I think about it a lot, during these changing seasons. I think about the changing seasons of my life. How I got from there to here, but it wasn’t just this straight line. It was this whole “Connect the Dots” puzzle, or maze, and there were always other ways to turn or connect, but would I still be where I am today? That’s what fascinates me SO MUCH! A left turn instead of a right. A postponed trip. Saying “no” instead of “yes.” Saying “yes” instead of “no.” The first thing I said “yes” to, after college graduation and Phi Beta Kappa, baby, and after graduating with honors (baby), and after going on a road trip in an ice storm to Key West (baby, baby) without an inkling of planning, or even knowing I was going to do something like that..THIS:
I said “yes” to a job fair at a Rutgers Dining Hall. I’m sorry – a “career” fair. I wore my best business casual and put together a crappy resume. I walked in and surely headed right for the food, because it had only been a year earlier – cheese sauce eggs and cocoa krispies. First period classes. Then I turned right instead of left, because.. job fair and all. The Breakfast of Champions can wait. I remember everything that everybody and everybody’s mother said about a firm handshake and eye contact, but don’t you know that when you hold someone’s eyes too intensely, you stop blinking and you just look crazed.
I talked to a lot of people that day. I can best remember a young company with peppy representatives. Software House International. (SHI) I’ll have whatever they’re having! Clearly, it’s cheese sauce eggs and cocoa krispies. I’ll grab a business card, thanks. Here’s my resume. It’s crappy. I’m not crappy. Sorry about the eye contact. Call me! Here’s an extra resume!
Do you think they called me? Of course they didn’t call me. They saw hundreds of job applicants that day, with less crappy resumes and less crazed eye contact. Maybe they favored people who ate healthier breakfasts. Who can say? I moved into the haunted apartment of my parent’s farm and I watched a lot of Degrassi while planning my next move. In life. For breakfast.
I started temping at a juice distribution warehouse, naturally. I had two bosses – one female and one male. I knew they both really liked me, but I cried at my desk once because my parents had moved from our childhood home to the farm with the haunted apartment, and our dog had died, and both of my father’s parents too, and I was a right mess. I was trying to grasp at anything. My aunt offered me a place to live to study to be a Disney World photographer, but that was just running away. And living in Florida in the summer. (no way in hell) And dealing with crowds. (no way in hell) I remember telling the Vice President of the company about my FL offer. (who does that?? 20-somethings do) He told me that sometimes in life, you have to jump without a parachute. Or maybe jump without a net. Either way it stuck with me. Jumping. Flying. Falling? Dizzy.
So while I sat crying at my desk to my boss, and telling the Vice President I had wordly and important dreams, they were taking a gamble on me. They wanted me to go from temp to permanent. As they were ordering me my desk, it hit me. It had been 30 days of rain. I lived in a haunted apartment. I cried every day. I told them to give their generous offerings of a desk, and a permanent position, to someone who might actually stay. I visited a temp agency in central NJ that very next day and she said, “Oh boy, do I have something for you.” And remember that happy, peppy company I had seen at the Rutgers job fair months earlier? SHI. They were hiring! I walked in and got the job the next day. I looked for an apartment near Rutgers and found a listing with an SHI email address. It all sort of worked. FAST. I work very fast when I’m desperate, or on the verge..
See, this is the prequel of the 20 part story. I always thought it began with SHI, but it actually began with how I got a job at SHI, and if we’re being honest, it began with my birth. That’s life for you. Twists and turns and cocoa krispies.
If you’re so inclined, it’s a 20 part love story I wrote while pregnant with Des. I dug up hundreds of old emails and texts to make it accurate and magical, because that’s what it was and is. It begins where this one leaves off. Story links, HERE.
Linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “A long, long time ago, and very far away, there lived..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.