Goodbye Hello

Goodbye Seattle.

To you, there are things I leave.

I leave you my best friends. Friends I spent hundreds of hours playing and making games with. Friends I made by going to your oldest university and working at your flagship companies. Friends I made by dancing with your creative weirdoes. Friends I dated, and grew close to, and relied on. Friends that taught me everything I know. Please take care of the friends I leave you, because they gave me the courage to leave them.

I leave you old hobbies. A network of game stores that nearly pulled me out of college. A Kiki-Jiki targeting a Pestermite. A max-level undead priest. An encouraging piano teacher and a few jam sessions. A dozen half-written blog posts scattered around your coffee shops. A couple punching bags and borrowed gloves. A modest album of pictures I took. A small coding project every two years and a few lost semicolons. Many of rows and columns. Movie ticket stubs in back pockets. You’ll have to share some of these with my new city, but you can keep a few.

I leave you too much stress. You can keep the stress of moving, which nearly crippled me. (Thanks again, friends.) Most of all, you can keep the stress of work, as much as I can leave behind. The crushing weight of decisions that drove me over the edge too many times. Habits and mindsets that I want to call old habits and mindsets. You can tuck these away, maybe the troll wants them.

Lastly, I leave you a few too many days without sun.

Hello Oakland. Hello San Francisco.

For you, there are things I bring.

I bring a desire to learn more about the world, even if it’s just one step past Washington, which was just one small step past Montana. I bring a curiosity about your culture and diversity. A desire to understand the extremities and oddities of how you work. The way you party, and how your weirdos are different from my weirdos. The way you walk and drink coffee and shop and write. The way you get from place to place.

I bring a need for new friends. Maybe even, hopefully even, a few romantic ones. Like-minded people to relax with. Different-minded people to talk to. Maybe I’ll find them when I’m dancing, if I can brave the crowds. Maybe I’ll find them while drinking, if I can brave the conversation. Maybe I’ll find them while dating, if I can brave the people. I’ll forge new hobbies, and strengthen old ones, and hopefully friends will be there.

I bring a desire to do good work. To embrace and shape the culture of my new office. To learn and leverage my skills and theirs. To think clearly and calmly, to do the best I can with the time I have, to make something we’re proud of. To seek success with a clear conscience, and to raise the bar. I bring the drive to contribute something positive to the industry, even as just one small designer. Maybe I bring too much, we’ll see.

Lastly, I ask for you help. I bring the hope to write more, to record what this experience is, and to get better at doing it. Help me to find the motivation to stick with it, and the courage to share it.

I see a group of holy men and women split equally at a crosswalk, an age-old sign that my work here is done.

Eight garbs wore,
Split by four.
Time is short,
Resolve your chore.

-Jon

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4 thoughts on “Goodbye Hello

  1. Good Luck in San Francisco Jon.

    I visited there as a stranger for work a couple of years ago, from the United Kingdom. The first weekend I had to myself, so I went along to a store called Cards & Comics on Geary Blvd. They welcomed me kindly and I spent the day playing limited with them. Really friendly people. There is a great bagel store nearby too! And at certain times of the day the sun shines right down that road and it feels a lot like Magic 😉 Go check it out, I recommend it.

    You’re moving to my favorite city on earth. Enjoy the dream Sir.

  2. Jon,

    I love your writing. It’s personal and inviting yet speaks to me on such a deeper level. I feel like a friend though I’ve never even met you (though I wouldn’t mind that). I wish you the best damned luck in San Francisco. I’ve been rooting for you for a very long time and I hope you find the friends, romance, work, and experiences you’re hoping to find. Thank you for your LR legacy, your one-of-a-kind sense of humor, and for responding to my tweets when I ask silly questions. This dedicated fan will be following your stories and antics as long as you care to share them. Best of luck my friend. I leave you with this Old Celtic Blessing, may it prove to be true.

    “May the blessing of light be on you—
    light without and light within.
    May the blessed sunlight shine on you
    and warm your heart
    till it glows like a great peat fire.”

    -Jeremiah

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