It's a tradition at Pixar to send a heartfelt email to the entire company mailing list on your last day. I opted out of the broadcast and instead spent an afternoon looking through the entire list of Pixar employees to filter it down to those folks I worked and played with during my tenure. It was shocking how many people I could recognize by username alone. Out of 1200 employees, I compiled a big bcc list of 430 people. In my goodbye email, I wrote that Pixar was in many ways like my higher education. With the help of my peers and mentors, I spent my 20s growing into a better problem solver, artist, leader and human being. I can't feel lucky enough for having had that experience.
The hardest part of leaving is something like loyalty withdrawal. I spent a lot of my personal energy and passion trying to make Pixar as great as I could and it's hard to flip the switch on a part of me that's 10 years grown. I spent most of January re-convincing this part of me that instead of staying in the warmth of the known, we needed to take this risk. 2014 already feels like it should be halfway gone.
People were surprised to hear that I start at ToyTalk this Monday. No time off. No vacation. To be honest, I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself. Before I start regretting what I've left behind and slump into this withdrawl, I'd rather start getting excited about what's next.
Hell, this weekend would be too much of a break if it weren't for the distraction of the Super Bowl. Go Broncos! (see side note below)
Side note: I'm a St. Louis Rams fan during the regular season, but in the last decade, I haven't had much of a post-season to look forward to. I've come to tolerate and secretly enjoy watching the niners in the NFC west, so they are my post-season favorites. Over the last 3 years, the Seahawks have grown into my favorite team to hate. The Rams have played them in the last game of the regular season for the past 3 years and have lost every one with a final record of 7-9, keeping us from a somewhat respectable .500 season. Also, you can't help but love Peyton Manning. So I'm looking forward to seeing a bunch of trampled feathers in New Jersey tomorrow evening.