My last day at The Walt Disney Company
I have never truly understood how Frodo felt before dropping the ring of the power until I dropped my Disney badge after +7 years of carrying it.
I already spent a lot of time cleaning up my office but yesterday, I had taken one last trip to return my company equipment. I walked out the building in slow motion after dropping my phone and computer, sinking in the last breaths of what has been a big part of my life.
I tried to not look back while heading to the parking lot slowly, but firmly and decisively. I walked through the courtyard of the majestic headquarters building and managed to avoid a full blown breakdown. I sat in my car and turned on the engine only to realize my badge was still hanging from my neck with the Marvel Studios lineard that I always displayed with pride.
Sigh. That was painful. My identity, my name, my photo were literally and figuratively attached to the mouse, the most iconic brand of all times and I was just going to hand that away at my own will and against popular opinion.
I took another deep breath, turned off the engine and made my way back up the building. Is this a mistake? I kept hearing the voice of fear. I was going to let go of what once was my dream but I had made a mindful decision and in spite of the fear I felt, I was very confident about it.
I dropped the badge and instantly felt like I was saying goodbye to a part of myself, realizing that I lived and breathed that brand like no other.
When I arrived in the US, with just a few euros in my pocket, jobless, and a very poor to non-existent level of English, I dreamed and chased the possibility but never I would have imagined one could really get that far.
Even though I have always been passionate about my career and I consider myself a go-getter, I really moved across the world for love, not for my career. Interestingly, the second ended up working better than the first.
I remember taking the offer with Disney around the same time my relationship back then, was ending. I was starting in the company of my dreams in a two month contract while crying my soul out of a heartbreak. I guess it is true, we can’t have it all, I thought back then. I would time out my cry outs in the bathroom and get back to my desk to perform like a beast.
I was going to give everything to the team that trusted me with a project related to the construction of the Disneyland Shanghai Resort. Those two months turned into +7 years, 4 different positions in 3 different divisions and unmeasurable friendships.
I am taking memories and experiences that will take me a lifetime to process but I am also ready to take on new challenges, to keep on growing, evolving and learning. What worked for us yesterday may not be what works for us today and recognizing that is the first step towards change and empowerment.