Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another life

Last week I started my strength training workouts again after a couple month break. I'm very fortunate in that I have a good friend (and sometimes pain in the ass - read, kicks my ass) who is a trainer and runs his own gym (it just so happens that said gym is in a building I use to work at). With this, I get inexpensive personal training that is triathlon/running specific whenever I want. It's a bit of a drive, but well worth it...

When I walked into the building on Tuesday for my workout, for some reason I had this abundance of emotions run through me. I can't tell you how many times I've been in this building, but I'll get to that in a bit... but for some reason I started thinking about what brought me there in the first place. And, not just that - but really that place basically started a new life for me. A new beginning.

Let me digress...

In May of 2000 I graduated from WSU. I had no job, and $700 in graduation cash. 2 weeks before graduation (I was in the interviewing process with an underwriting company in LA) and over several beers, I somehow convinced 3 girlfriends to pick up and move to AZ with me. It really was as easy as I make it sound. My best gal from school, Erin, was an easy pick. She was always up for an adventure. The girl spent 2 summers in Alaska working in a fish cannery. Arizona was sounding pretty damn nice.

Why AZ? Well, my sister did happen to live here. And, she also did happen to be a recruiter specializing in Finance and Accounting. She had very good relationship with a couple of big local companies, and was pretty sure she could find me a job. She also had a condo all ready for us to move in (family-friend relation).

Seriously, within a few weeks we were all packed up and on our way here. June 12th, 2000 was the day we arrived. I WAS 112 freaking degrees. And yes, I do remember those details....

One week later, on a Monday I interviewed and had my first job working for Tosco Oil Refinery (A.K.A 76brand and Circle K and then Phillips Petroleum and now it is ConocoPhillips - but I always just say Circle K).

My sister worked her magic and also lined up jobs for the rest of the girls, my friend Erin now lives in Oklahoma still working for CP..... But, that's not really my point, so I'll try to get back on the subject here...

It was my first real job. The building was big and beautiful, nestled up next to Papago Park (If you have run PF Changs RnR, you've been by this building). Great running trails (not that I was running all that much then) and the office had EVERYTHING. A Circle K in side the gym. Dry cleaning & oil change service. And a gym with SHOWERS.

I thought, if this is what the real world was like, you know... it really isn't that bad. Of course my job wasn't all that glorious at first, although I did come to love my last position.... right before the company was purchases and my job was being moved, but anyway...again, getting off task.

I met so many great people, people that I am still great friends with today. I learned so much about myself and what I did and didn't want to do with my career. I became VERY skilled at happy hour. A bit much actually... Come to think of it, the social aspect of that place is probably what I remember the most!

And, the biggest and most life altering thing happened across my desk about a year after starting. It was a flyer for a fundraiser. Raise money for UCP, run a marathon in MONACO. "The Dream Team" we would be called...

Without going on and on about the next several years, if you know me at all or have read my blog, that is where my life started again. I became a new person. A happy, healthy person.

I met my husband and best friend. I found my passion, my lifestyle. I became who I am today once I started working there. So many opportunities began that year....

When I go back to the feelings that rushed through me when I walked into the doors of that corporate building, they were not what I described above. I was relieved. I was thinking how I couldn't imagine having to be inside those closed walls every day. Sitting at a desk doing day to day tasks. I wondered how I did it for 7 years... (3 in that building)....

That's when I thought about where I would be without it. Without all those life experiences. Without all those relationships I have because of that place.

Now I'm thanking my lucky stars that I have the opportunity to work from home. To be flexible, to have the schedule I want, when I want...

But, I also think it's a good thing to reflect on where it all started.... Even if it seems like a lifetime ago.

3 comments:

momo said...

it IS good to go back now and then and be thankful for what has brought us to where we are. i'm thankful too! if you hadn't ever worked in that building, you wouldn't have known toni and she wouldn't have ever introduced us and you wouldn't be in MY life! so, yep, i'm thankful too. very!

Supalinds said...

It is crazy how one thing leads to another. You are in such a great place and it is always good to look back where it all started!

greyhound said...

I REALLY enjoyed this post. All of us trying to make the most of life are still a quirky combination of choices and serendipity.