To say goodbye, Simon had to write me a letter, which he read from. It was a beautiful letter. Such is the depth of our relationship, I cried inside. I knew he had to go, to follow his dreams, but I didn’t want him to go. In truth, Simon was never designed to sit at a computer. None of us are, but Simon especially so. He is a true creative, a true explorer. His decision to get up and ‘go find’ was the best decision he has taken.
So, goodbye Simon. You are always smiling and shining, often and wonderfully silly, lightening the mood. Being silly is important to us, and the large remote-controlled shark that floated around the office for weeks illustrated this neatly. The picture of you with your shirt tucked into your shorts – pulled way up over your belly button, ready for table tennis, bat in hand, on your last day – sums it up perfectly: silly is good, necessary.
Simon, you have always inspired creatively. In fact, I’ve always been a tad envious of your talent. You can put your hand to anything. You learnt to become a photographer because we needed a photographer. You learnt how to make films because we needed a filmmaker. You learnt how to design an impact report – essentially a book – because we needed that impact report. Hell, you even built your own kitchen. Thank you for everything you gave us.
So, the first employee to decide to leave JbD in seven years seeks pastures new. Simon, I am proud and happy for you. You are following through on that provocative line in Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day, a poem we both like: ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’
These beautiful words remind me first and foremost that our lives are what we make of it, and that you are making yours, Simon. I wish you well, my friend. Dare I say it, I know our paths will cross soon. Good apples do not roll too far from the apple tree. Apologies, I am splitting many metaphors.
One day, far from this one, when I am old, and you are less old, I might even show you the letter you wrote, which lies safely in my drawer, along with other important reminders and milestones of my own wild and precious life.