The news is public now - Greg's moving on. He's going to be the CTO of IKSME, and he's going to kick ass. (As usual.)
And my world has been turning upside down a little in the meantime. I know it's not so much a "goodbye" as it is a "see you around" - after all, we're both still going to work on open source in education - but still, when one of your mentors leaves... Greg is the one who started me on doing what I'm doing now, who even opened my eyes to community work existing in the first place, who showed me what it was that I was already doing, and that I had actual potential for it - that I was good, that I could be really good if I worked hard and learned more. It's been a joy and an honor to work with Greg and learn from him; one of the reasons why I joined Red Hat (and wanted to join Red Hat so badly) was specifically so that I could do that. And now, a few days shy of a year from when I first joined CommArch (as an intern), Greg is leaving.
When Joe was driving me to the airport so I could catch my plane towards Andrew's place in Florida, I described my sense of confusion, which has probably been pretty apparent to anyone who works with me and has noticed my general level of distraction for the past... two weeks? three? ish? Joe responded with "oh, it's like MIB." It took me a bit to realize he was talking about this clip from Men in Black (about 8 minutes in).
"I haven't been training a partner. I've been training a replacement."
I mean - okay, that isn't strictly true. (And the rest of the clip doesn't work as a parallel analogy.) And it's going to be good; Max and Karsten and the rest of our extended team are amazing, and it is a privilege to work with them and learn from them as well - and I'm excited about the (more!) education stuff I will be taking on, and there are multiple people - very good people - filling these mighty big shoes. In a different way, but also in a good way. All of us are going to grow. It'll be great! But still. Uncertainty is scary, change is hard - and even if you know you're going to end up in a better place, the leap to get there is a little terrifying, since you don't know quite where you are going to land - just that it's going to be better.
In other (related) news, I'm moving to Raleigh in August, once POSSE travel takes a breather. Working from headquarters. (Likely more accurately, "flying out of RDU instead of BOS.")
I fly to Raleigh next week right before he leaves, to say goodbye and probably to talk a lot (I am sure beer will be involved at some point) and do Transition Stuff, whatever that means. It is my first experience with this sort of thing happening, so I am confused and don't know what's going to go on. But it will be ok - we'll play a lot by ear, I think - and I will learn a lot, and I'm sure it will all be great. (Also, I get to play on Red Hat's soccer team on Wednesday night! I'm looking forward to playing with the team regularly when I move to Raleigh in the fall.)
In other news, I spent the day working and the evening hanging out with Andrew, having reached his apartment at approximately 1am this morning. After a spectacular seafood dinner, we bought birthday noodle supplies; Chinese tradition on your birthday is to wear red and to eat long noodles (long noodles == long life) - with the additional constraint that everything must be campstove-cookable since we'll be in the woods on my birthday, as I'm getting an Intro Camping 101 lesson for my 24th. (It's something he's promised he would teach me "someday" for... at least 4 years. Someday is now.)
Then we went walking on the beach at Piers Park; he had flip-flops and shorts and was quickly barefoot and standing in the waves, I took much longer to laboriously pull off my sneakers and socks and roll up my jeans (now drying off from being partially soaked with saltwater). Scrawled math equations in the sand. (Okay, that part was me. I also turned his sand-writing into syntactically valid Python code. Shortly thereafter, he tried to push me into the water - though he would have caught me if I'd actually fallen.)
The waves were warm and the stars were out, and we danced lindy on the beach, no music, just skidding in the sand. I hadn't seen or danced with Andrew since August, which was before I had my "whoa, dancing is awesome!" tipping point, and he was surprised at how much better I'd become in the meantime; in the past 9 months, I've somehow gone from following rote steps to actually connecting and following and flowing - it's hard to describe. We got more camping stuff from Walmart, then went back to his place where I played guitar as he fixed us both vanilla coke and run (which... I was skeptical, but it is really good).
Andrew is one of my best friends; we've known each other since we were both sophomores in college - apparently we were both intimidated by each other freshman year, but this changed rapidly once we actually started to work on projects together. We disagree on many things; he's Mr. Conservative Traditionalist in many ways, and I'm recklessly optimistic and fiercely independent even when it means disregarding tradition (and both of us stand in amusing contrast to Mark Penner's radical revolutionary mindset), but somehow it works. It's been a real blessing to have him as a friend; in some ways, it's been like having an older brother. And it is particularly good to be here the weekend I have to think through a lot of things. So thank you, Andrew.
I may not blog again until Monday or so - tomorrow after work we're getting into the car and going dancing in Pensacola (basically all night), then crashing when we get back to his place at ridiculous-o'-clock AM; once we wake up from that, we're going camping for my birthday, where I will learn such things as (1) how to sleep outside, (2) how to cook birthday noodles over a campstove, and (3) how to survive over 48 hours without electronic contact. I fully expect to stagger back in Monday morning going ahhhhh a mattress I would like one now - but then again, I'm used to sleeping on futons and couches and floors and whatnot, so... how hard can the ground be, anyway?
We will find out!