Sunday, January 2, 2022

The Surprise that Made Me Cry

Just before midnight last Friday I received a notification. It was a shared file from my friend, Cathy. I opened it and the file's name was "Thank you and farewell Aileen Apolo". I immediately cancelled opening the file because I knew it would make me cry, haha. I participated in many of those farewell docs previously and knew it was messages from people I worked with in the past 15 years. I did not want to cry as new year rolled in!

I finally opened the file again after breakfast yesterday. I told Sweetie about the surprise and he said he was conspiring with Cathy for a few months now. And oh wow, they found people I worked with since 2006. Soon enough I was teary eyed while reading the messages. 

I left my post quietly and without fanfare. I even declined having lunch with my manager for safety reasons. I only had a brief hangout with my team so I could say a proper goodbye. Reading through the messages of my friends made me realize that I did something good in the past 15 years. They recognized the hardwork and love I put in all the programs I managed. 

Yesterday's Didache reflection was on remembering who you are. The lugaw inside is more important than the bowl (what people see outside)*. And that's why I'm so grateful for the messages of my friends. They saw through my output and recognized the hardwork and love I put in everything I did. In the one year I wasn't able to contribute I felt inadequate. My former manager said, "A chunk of Google's soul leaves Google with you!" The messages gave me the closure I needed. I am at peace now.

2006 with my scout brothers Colombia, Pakistan and Malaysia.

With the Outreach team 5 continents.

Thank you Cathy, Habs, Myra, Mark, JohnnyB, Jek, Miami, Ruth, Karen, Sebastian, Sami, Nopparat, Ria, Jolly, Marcus, Obum, Andre, Mavila, JP, Iris, David, William, Sophie, Victor, Suan, Yoshi, Prissilia, Mani, Jose, Lih Shiun, Anish, Tim, Nica, Sajith, James, Nikka, Rachel, Christine, Nette, James, Nap, Jim, Cherry, Dette, and Jana. Truly appreciate your messages <3 

As Bo Sanchez said in the Didache foreword, "Because if you want to win in life, here's what you do: don't focus on the pain; focus on the prize!"


*Best to read the reflection here.

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