I am now officially a Google retiree.

At 3:30pm today, I surrendered my Google laptop and employee badge. I love my Google badge, it is a 2.5-D (two and a half dimensions) badge.  See.

Front of my badge Back of my badge

Over the years, my Google badge has opened many doors for me (in more ways than one).  Thank you, badge.  Sad to leave you, old friend.

At 4pm, my dear friend and teammate Steve Maxwell walked me out of the building.

Stopped for a photo op with the Hulk in the Google lobby.
For once, Steve is not the tallest guy in the picture.

And that’s that.  The moment I walked out of that door, I could no longer go back in unescorted.  I was no longer a Google employee.  I no longer work in the best company in the world.  I no longer have the cool email address of meng@google.com.  I also no longer hold the “world’s best job title” (or at least the coolest job title in corporate America).  I now also have to practice exchanging money for food.

But all that is not important.  What is more important to me is how I serve in the world.  Giving up my (very comfortable) corporate life, at least temporarily, allows me the time and opportunity to master inner peace and work on world peace, thereby enabling me to serve more effectively in the long term.  At the end of the day, I am first and foremost a disciple of the Buddha.  My First Duty is to Buddha and Dharma, and by extension, the world.

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.