Farewell Letter from a Colleague

Fellow Team Members:


After carefully considering the path forward for my family and me, I have decided to retire from the corporate world on April 1st, 2011.


I have a 32 year-old wife and a brand new baby boy… our first. My wife has recently resigned her position as an art director to become a wonderful full-time mother. Having no intention of raising our son in or near a city, my wife and I have decided that it is time to simplify and return to the basics of life and happiness. She and I will raise our newborn son (and any future children) in our home and on our land in the Appalachian mountains of the southeastern United States. We will spend part of the year, too, at our farmhouse in the countryside of the Czech Republic just outside of Prague. Though retired, I will continue to profit by trading the foreign exchange markets for a couple of hours each morning just as I have for the past several years. With my days in the corporate world behind me my new job will be to spend time raising children in the Southern family tradition in which I was raised. There in America’s Deep South, a hundred miles from the nearest big city, they’ll have room to plant a garden, explore the natural world, and they’ll learn something about the Earth and our place in it. I guess this move will bring me full-circle and back to the country life that I began missing the moment I left it.


The city has its own virtues and a unique beauty, but after twenty years here, I know I’ll never be at home in it. I miss the green profusion rain-swept pastures in summer, and the blazing colors of mountains in autumn. I miss the feel of warm, fertile soil in my hand in late spring, and the way frost crackles under my boots in winter. I miss the sound of rolling thunder and the fresh scent of wind-ripped leaves after a storm. I miss the evening call of the Chuck-will’s-widow amidst the happy chorus of spring peepers. I miss the black sky blazing with ten thousand stars and I miss the Southern gentleman that I used to be back when I took all of these simple pleasures for granted. Finally, I long for the lifestyle that allowed me to enjoy these things in abundance daily, and the autonomy to decide for myself what is to be accomplished, or not, on any given day. I want my children to experience life in the countryside the way that I did and to have the room and time to enjoy childhood before they are rushed headlong into the future. Regardless of the outcome, for anything can befall any person at any time, it is the right decision for me and my family at this point in our lives. Simply put, it’s time to go home.


I want to thank all of you for making my time here at ***** profitable and entertaining. This corporation is full of outstanding people with big hearts and good intentions. I am especially thankful for the leadership of managers that allowed me the freedom to create innovative solutions that have been granted international patents. ***** is a strong and charitable organization and I think we are all lucky to have had the opportunity to work within these walls during some very exciting times.


I wish all of you the very best in life. If you care to contact me after April 1st, my personal email address is: ***** Write me if you like. I’ll be happy to hear from you and I will reply.


Take care, each and every one of you.


J. Brett Earnest

Email received March 9th, 2011