Goodbye, Critical Mass

Hey Critical Mass! I’m sorry I didn’t say “goodbye” properly. You know, the traditional email that goes around to cmassother, usually followed with the “we’ll be in the Ship starting at 5 o’clock”. I never got a chance to fire one out, such as things are, so really my best avenue to say hasta la vista is here. Hopefully a few of you get to see it.

Truth be told, I had been planning my “goodbye” message for years. (As my dad used to say, if you’re going to do something, do it right.) If nothing else, it would have been fun to make: a video that would cover my time at CM, complete with a snazzy soundtrack, and some bogus story about going to teach at an all-girls school. But planning means nothing without execution, and I never got around to it. I’m sure I will come to regret that.

Some of you won’t have a clue about who the fark I am. Some of you know me all-too-well. No matter where you sit in the spectrum, do yourself a favour and look around at all the people sitting near you. They, and you, are the people who make up Critical Mass.

As many have said before me, it’s the people I will miss most.

It’s been said — often by the spouses of CMers — that Critical Mass is a cult. I don’t know if that’s really true anymore (I can’t honestly say — don’t forget I’ve been in Costa Rica for a year and a half), but it was certainly fact in my earlier years. We worked together, we ate together, we drank together, we played together, and in more than a few cases, we married and had kids together. You make your own decision on the definition.

In those years, I met (and drank with) a lot of amazing people. And if you’re reading this, you’re one of them. No matter what you think of me now, or what you believe I might think of you, here’s a little unvarnished truth: I admire you. I do, really. I admire you for any number of reasons, not the least of which would include your creativity, your logic, your passion, your leadership, your wisdom, your calmness, your insight, your humour, your kindness, your tolerance. This list could go on quite a lot longer, but hopefully you see where I’m coming from.

Yes, I like you. And I will miss you. All of you. I will miss seeing you daily (or at least weekly). I will miss the banter. I will miss the feeling of inclusion. I will miss the challenges, the victories, the discussions, and especially the arguments. I will miss the Bistro. I will miss the frontline of the front desk.

I miss it all already.

But change is inevitable in life. You can’t avoid it, you can’t cheat it. When change comes, the only thing you can do is embrace it and move with the beat — fighting change just incurs injury. My time to change coincided with my return to Canada, for better or for worse. Change is also chaotic, which is why I haven’t really had a chance to say anything. Better late than never, right?

So this is my chance to tell you, the best of luck in your future endeavours.

I also have to say “thank you”. When I started in April 2000, I was pretty green. I’d had some experience in my own projects, but I quickly learned that I had a lot to learn. And you were always willing to teach me, from every department, from every level. You gave me access to the best minds, and the opportunities to test those learnings and prove my own worth. You allowed me to take more responsibility, and allowed me to guide others as others had guided me.

I hope that whatever legacy I’ve left behind either helps, or is duly forgotten (there’s nothing like a roadblock to mess up your day). I hope that the friends I made over the years don’t mind me popping in every now and then to visit. And I hope I can make off with the mulligatawny soup recipe — that one is worth killing for.

And yes, I’ll still be watching. I want to see how my friends are doing, and see their successes. There’s no point in an award if there’s no-one to congratulate you on it, right?

Until when next we meet…