Saturday, January 27, 2007

Two Things I Do

Friends? Check. Hobbies? Yes. But when I prioritize my life, like most, I think in terms of two things: work and family.

I joined Jangl in July 2006, having known Michael Cerda, the CEO and co-founder, for several years. Michael is, simply put, a great human being: good-hearted, a dedicated father, excited and inherently optimistic about life and work, and on a mission to change peoples' lives for the better. While a co-founder and director at Voce Communications, I'd helped grow one of the nation's finest tech PR firms and, during that time, led the public relations and communications efforts for some of Michael's earlier ventures. When the time came to leave agency life and join a start-up, I jumped.

At Jangl, my responsibilty is corporate communications: how we talk about ourselves, and present ourselves, to our different audiences. That might mean working with media and bloggers, or finding the words to describe what we do and why it matters, or helping to decide if a certain image or sentence or event will ultimately advance our cause.

A former boss and mentor of mine, the late PR veteran Fred Hoar, described what communicators do as "telling the story." And that, in a nutshell, is it. I try to tell the Jangl story in such a way that the maximum number of consumers is exposed to what we do, so they can decide for themselves about Jangl.

I love what I do.

Anyone who knows me knows, however, that everything takes a back seat to my family and, specifically, my daughter.

She's 11 now, going on 15, and is everything to me.

She's endured the break-up of her mother and I since age three, and done so with grace and style. She's spent alternating weeks with her mother and I for eight years and I relish every moment she's with me. Early on, the weekly swapping involved ensuring that her blankies and stuffed pet dog survived the hand-off. Nowadays, it's about making sure the iPod, cell phone and soccer uniform are all on-board.

We're close and it's always been that way. I was the very first to hold her. I gave her her first bottle of milk while her mother agonized nearby, post-C-section. I clipped toenails, cleaned ears, and changed diapers, usually improvising silly, invented songs to distract her during the latter. All the while, she smiled crazily amidst all the poo, gazing up at me as if in love. And when her mother and I split and I had to miss her for a day or two or three, it crushed me.

Today, she's a great student, a tireless soccer player, and a good-hearted person -- and we're closer than ever. We laugh at the same jokes. We finish each other's sentences. We share silences without awkwardness. And once in a while, we'll be driving and suddenly burst into song -- the same exact song, on the exact same word, at the same exact time.

Odd, yes, but somehow completely expected by both of us by now. But we still both laugh and look at each other and call it crazy.

And sometimes I still think I detect her gazing over at me, as if in love.

Work and family.

There ya' go.

1 comment:

shel said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, Tim. It's about time.