Sunday, May 20, 2012

Leaving this way

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle."

- Steve Jobs

I finally put in my two week notice at work.  I've not been able to speak directly of my work here because of an NDA I signed when I was hired.  It is a fireable offense.  I was a technician for the Apple Corporation, a "genius" as the designation goes.  It was an interesting and difficult occupation.  It gives one unique perspective into the relationship people have with their computers.  It also gives one unique access to the human heart and its many disproportionate demands.  Perhaps I will write more of it in the future.  For now I am exhausted of it all.  I have been there just over 5 years, finally getting my full benefits only two months ago, then only to leave.  Very typical of my life, either getting involved with things as they are ending, or sticking it out to receive only meager rewards.

The words above are from Steve Jobs' speech to the graduating class of Stanford.  When he passed away I, like many other Apple employees and people in general, took the time to read over some of the highlights of his life.  When I came upon this quote I realized that by his own standards he would have far fewer employees.  But the words kept coming back to me in an abridged form.  I kept saying to myself, "Steve Jobs doesn't want me to work here."  It was a little joke I used to torture myself.  I've had many of them.  It helps slow down time and make it less pleasant.

But quitting felt great.

Putting in my notice felt so delightful that I picked out another manager about 20 minutes later, sat down and did the same, trotting out the whole story, adding a few embellishments and improvements, as needed.  By the time I worked my way through a few of them I really started to feel strongly about the backstory I had given myself.  

It felt right, leaving this way.