October 2009: The Adventure Begins
People regularly ask me how I ended up where I am. Literally. How did a Midwestern girl with a degree or two (1.75, whatever) in Psychology and Sports Administration end up at Dunder Mifflin (which is obviously code) in South Florida? There’s the short story/easy answer: I was offered a job in athletics in South Florida, moved 2 weeks later, realized I didn’t like the field and through a series of connections, ended up here! While it’s not an incorrect explanation, it largely skips over the connections, the jobs and the how and why I was even in the running for the original job, and THAT is where our blog begins…
I had been dating an amazing human male for around a year or more when he came over for dinner, broke up with me and left me completely blind sided and in pieces on my foyer floor. This was obviously not his intention, but I had (and quite possibly still have) no idea how to process the loss and completely paralyzing fear that I’d never feel as safe and comfortable and happy as I had been up until that point. At this point in my life, I was aware of my issues with emotions, but I had yet to learn the potential they had for crippling me to my very core. I sank. I sank far. I cried uncontrollably for days. My poor parents tried everything they could think of to console me: they bought me new running shoes so I could use my emotional stress in a positive light, they essentially force fed me soup, they took me happy places and then ultimately suggested I get the hell out of dodge. So I called up a friend who lived far away (in sunny south Florida) and asked if I could come see her in exactly 4 days from the phone call. She graciously obliged (because that is what true friends do – they’re there for you when you absolutely need it.) I flew down, took a cab to her place and spent a week on her couch. I spent the week running, sleeping, reading, tanning (because to a Chicagoan, 70 degrees in February is tanning weather…4 years later living in Florida, 70 degrees is too cold for that shit) drinking and doing whatever it is I could and forgot I felt empty, broken and in physical pain. I also cried. A lot. I didn’t feel happier. I didn’t feel less sad. I basically didn’t feel. I cried but I didn’t know why. I forgot how to smile. I just existed. Sure, I went through the motions of healing – I went out, I chatted with humans (some of them male and attractive,) I ate food and drank beer – but I wasn’t healing.
One drunken night that week I decided it’d be a great idea to apply for jobs in Florida. I was interested in working in sports and there were at least 4 teams in the general area that I considered as possible employers. I was unemployed. I was empty. So as soon as I landed back in Chicago, I sent out resumes. I used connections I had to get phone interviews and I tried to move myself to Florida. I came back down for an interview a month later, but didn’t hear back. Months later the interviewer informed me I was not going to get the job, but that he’d hold onto my resume – which is, by the way, just a polite thing to say – in case anything came up for which I’d be a good fit. So I moved on. I flew to California for another merry-go-round of interviews and cold-meetings (which is what I call it when a person agrees to meet with me to help me figure out how to get into the biz in the area). While there I got a call from the Florida Panthers for an interview. As it turned out, that one interviewer HAD held onto my resume and submitted it to the Panthers for a sales position. I had 3 phone interviews and was offered a job, which I took. Two weeks later I was on the 22 hour road trip with my parents to start my new life.
Thursday, October 24th, is my four year anniversary of living in Florida. The stories of how I got from the car ride to where I am now will have to wait for another blog.
And as a follow up, that amazing human male and I got back together for a few months. It was wonderful and perfect and we both know it wasn’t going to work. We had one final “break up” that was very mutual and minimally destructive for me emotionally. As hard as it was to go through the original break up with him, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Without it, I would have never taken off on my adventure, but more on that in a future blog.