Monthly Archives: December 2012

Living fossil

Saw this girl’s wedding photos on Facebook the other day. She was smiling happily, with her family, marrying a guy who to me just a stranger, and their wedding is so faraway on the other side of the world, a continent I’ve never even been to.

Until today, I don’t think the girl know me in person anyway. The only connection I had with the girl is that she used to be the girlfriend of this friend I know.

That’s it, and I am not even close with that friend now, and all those past has past, the girl lives in her world whereas we live in ours. She photos and smiles stay there like a living fossil, reminding me of how eventually everybody’s life would move on, with or without memories.

 

How did I get here, knowing this many friend and acquaintances, judging by the increasing number of friends on Facebook or whatever social networking service, but, how many of them do you still talk to? Where were you when you first meet them, and where are those shared memories, still there?

How did I get here, having listened to this many songs and watched this many movies, who are you thinking when you listen to those songs, and who were you with when you watched that particular movies?

How did I get here, having traveled this many places and taken this photos, sometimes too quiet, sometimes too crowded, and who were those people you had in those photos, who were taking the photos for you, and where are they now? And you, do you think of them only when you see them?

Or even that smell, how did I get here, having lived in this many places, and the smell of the wood would take me back immediately to the room with a similar kind of smell, along with all the moments I lived in, and they will smell like that forever in my memory.

 

Living fossils, they are invisible and yet ubiquitous. Don’t tell me that you haven’t come across them yet, cause you must have lived in some vivid, passionate, colorful and unforgettable moments before. Then certain ‘geographical events’ came along the way, the species are packaged into fossils by some irresistible power. It’s an inevitable and irreversible fact, that those species will extinct.

Unforgettable? Maybe in the beginning, then when you learn to get used to the new environment, unforgettable become a sarcastic term, cause you do forget as if you’ve never lived in those moments.

 

Until you get to see some of those living fossils. Then you realize, they are there, and will always be there, shaping you and your life quietly.

Think it’s both painful and yet healthy to get to be reminded of them once in a while. You get to taste that bitter drop of life, and the realization of that was the past, you’ve gone through it, and you can never go back, brings the level of compassion and appreciation, that cannot be achieved by any type of happiness at the moment.

Happiness always people blind anyways. Not to say blind is a bad thing.

living_fossil_gar_wide

无意间又看到Janet姐姐写的文字,在当下幸福中的女人,即使用幸福的眼光去回忆,也可以觉得出感慨:

“我去密尔沃基之后的周末,前男友和他的现女友结婚了,晚宴在我们曾经常常陪他爸妈去吃晚饭的Lake Club。婚礼简洁大方,很美好,照片里零星看到他爸妈和其他家人,多少有些怀念,毕竟他们曾经待我像一家人,而我曾经是给过他那份承诺的。两个人的缘分 就是这么奇妙,最终没能在一起,婚期却是一前一后只差一个月而已,而现在,我竟然连他的手机号码都背不出来了。也不是觉得遗憾,当初离开也许是我这辈子做 过的最重要最正确的决定,可是多少有些感慨,感慨年少不懂事的时候,竟然曾经那样伤害过别人。每次听Adele的Someone like you,唱到i wish nothing but the best for you,都会想到他,在当初为什么心动都已经记不清的时候,还能感觉到一丝丝曾经被爱过的温暖,是不是也算是一种幸福。”

3 days in the snow

刚来加州还没有买车的时候,觉得Lake Tahoe真是遥不可及。两年半过去了,居然冬天夏天都已经去了4、5次。还好,还没到觉得boring,每次去都有看到不一样的景致,做了不一样的事情。

这次很特别,跟一堆朋友和老妈一起,在Tahoe租了个cabin。老妈不滑雪,这次雪又下很大,本来以为会难打发时间,但有找到些冬天在Tahoe不需要滑雪的活动,三天居然也都安排得很满。

 

 

改变总是需要的

加入新公司不过短短半年多一点,周一去上班,照例是开All Hands(全体员工会),想不过是和往常一样,了解下公司最近业绩吧。不曾想,CEO上来第一句话就是,“公司被收购了,正式的消息今天下午就会被发布。”

这是一间成立时间并不短,但最近才颇有起色的start-up,同一间会议室里,既有跟着公司一路走来的老员工,也有像我这样,不过是最近才加入公司快速增长这一轮wave的新员工。已经待到疲软的老员工们应该是期待公司被收购已久,而还满是干劲的新员工则显得有些无所适从,毕竟有不少也是从大公司出来加入start-up,但很快又要再回到大公司的环境中,可能会觉得这样的转变来得太快。

但,会议室里的气氛一下变得很有意思(社会学家们其实应该好好拿这个群体做个focus group研究 :))。收购对于老员工们而言,money wise一定是有丰厚回报的,虽然不是能拿了就退休的一笔钱,但五六年这样陪伴小公司成长,这也是应得的可以改变生活的一笔钱。即使我仅仅是坐在公司的一角,都可以感受到,他们抑制不住的兴奋。看到有不少人开始掏手机,老大一再强调,下午一点正式消息发布之前,请各位一定不要facebook,twitter, etc. …

之前听过这样的说法,如果你不是在为自己的梦想而工作,那就为钱而工作吧。毕竟能做自己喜欢的事情,又挣得很好收入的人,实在是凤毛麟角。我可能还太年轻,总觉得以钱来衡量工作选择是一件奇怪而且不应该被推崇的事情,但回头想想,包括自己真正做选择的时候,也都无法免俗。难道是因为,现在身边还没有出现一份能让我在“为梦想工作”的职业,所以做什么工作不是工作,那还不如做份薪水高的?又或者是,我完全可以选择不计成本的“为梦想工作”,不过是一直不断在“主动”屈服于世俗和现实吧。

会议结束,坐我旁边的几位老员工们在已经开始迫不及待的算起来了,一些来了一两年的同事,觉得他们走路也变轻快了不少…

之前就约了和Patrick开会,他来公司一年左右,看他心情不错,我也想今天估计公司有心情上班的也不多,就想随便聊聊先。听他说,他之前所在的公司被HP收购,但收购之后公司团队被拆得七零八落,最后只有一些最最核心的技术团队成员被保留下来,因为公司收购的核心其实是产品团队,所以其他部门的人在收购完成之后就纷纷跳槽。“但反正是拿一笔钱就走人嘛,也没差,再找下一家就是了”,Patrick讲得很轻松,但我听得还满心惊肉跳的… 这是说,我也是属于可以被忽略的人员了吧…

午餐间隙,组里的中年工程师大叔James走过来聊天,说是这是他exit的第七家start-up了,之前卖得好的,卖得不好的,整个公司都黄了的,他都见过,在他看来,这个算是正常的一个被收购的case吧。每每看到这种连锁跳槽的员工,有时候真的很难想象将来自己的职业生涯,如果要如此频繁的换工作,会是怎样的一种心境,到最后应该也是刀枪不入了吧,所谓跟老板提走人这种事情,也会练到面不改色心不跳了。

下午公司办了个小party,觥筹交错之间,一些和我差不多年纪,刚入职场才两年左右的sales小哥小姐们已经开始考虑,新公司团队如何分配,需要学哪些新的产品,公司搬家到新的总部之后,上下班要怎样才更方便。股票和收益之类,对于刚入职场的人而言,可能是不及新公司和新环境所带来的憧憬吧。

 

周围唯一淡定的是一刚来才几星期的伊朗大叔(当然刚来几星期也没法不淡定了… ),跟他开会,我问说,你之前经历过吗,感觉怎样?大叔很憨厚的笑笑,很浅入深出的跟我哲学了一番,但真的让我对大叔和acquisition这件事情都刮目相看…

“嗯,也有那么几次的(我心想,您真低调…),但你知道,这些事情带来的不过是改变,改变总能给人带来短暂的兴奋和动力,但最终这些改变,都将再次成为你日常生活的一部分,你也就不觉得新鲜了,不过是工作而已。呵呵,不过一段时间,人是需要有这样的改变作为刺激的,嗯,挺好。”

Company Party

有一天会再回来

感恩节假期,我们在Napa Valley的最后一站,是站在门口看YY一下传说中Thomas KellerThe French Laundry

 

原本只是想找一家Napa downtown的餐馆吃个饭。下午打电话预订,发现很奇怪,这里一般的餐馆9点之前都订不到位了,在Yelp上还搜到接连几家是4个$$$$的餐馆,突然意识到这里貌似就是传说中位于纳帕谷腹地的——Yountville,据说是地球上密度最高的米其林餐厅聚集地。

在芝加哥开出全美第一的餐馆Alinea的传奇厨师Grant Achatz也是从The French Laundry学徒开始。美食品评家们用力过猛的溢美之词是 “在这里用餐的记忆将伴随你一生,直至走入坟墓“ 。

 

逛完几家Napa酒庄之后,我们特别绕道到Yountville来YY这家餐厅,之所以YY不仅仅是因为,这样的餐厅不要说当下吃不起,位置通常在一年以前就被预订出去,stop by就去吃的可能性几乎为零。

到的时候已经是接近黄昏,我们只是开车绕了一圈,大名鼎鼎的French Laundry的garden也不过不起眼的一片,又试图在大门前照个像,发现有另外一对衣着“极其”光鲜的中年couple,男生已经穿到西服三件套的程度,女生也是dress加披肩。他们显然是一会儿要进去用餐,但也在和其实并不太起眼的餐厅招牌合影。我们也凑热闹,朝圣一样的也请他们帮我们照了张相。

终归是YY,当然还是希望将来可以有机会来。我们开玩笑,三个女生里,以后谁先engage,谁的fiance就得带着大家一起来French Laundry吃一顿。如果暂时没有爱情的话,当下美食的享受,也算是小小的补偿吧。

回想起来,这样的旅行好放松,去到的是熟悉的地方,但又不需要有确切的目的地,看到路边的酒庄就停下来,醒来就找镇上的brunch spot来一大杯咖啡,想shopping就在Napa的outlet待个大半天,来程一路从三番四个多小时开过来,又在第二天迷茫的夜色中返程,感觉像快要长大了的孩子,学着像成年人一样,和自己,和听上瘾的音乐,和无话不说的朋友们旅行。

 

有一天我们会回来的吧,希望是因为有人即将订下终生的幸福,又或许是想要对自己犒赏,或者是,简单的,只是我们想再开上自己的车,上高速跑上好几个小时,放开生活对自己,和自己对自己的束缚。

下一次旅行,只要见到你们,我们仍然是自由和年轻。