Today’s my last day working at the Hub and I’ve been in tears for so much of it that the whole day’s gone by in a salty haze. I’ve never been close to feeling this emotional on leaving a job. But then again, this hasn’t been close to any other job I’ve done.
Hosting at the Hub has been more than a job to me. Just as it’s more than a workplace for so many of our members. I know this blog post is something I’m likely to cringe about as soon as I’ve published it, but I just felt strongly that before I go, I wanted to try and express what, for me, has been the impact of this place.
In order to avoid the urge to splurge out 1000 words of gushing, rambling prose, I’ve decided to try and break it down into the 5 ways the Hub has changed my life… (warning: the following may still include some gushing)
(and this has to be number one!) I’ve made a whole bunch of excellent new friends from all walks of life – each of whom has brightened up my life over the past few years, made me laugh (a lot), made me a better person and most importantly of all, made me tea (soooo much tea…) So many to mention and I wouldn’t want to miss anyone out, but you all know who you are, and you know (I hope) I love you.
I’ve realised that work doesn’t have to be boring, that you don’t have to be just an employee number on someone’s spreadsheet, that you don’t have to fit anyone’s mould other than your own, and that you don’t have to leave your values behind before you head off to the office.
I’ve learnt what’s important in life – and it isn’t earning lots of money or having the latest fashion. I used to work in PR and, on starting working at the Hub, I happily quit ingesting all the women’s magazines I had had to read for work – and felt so much better in myself. Swapping Cosmo for Positive News was the best move I ever made!
I’ve seen the potential in collaboration and in people’s capacity to support and share rather than compete with each other. Giving is seriously infectious and the community at Hub Islington includes so many great champions of giving – people who sit down with a coworker for half a day showing them how to create a super snazzy spreadsheet, or who bring in gadgets, mugs and utensils to pimp up the Hub kitchen, and people who are just all love and support and who give you a big hug when they can see you’re having a tough day. You are all amazing. Keep up the good work because you make everyone aspire to be a better person.
Finally, through the Hub, I discovered that there were so many passionate people in the world who dedicate their lives to making positive social change, who don’t just accept the status quo and who think beyond their next pay cheque – and this has inspired me beyond imagining. I even met one of the founders of the Mindfulness Centre that I’m helping launch in the New Year – right here in the Hub. As the Hub motto says, another world really IS happening, and I feel so lucky to have been able to be a part of that movement.
Of course, there are loads of other things I’ve learnt here – how to make the perfect cup of tea, 101 ways that a wood-burning stove can break down, the fine art of printer-whispering, how to be in several different places at once, the fact that salad can be sexy and the inspiration for countless lines of verse (still looking for a publisher for that Sexy Salad poem anthology…!), how to use terminology such as “changemaker’ and “knowledge economy” and “game-changing” and “paradigm shift” without cringing (okay, that last one’s a lie) Anyway, the list is truly endless.
There’s been some difficult times…
I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work at the heart of such a network, and to have had a role where it was my JOB to talk to people and hear their stories and connect them to other amazing people. If anyone reading this is a member, and you feel like you haven’t benefited from the network in the ways I have, I’d urge you to put yourself in the host role (not necessarily literally) and engage with the community in a similar way. Ask other members questions, find out what drives them, discover the connections between you all and ways that you can help each other. You will get so much out of it. In an ideal Hub, all the members are hosts too. Make it happen!
It’s time for me to sign off, so best of luck in doing whatever it is that gets you up in the morning and have a very lovely, restful festive season.