Mark Twain once suggested that we rejoice at a birth and weep at a funeral because we are not the person involved, and that, along with the cartoon you see here, is about as close to my philosophy of life as you're ever gonna get. So guess what? I'm kind of shockingly sad to be leaving Gawker. There will be tears. Who would have thought?
When I started here last July, I told myself I'd do the job for three months and then find something else. Fifteen months later I'm finally going, which seems incredible, but what's even more incredible is how emotional I'm getting about it. I can count the number of people who have done this job on my fingers, and every single one of them who have done it for anywhere near as long as I have are in agreement: Leaving is like a death, or a break-up. This gig takes over your life: From the getting up early to the incessant demand for material to the ways you need to medicate yourself to wind up and cool down, there's not a single second where you're not somehow thinking about Gawker.
But let's be honest: There are far worse jobs to have, although I never thought so at the time. As much as I pissed and moaned—and there was plenty to piss and moan about—I am well aware that this job has been a unique gift. The deal is this: You get an amazing platform, you're given more creative freedom than you'll ever have in any other job, and you get to work with an amazing bunch of people. In exchange, you have to work crazy hours, deal with random and senseless directives and redesigns, and, if necessary, donate one of your vital organs to Nick Denton should he ever need one. On balance, I still think I got the better end of things, although I may revise that estimate if Nick's kidneys fail.
Here comes the part where this goodbye gets all Oscar-listy: If you'd prefer not to wade through it, I completely understand. Skip down to the bottom, where I reveal the secret to life. Otherwise, here goes:
I want to first thank every single person who reads this website. Commenters, you have always kept me on my toes, and there have been days where I have been deeply depressed at how much funnier you've been compared to me. Those of you who are afraid to comment, or don't care to, but have e-mailed me privately to say that something I've written has resonated with you, or made you laugh, or just made your day a little better: Thank you. It is one of the great pleasures of life to know that there are kindred spirits out there who you will never meet but can correspond with just the same.
The team at Gawker Media: You have all been incredible, especially in putting up with an irascible pain the ass like myself. Interns, you've all been nothing but helpful. Stalkettes, you are my favorite mean bitches in the world. Columnists, you have saved my ass when I've been all out of ideas more times than you'll ever know. And tech. Oh, tech. You poor things. No one ever sends an e-mail when everything is working exactly as it should to say, "Great job," you only get the complaints. But you've been the best army of supergay IT warriors I'd ever want to go into battle with. It has been a pleasure to smoke out front with you while I bitch about why the server is running slowly. You've taught me not to point and yell, "NERDS," when I see obvious IT people on the streets, and that's a lesson that will stick with me forever.
Editors: Jessica Coen was incredibly patient with me when I started here, and almost did a convincing job of pretending not to hate me for all the dumbass things I should have picked up more quickly. Chris Mohney did an admirable job of shielding me from all the craziness "upstairs." Emily Gould and Doree Shafrir were amazingly quick learners, and brought more to the site than I ever could. Josh Stein taught me that all ballet dancers are not gay. Maggie Shnayerson is an intensely talented writer and reporter, and it's one of my great regrets about leaving this job that I won't get to work with her. Choire Sicha is simply one of the best editors any writer could ever hope to work with, and if I've learned even a tenth of the things he's tried to teach me I'm immeasurably better at my job than I ever would have been.
Management: As someone who is about to be something of a manager himself, I imagine my respect for Lockhart Steele and Noah Robischon will grow exponentially in the coming months. Even so, I have a ton of respect for both of them to begin with.
Nick Denton: I'm fairly certain I will never have a more complicated individual overseeing my employment for the rest of my life. There's actually a compliment in there. Thanks for giving me the shot.
I don't know if I've adequately conveyed what a bittersweet feeling it is to be leaving here, but, Jesus Christ, I've gone on long enough already. You guys are great, everyone I've worked with is great, even this job—Jesus, I can't believe I'm saying this—is great. I hope you'll come visit me at Radar, I hope you'll keep in touch. It has been a pleasure to keep you entertained on those days I was able to pull it off.
Oh, right, the secret to life: Everything you love will eventually end. Everything you hate will eventually prove to have some aspect to it that you love. As memory recedes, all you will be able to recall about any experience you've ever had is the good parts. The tears you cry today about something you cannot stand will be the tears you cry tomorrow about something you cannot believe you're leaving. So it's probably better to stay drunk through it all: It takes a lot of the edge off.
I thank you for your attention.