and say that I'm even afraid to say it. I feel like after saying all those nice things and then saying "welp, somewhere else now" demeans the quality of my experience and the people I've come to love. This couldn't be further from the truth.

I'm taking it with me, and I'm sharing with the people that need it most and the people that make it happen. I'm confident people will know how to reach me if they can't figure out the grill or need a pretzel fix. I'd be heart broken if they didn't.

Where I'm Going

Here. Click this: this.

Scroll down a bit. See those people? It's your niece or nephew. It's your neighbor. It's sister or brother. It actually was the son of my daughters teacher as he battled leukemia (and won).

There are fundraising platforms, then there's Give Forward. If health care were free in the US, what they do is still something that's sorely needed. There are still bills to pay, and well, what sold me was the stories I heard from everyone I talked to who worked there. Here's some of the takes I got from those conversations...

When you're sick, it's hard not to feel like a burden. If you need help taking care of anything, let alone the bills, that's the last thing you need on your mind. Give Forward is there to help you through this, to cheerlead you through what should be celebrated: your community coming together to help one of their own. Give Forward exists as a cheerleader for you or those you love to get you all through the hard parts and let you focus on what you have to do -- get better.

When someone gets sick, starting a Give Forward page should be the first thing they do. There should be no stigma attached to needing help, even when it involves asking others for financial help. Even if it's just for the virtual hugs, they want to see the barriers and stigmas attached to such things eliminated so folks can concentrate on the important things when someone they love is ill.

What really amazed me about this isn't about the fundraising, it's about changing a mindset. It's about making it not just accepted, but the thing to do -- to ask for and accept help. It's almost as though being ill is incidental and if they could, the site would just exist to let folks know that asking for help is just what people do and offering it is just what people do, just because it feels good.

Does it not sound like the pretzel baker needs to be there?

Of the Immediate Future...

Barring anything out of the ordinary happening, my last day at Neo will be September 10th 2013. It's been an internal battle with staying or going, but it's time to say this is the future, move forward, and enjoy the last few weeks with the people I care most about like I have every other day over the last year. Then it's time to move, and give forward.