Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Pain of Letting Go

He is a smart man with great investment instincts, and he is also quite a character. Unfortunately he was hired for a job that fell out of favor with the higher powers in charge. So despite his superb credentials, as the years went by, it became clear that his stars were fading. He should have been promoted but he never was. His office got downsized after a move. We worked together on a strategy of how to improve his impact but it was of no avail. So at one point he started applying for a new job somewhere else and left our firm just in time before the pink slip would have arrived in the mail.

A year later we met for lunch and despite the fact that he had so much positive stuff to talk about, he kept going back to bitching about the colleagues who abused him at that time. Then, I was still in the 'positive thinking' mindset so I was naturally irritated by his tirade and decided not to meet him for lunch again. But after another year we bumped into each other on the street and we agreed to meet again for lunch. This time around I was smarter and I talked to him about soccer, our children and financial markets more generally. Needless to say, it was a much more pleasant experience. 

After the meal he wanted to walk me back even though the lunch place was right next door to his work-place. I tried to persuade him not to given that it was raining as well, but he insisted. So we walked back together and took cover from the rain somewhere near-by. He opened up about all the wounds that he was still carrying around and got more and more agitated and as he was waving his fist towards our building, I suddenly understood that this was all part of the letting go process. This time around I let him vent without interfering. I was simply an emotional shock absorber. When he was done with his tirade we hugged and went our different ways. The rain had fizzled by then, and I hope, so had his pain.

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