A lot of people I knew were aware that Rodale was being acquired by Hearst and were curious how I’d be impacted.
Short version, I’ll be departing, with an end date of March 10. I wasn’t alone—more than one-third of the company’s employees received similar news, and that had the effect of muting a lot of the internal talk in my own head about what I could or couldn’t have done.
It also spurred a certain esprit de corps that I hadn’t expected. The mood was down, definitely, but people also looked after each other and held each other up. It made me think that whoever coined the term “misery loves company” doesn’t know much about good company.
Also, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become a much more intentional mentor, and I was touched by how many colleagues, current and former, reached out to check on me with their kindness and attention. I’ll tell you what I told them:
Please save the notes of condolence for people suffering more deeply in this world. I had 10 fulfilling years with a company whose mission I really valued. I was treated more than fairly. I had some great bosses. I did work of consequence. I even managed to turn my own heart troubles into a story for Men’s Health that led several men to write me later that it alerted them to address unknown issues.
Those years, for me, encompassed a second act in my professional life. I made some great friends, got to feed my inner do-gooder by working for a company explicitly dedicated to human thriving (and abs), and continued to learn about—and at times be mystified by—modern media.
I imagine myself turning toward a third act professionally and I am excited and curious where it will take me. I don’t know exactly what that is, especially if it will continue to be in journalism and digital media. I am open to it … AND I have a nagging sense that there are possibilities beyond my previous definitions.
This fall I received an out-of-the-blue inquiry from a non-media company that made me assess what do I know, what am I good at, and what are my gifts beyond my talents and my knowledge. (It also made me clean up my LinkedIn profile.)
I realized that my best assets are I keep my head up and value respect and accountability between people and service to them. I am curious and I pay attention. I care. And I am nowhere near done.
If you know me and are reading this, I hope that sounds right to you. And I’d ask that if you know of a job that you think might be a good match for me, let me know. If it seems a little out there, even better. Tell me about it.
This week was an ending, but certainly not the ending–even though all endings carry some of that feeling in them. I look forward to the next beginning. And maybe even getting smaller.