Once again, you shook us all to the core. I guess, you as always, did it your own way.
Your one last surprise, last tada, got us all scratching our heads, mouths gaping wide open, frantically looking at each other for support to really comprehend what the fuck just happened. But it’s not one of those moments we will reminiscent fondly over a pint at a reunion in 5 years time, it’s not something that will bring achingly wide smiles to our round faces. No. It’s a day, we will all remember with heavy hearts. Full of sadness weighing them down, shortly followed by ‘what the fuck happened?’.
You once told me you loved reading my bonkers blog, so hang on tight. It’s long overdue, but this one is for you.
I hope you know how many lives you touched and what an unstoppable and inspiring soul you were to so many. I know, you’d probably shake your head, purse your lips and frantically scratch your afro and then brutally tell me ‘take this out, it’s boring!’. But hang on. I’ll have you saying the famous ‘cooool’ one last time at the end.
To think that so many won’t get the chance to see you strolling around floor 7 in that famous orange jumpsuit, joyfully booming ‘HI GUYS’ and casually throwing insane idea after insane idea… makes me sad. You never had to tell us you loved your job. It was evident in every step you took, every piece of work you critiqued, and every presentation you watched front row. Must’ve been a challenge taming a bunch of misfits who had no fucking clue what the hell advertising was, or what exactly they were doing. But your insane passion for creativity, and not advertising itself, is what made us the greatest class LCC Advertising has seen so far. (Your words, not mine if I remember correct?)
You were the reason I wanted to come to LCC. I met you during one of the open days and I was in awe. You were so unapologetically yourself, a misfit with a head full of crazy hair and a heart full of passion. You were like a storm after a very long draught. There was hope that there is a place for a misfit like me to be unapologetically myself too. To finally break out of my shell and be me; creative, sassy and hella bossy, or as Sharin put it nicely ‘a cute pitbull’. But I wasn’t. I am so much more, so thank you. I guess I should also thank you for all the friendships made there. If it weren’t for you, I never would’ve been in the company of simply the most creative and inspiring people I know today. Thank you.
Your confidence never wavered, it seemed like your enthusiasm was constantly bursting out of you, almost spilling out of you like a jar of marbles. All that official business was not your cup of tea. I remember bumping into you in the lift, after we stole a ping pong table from the bar downstairs, along with some love-starved sofas we found sitting in a corner on the way up to floor 7. What did you do? You helped us haul all our treasure onto the lift and refused to give up the hiding place when asked by the top dogs of UAL. I remember getting overpowered by the force of gravity, after a night of drinking French wine in Cannes with you. I remember your booming, hearty laugh that could silence a room. I remember you insisting us Kids doing our presentation in diapers. I remember you telling me I was hilarious. I remember you.
But only when the sadness, pride and euphoria dwindled down after leaving, did I realise how important you were to each and everyone of us in that kick-ass class of 2015.
Your ideas were loud, daring, often explicit and absolutely bonkers. Unapologetically unique, just like you. That, will never leave us, no matter where you are now.
Dear Jo Hodges,
Thank you and rock’n’roll in peace.