Sunday, November 27, 2011

Letter to the great @michaeljosh

Dear Sir Josh,

I was backreading my Tumblr the other day, reminded of how totally depressed, hopeless, helpless I was last year. I asked you, if Jeff had not left, would you still have hired me? You said yes. I hope that's true. Because I cannot even begin to ponder on the alternate reality of me not having met you, worked with you, of not having met Neil and Stacy, who, in a year, have become my brother and sister. Of not having met Gayna and Justin, who, by the way, I feel sorry for. Neil and Stacy had 1 1/2 years with you, I had one, the time they spent with you is just way, way too short.

There's a line in this movie that goes, "How much did they first pay you to give up your dreams?" I watched that movie during the 6 months of my depression, I remember feeling scared shitless of someday maybe having to answer that question. But then you called me, and welcomed me "home" and taught me, mentored me, and Sir Josh, because of you, I will never have to answer it. That is the most amazing gift anybody can give someone, thanks for giving it to me.

You oversell me sometimes, you know. Build me up, sign me up for things I'm not sure I can even do. You know how frustrated it was becoming for me not being able to write -- and one day, you said, "go write an article for Online." It felt like finally taking off ground, that was my respite, and you understood. Remember the couple of AVs I got to write because of you? I may not have shown it, but I'm sure you know, it meant the whole world to me. You get just how important for me this job is, and day after day after day, you give me opportunities to make things happen for myself.

I remember that one day in Bacolod where we set up an interview with the Azkals (thanks to the power of Facebook, and great charm :p) and watching you, for the first time, do field reporting. I was in total awe of how good you are in everything you do. Sometimes it's overwhelming, listening to you talk, and you staring at me, waiting for my input in the discussion, when all I can do is think "Man, this guy knows his shit." But still you let me talk, and talk, and talk, senseless many times, but somehow you find a way to pick pieces out of what I said, weave it into something brilliant, and credits me for it! You once told me, you're putting in your all to teach us, to set us up for bigger things, and that you are not threatened of the possibility of us being better than you someday. Which is laughable, because you're a genius it actually makes me sick, no way we'll be better than you, but 3/4 of our time together, you made us feel we are. That was the formula that worked. Only you could have pulled that off.

I told you I have already reached the 5th stage - Acceptance. And I think I have, I actually did well today. But a Harry Potter reference just had to find me, didn't it, it just had to. "When Dumbledore left, it was the end of Hogwarts being a safe place for Harry to live in."

Maybe we were all wrong setting up a relationship as close as our team's, knowing that working together in a fickle industry, we would have to part ways some time. Maybe it's that. But screw it, if I have to do it all over again, I wouldn't have done it any other way. There is no person better to have coached my 1st year in my dream job than you. I desperately hope I could extend that time, but this has to happen, you have to go, and I have to let you.

I found a blog that I did a few weeks before you hired me. The blog reeked of anger, I was a writer, hell I was writing a piece on Senator Salonga, and I was....unhappy. "There's a severe lack of trust in leadership," I wrote. That was our team's gold, you were our gold, the insurmountable trust in your leadership that has allowed us to grow into better practitioners, better people. My mom sends her thank you.

I will miss our constant clashes in ideas. Your angry g-Chats when I do something that falls off your standard, and me, instead of hating you (as with every other employee), hating myself for letting you down. Simply put, I will miss you, so badly it may even make me cry. Congratulations, you have always wanted to prove my "Nobody makes me cry" statement wrong.

But get this, like Harry and Dumbledore, we will someday meet at King's Cross Station, and we will sit down, and you will tell me, looking back, that it had been the plan, for me to carry out a prophecy, and I will realize I'm even luckier than Harry, because you, Sir Josh, are not "just inside my head" you're real, and my dreams came true because of it.

You're a great teacher, Sir. Not just that, you're a great friend, and as I told you, brother and shrink at times.

As Stacy put it, there will never be another @michaeljosh in my life. And while that's too damn tragic, I know too well that the weight is a gift. So this pain of parting ways with you? This will all just be manifested in making you proud.

"Lian, you have to grow up," you tell me often, I can't promise you that I will, because you know how much this affects me and I'll probably be angry and tortured for a while, but this I promise you Sir Josh: I will do you freaking proud.

your favorite :-D

(At 3am in the Newsroom, after deciding to stay when the Libyan rebels proclaimed they had
taken hold of Gaddafi bastions, and accidentally getting to cover the East Coast quake. Fun times)