When one door closes...

It was an early and exhausting Tuesday morning in October 2004.  I had decided to move back to the hometown for a bit while I figured out where my life was going.  I had just turned down a temp job thinking I wouldn't be back for it, but called the Friday before to confirm they still needed someone.  So I showed up...after only about 2 hours of sleep.  You see, I was only 19 and still very much so dumb.  I had met up with friends and stayed out entirely too late.

Now, here I am, rolling my butt into this new job and trying to hide every dreary line of sleep still swarming around my head.  I needed a job; therefore, I knew I needed to put my best foot forward.  Did I do that?  Well, let's see.  Within the first half of the day I managed to get called out because I was on the phone during work hours.  I think the second half of my day was my shining moment of brilliance.  While standing around with the boss {mind you, I just met that day}, someone cracked a joke.  He did not respond quick enough for my liking, so I followed up with a, You're not too quick are you?  I think it was in that moment I thought I was fired.  I think it was in that moment, Kevin knew he found his work match.  Ü Who knew that tall, pasty red-head would come to be one of the most integral people in my work life {and yes...in my personal life too.}

It's been 10 1/2 years since that day.  Ten and a half years of in by 7 am and out by 4:30 pm.  Ten and a half years of half day Fridays {those will be missed!}.  Ten and a half years of learning, growing, and becoming a person I couldn't have imagined on that day in 2004.  It's crazy to look back and see what all I have accomplished in that time.  A decade.  A third of my life.  Did I ever imagine on that day I would be here, 10 1/2 years later?  Well, certainly not after that comment...but not even when I first walked in.  I had other plans.  Funny how those never work as we'd like them to.

K-fed Kevin left in 2010.  Just a month after I came back from Italy.  I still curse him for leaving me, but I know that he needed to be closer to his family.  I make the joke that it took him leaving for the love of my life to enter the picture.  My oldest relationship with a guy ended and a new one started just a month after.  When Michael proposed, Kevin's first comment was, Wait, I wasn't asked for permission!  He was the best boss a dumb, screwed up teenager could ask for.  And he turned out to be one of my most trusted friends as well.  He taught me a lot about our side of the business especially how to treat people.  Vendor-client relationships have always been my #1 priority because of him.  And I can confidently say, most of my vendors would bend over backwards for me.  I have grown {a lot!} since starting here.  Hard to believe that I started at the bottom.

Even today, Kevin has his hands on the pot.  He's always tried to get me to move and work with him again.  And it's always been tempting, but in the end, it just didn't feel like where we needed to be.  Besides, Michael has a really good thing going and I don't want to end that for him.  He loves his job.  He wants to make a career out of it.  And even though I do take pride in my work and my loyalty, at the bottom line, my job will just be a job.  So, when the news broke that I may need to look for another job, I was kind of relieved.  This has been a good place for me to grow, but my growth stopped the day Kevin left.  So I focused on keeping my job while I finished my degree.  When that was done, I looked for another job, but not really hard.  At that point, our focus was on a family.  I didn't want to get into a new job just to have to leave soon after.

I had every intention of seeing this place to the end.  I came in only a few months after it opening, but I still watched it grow.  I've seen people come and go from here.  Some people that are very dear to me, some I never particularly cared about.  {Can't always love the people you work with, right?}  But when I got that call for a better opportunity, I knew I'd be dumb {again} not to at least hear it out.  And it definitely peaked my interest.

So here I am.  Less than a week away from starting a new venture.  Closing the door on the last 10 1/2 years of my life to begin something new and exciting.  Am I scared?  Well, I think I'd be naive to say I'm not.  Of course I am!  I'm heading into an office where relationships are already formed and integrate my life into it.  I'm about to work with people I really don't know.  But I'm excited!  I'm excited for the new challenge because I know it's another part of this amazing experience called life.  It's another thing that I get to learn with and grow from.

I'm thankful for the last 10 and a half years here.  I'm thankful for what I've been taught, the people I have connected with, the experiences I've had.  And I've had a lot here.  It's crazy to think it's the end of an era.

Change brings opportunity.
Nido Qubein


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