For the past (almost) two years, I've been spending the majority of my days with a group of people unknown to me just a few years ago. If you've been following Positively Present, you'll recall just how nervous I was to accept a new job after having been at my previous job for three years. Leaving one job and starting a new job -- a new anything, really -- is scary. But right away these new people made me feel at home. My nervousness turned to excitement, and these strangers turned into friends.
Today is my last day, and though I'm excited be embarking on this new chapter in my life, I'm sad to be leaving some of the people I have spent so much time with over the past two years. From them I've learned that we all influence the lives of others, especially those we see on a daily basis. Without some of these people, I don't think I would be where I am today.
As I bid my farewell to these soon-to-be former colleagues, I want to give a few shout-outs to those who influenced and inspired me. Regardless of whether the act was big or small, each of these individuals did something to impact the time I spent working with them and I'm grateful to have spent time with them. Here are some shout-outs to the people who really made a difference in my day-to-day office experience:
KK + GG - Thanks for always saying my name whenever you saw me in the hallway or employee lounge. You would always say "Hi, Danielle" when you walked past me or "Thank you, Danielle" when I held the door. That use of my name really made it seem like you guys were paying attention to the world around you, something I always find inspiring. Way to be present!
AK - Thank you for always having a positive attitude and being so helpful and responsive. You always provided such great instructions whenever you asked for my help. And I wouldn't have been able to get through that huge update we did about a year ago without your help. Thank you also for your sassy phone calls with other employees when you got angry. I loved seeing the funny flipside of your super-sweet personality.
BL - Thanks for cracking me up with some of your silly comments. Also, thanks for introducing me to your girlfriend. She helped us get a great deal on the PR service and has been super helpful. She was also super sweet when she knew I was at home with my sick pup Bella -- she's definitely a keeper!
AW - Thank you for that time you walked all the way back to the bar to get me a rum-free soda. It was so sweet of you to do that, especially considering how crowded the bar was. Rather than acting shocked that I really didn't want alcohol in my drink, you acted like my sobriety was an accomplishment. Not quite a year sober, those words meant a lot to me. Also thank you for saying "earmuffs" every time you talked about hunting.
BB - Thank you for always turning down your music (begrudgingly) when I asked you to. (And, more importantly, thank you for uploading Taylor Swift on your iPod just for me so I could enjoy her music from my cubicle.) Thank you for putting up with my constant nudging for new blog posts. And thank you for appreciating my notebook doodles (and not writing on my to-do list every day, even though I know you really wanted to).
MH - Thank you for telling me you think I'm adorable. It was a small thing and you probably thought it was silly, but it has stuck with me and is a little burst of happiness when I'm not feeling my best. It's also been a great reminder for me to tell other people when I think something positive about them. Compliments are so easy to give but I don't dole them out often enough.
DA - Thanks for showing me how, even after having something terrible happen (aka, being hit by a car) you can still be positive. I'm sure you're still so frustrated with your crutches, but you always have a smile on your face at the office. I've never been through physical trauma like that, but I have a feeling it would be pretty darn hard to stay positive. Thanks for showing me it's possible!
MC + TG - Thanks for always been so helpful and upbeat. No matter what I've asked you to help with, you've always been up for it -- and handled every request with a positive attitude. It's been fantastic to have such helpful colleagues out on the West Coast and you've inspired me to stay positive no matter how much work has to be done. The LA team is lucky to have you both and I hope they know it!
JF - Thank you for sharing my affinity for all things Apple. I really appreciate your help with all of the silly questions I've had for you over the years. Also, thanks for always sending the most pleasant emails. No matter what the content of the email, you always start and end it on such a positive note and I've always loved that. It's a small thing, but it always put a smile on my face.
JW - Thank you for being so excited about my new career path. Hearing you say the words, "I'm so excited for you!" really makes me even more excited for the journey I'm about to embark on so thank you for that!
PG - Thanks for chatting with me for a bit in the production room the other day about my upcoming plans. It's exciting to have people interested in what I'm doing. Also, thanks for helping me load that chair into my car that one time. I was definitely struggling and even though you were clearly on your way to do something else, you stopped to help me. I appreciate that!
CM - Thank you coming out to lunch on my first day. I enjoyed spending time with you when you were still in the DC office. And thanks so much for taking me out and showing me around when I was visiting in LA. I really enjoyed going to the art show with you and checking out EP's show. (EP - you're a great singer... if that's something you want to do with your life, you should do it!)
DE - Thank you for organizing our book club. I've really enjoyed participating in it over the past couple of years and I really admired the way you moderated it. At times it could get a little heated/awkward, but you always did such a great job of bringing the focus back to the book (or at least to a neutral topic). You definitely taught me some skills on how to deal with crucial book club conversations!
NR - Thank you for being such a thoughtful guy. When you broke those cheapy Halloween decorations, you really didn't have to go out and get new ones, but you searched until you found even better decor. (Yay, Martha Stewart!) That was really sweet of you. I'm still bummed that I didn't make it to that Halloween party. Maybe next year!
JS - Thank you for being the office's fashionista. I'm pretty sure you have my dream closet (and definitely my dream Chanel bag!) and I loved seeing your outfits every day. In such a male-dominated office, it was always refreshing to see some runway-worthy fashion.
NW - Thank you for taking over my role as the office photographer. I'm so happy we took that photography class together. It wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable without you. One of these days I'm going to get off the Auto mode and start using my DSLR properly! For now, I'm a bit obsessed with Camera Awesome. Thanks for the recommendation!
MR - Thank you for always being so positive. No matter when I see you, you always greet me with a smile and seem genuinely pleased to see me. Thank you for being excited for me when my resignation was announced. It was odd for me to see that email distributed and it made me really happy to hear you say that you were happy for me and excited about what I was doing.
ML - Thank you for being one of the hardest workers I know. Your workload continues to astound me -- as does the 1:30am timestamp I recently saw on an email you sent me! It seems like you work around the clock and that dedication and focus is impressive beyond belief. I'm hoping I can mirror a work ethic like that in my new stay-at-home career!
BP - Thank you for being one of the few people to email me after my resignation was announced and ask me about what I was working on. Launching a new career is a scary thing and your interest was just what I needed when that email went out.
GB - Thanks for telling me I couldn't leave when the resignation email went out. That certainly made me feel appreciated! Also, thanks for always having such an upbeat attitude. I've never seen you in a grumpy mood or act irritated or impatient with anyone. Every time I see you, you have a smile on your face and a cheerful comment. Keep up the positivity!
Though I've waited until my last day to give these shout-outs to my colleagues, I wish I hadn't waited so long. Writing this made me realize that we should tell people every day, whenever we notice, how great they are.
Today take some time to look around you at the people in your life -- colleagues, classmates, friends, family members -- and give them the shout-outs they deserve! Remember: There's no time like the present to high five the positive people in your life.