When I talk about my experiences in 2017, all stories start with "I went on a trail run on New Year's Day." It was during that run, slightly hungover but still with enough clarity to make good decisions, that I decided that 2017 would be different. I wasn't going to let myself breeze through another year without doing the things I've always wanted to do. In 2017 I was going to make shit happen.
This blog has already documented some of my adventures this past year, and the name of this blog has proven to be more than appropriate. You never have ups without downs and I can assure you I've had both.
Let me pick up where I last left off - in Barcelona in May, my last month of travel. Barcelona was fantastic. I walked all over the city enjoying tapas, architecture, and nightlife. Then came Girona for my final week abroad - a week straight of off-the-couch cycling. It was such a magical time and I was filled to the brim with joy and excitement.
Then on June 7th I flew home. I flew home to a life I had neglected. I didn't have a job. I didn't have my apartment (rented out on Air BnB long term). I didn't have bike racing anymore (no training in winter = no racing in summer). It was a challenging time. I applied for jobs everywhere without traditional winters and told myself I couldn't spend another gloomy wet winter in Portland.
In early August things looked up as I signed one, and then another long term UX design contract at a lovely design agency here in Portland. The sun was shining, the work was exciting, the people were great. I started to consider slotting back into my life in Portland for the long term.
Then out of the blue a recruiter contacted me about a 12 month contract for a global corporation in LA. At the time I hadn't really considered LA as it was one area I knew very little about. But I followed through with a few standard telephone calls, and before I knew it I had an in person interview scheduled in LA.
While I was in LA for the interview I had some free time to explore. As I walked around Venice exploring alleyways, cafes, shops, the beach, and the neighborhood cats I realized I had this feeling of fullness and excitement. The vibe of the city gave me energy. It was a feeling I hadn't felt since leaving Girona in June.
I went through a 6 person interview schedule to see if it was a good fit and then flew back to Portland to wait. They called to scheduled one last 30 minute phone interview to grill me on my design process. I hung up and played the waiting game.
My heart wanted the job. But more than that my heart wanted the beach, and the sun, and ridding my bike in the mountains.
Finally the email came from the recruiter:
"You got the job! Call me!!"
My heart exploded and I did a little dance. By the end of the day I had my apartment picked out and plans to move October 16th. My job will start on the 23rd.
Portland is an easy flight to LA and I hope all of you will come and visit. On the other side of the coin I know I will be back in Portland quite often.
Anyway....here's to life's adventures and at least one winter dodging the rain!