Well, I’m sitting on my futon, the usual spot in the middle–well-pressed from the sedentary indentation of my body formed over too many hours of laptop in lap, poor posture, and not taking enough standing breaks–and I’m writing an email to Brisa, which will, in less than a half turn of the Earth, become (surely a far too wordy) Thankful Thursday posting. It’s 1:37 in the morning, and I am struck by a bit of college nostalgia; the paper put off for too many nights, the contact lenses left in for too many hours, the desperate clutching at a way to postpone the inevitable oncoming deadline.
Anyways, so I sit here, bleary eyed, dreading the exhaustion I’m sure to feel when the sun rises in too few hours, in no state to feel very thankful for much at all. Objectively, rationally, I am thankful for a great many things, things that words, written, spoken, or even sung, cannot adequately express. But right now, I feel little more than a mild delirium settling in accompanied by the soft floating thought of, “I wonder how crazy this stream-of-semi-consciousness is going to sound to me when I read it again tomorrow”.

So being that I am in this less-than-ideal state of mind for putting this together, what are my options? Well, I could just go for the easy kill, say some truisms, aphorisms, maxisms, about family or friends or some other “duh-of-course-he’s-thankful-for-that” sort of thing. Not that those aren’t worthwhile things to be thankful about, but those are things most easily taken for granted, and if I want what I’m saying to really mean something, me trying to just knock something out at 1:48 AM (now), is not the time to do it.

Okay. So I know I’m not okay with being disingenuous…at least probably not until 3 AM hits. Curses for not being born a sociopath. So what else? Well, going back to “clutching at a way to postpone the inevitable deadline”… wait a hot minute. There’s nothing inevitable about it at all! I made the rules! I can just blow this off, assign it to someone else, and sit back with my pina colada. Dictatorship ftw.

But alas, the eternal words of Ben Parker echo in my consciousness, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Le sigh. I can’t in good conscience blow this off. More than solving that MyEyeDr. support issue, more than setting up recalls for that Uber VIP client, more than putting that super important new install process in place. This. This I’m willing to stay up at 2:09 in the morning to do. Because more than all of those things, this is important to me. Because–Dan, Monika, Laura, Zach, Mark, JD, Enzio, Neil, Katherine–because this is for you.

I am thankful for my team.

Dan, thank you for being The Man. For teaching me a lesson in humility and in being open-minded to what people are capable of. For accepting the challenges I throw your way.

Monika, thank you for your spirit. For always surprising me with the parts of who you are that we don’t get to see day to day, for reminding me that there’s so much more humanity just hidden from view in everyone we get to work with.

Laura, thank you for caring so deeply. For being a support when I feel like slumping down. For seeing the excitement and joy and value in what we’re doing when I have trouble finding it myself.

Zach, thank you for your pure heart and your simple honesty. For being a reminder that good people deserve good things. Working with you has taught me a lot, probably more than you know, and more than I can really articulate right now. Maybe someday I’ll be able to.

Mark, thank you for learning at a roadrunner rate and absolutely destroying support tickets. I know this seems like a super lame thing to be thanking you for, but it’s immeasurable how much stress and burden you’ve single handedly relieved from myself and the rest of the team. Thank you.

JD, thank you for being steadfast. For taking everything in a stride. For talking down the angry clients with that radio-host voice. For your patience and your willingness to do everything you can for them. For your joke about the two fish running into a wall.

Enzio, thank you for earnestly wanting to succeed. For pushing me to push you to be better. For reminding me not to be complacent through your own lack of complacency. For working harder than I can imagine.

Neil, thank you for being a good man. You’re one of the kindest people that I know and it’s wonderful to have that to look up to and to strive for in my own life. Also, thank you for bringing a smile to my face every day. Your gif game is top notch.

Katherine, thank you for fighting. I may not always appreciate it in the moment, but you keep me sharp and honest. You challenge me when few others will. I look forward to many more spirited discussions and I hope you do as well.

To all of you, thank you for being a reason for me to care; thank you for being a reason for me to be better.

Much love,
Jon Tai