Six Kitchens – Year in Reflection Part 1

It’s been weighing on my heart to write about my life, and what has transpired this past year.

The desire to get it out  in written/typed form stirs within my core. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. If you are reading this; thank you for sharing in this tiny piece of my lifescape.

At the start of the year I worked for a start up in north metro Atlanta. I had been there just over a year. I remember the feeling of family I had with a lot of people there. It wasn’t a big company- just under thirty of us – a crazy- dysfunctional family. Always busy. Good times.

By the beginning of the summer I was let go. I assume because cuts had to be made and it was all a numbers game. I breathed deep and tried to imagine what was next. It was so unexpected. I’d been here before, though, a year before- without work.

I remember wondering how long my stint between work would be this time. Would it be like a few years ago where I was on the precipice of foreclosure?

A week after I was let go I briefly tried my hand at selling life insurance. A big no go there.

About a month later (midsummer) I found out about a major Internet company in Atlanta. This place was listed as one of the best places in Atlanta to work. I remember thinking “wow, it’d be cool to work there”. I applied with the help of two friends who already worked there. Long story short I got the job.

Ecstatic is an understatement. 

This place was not a start up. This place was a well established- global brand.

72,000 square feet.

6 Kitchens.

Treadmill desks.

People skate boarding through the office – in jeans, t-shirts and even pajamas. 

Culture:  – life encouraging, supportive, personalized, built to thrive—culture.

I loved it. Every day I came to work I was amazed. In awe to have the benefits, opportunity for growth, stable structure and support of such a wonderful place, with wonderful people,  teams and departments. My heart teemed with gratefulness every day.  I’m certain the people around me could tell by the smile that  refused to relent. I was going to be here for a long time.

I was there exactly five weeks.

Experiencing, learning,training.

I took an assessment. Made a 72% on the assessment. This score did not pass the company  threshold for the role I was hired to fill. I was told I was a good cultural fit but that the score didn’t cut it. I literally cried as I was let go.

The day of and throughout the following week after being let go I encountered persistent waves of anxiety attacks. I had experienced these attacks in the past, (around the time I thought I was going to lose my place to foreclosure), but not nearly as severe.

I called a really close friend who is a park ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

“I need to get away- can I come out there man?”

“Sure!” my good friend said.

Found a round trip ticket to Colorado on Frontier Airlines for literally 100 bucks and flew out the very next week.

I saw real mountains for the first time.

Felt in awe of God as I crested above tree line.

I ate elk.

Went on long hikes.

Saw the Milky Way with my naked eye.

Roasted corn still in it’s husk over a camp fire.

Sprained my knee.

Kept Walking.

Danced late into the night.

Smoked weed for the first time since I was a teenager.

Cried.

Prayed.

Tried to figure things out – but not too much because the moment I did the symptoms of anxiety would creep back.

The anxiety attacks eventually stopped….

I returned home to Atlanta and immediately made plans for where I wanted to visit next. I had the free time to do it- so I thought, “why not?”

For years, I would work and work and never go anywhere and at age thirty something in me decided that had to change. I didn’t know what was next- but I wasn’t going to stay home and sulk over it- I would get up and go until I ran into whatever “next” was.

Something strange happened when I entered into this period with all of this free time.

I begin to wrestle with something that I hadn’t wrestled with before.

There was an idea. An Inception – if I could steal that mental image.  I don’t know who or what planted the dream though.

Something I had to face head on stared me down and would not be ignored.

I’ll get to that idea soon. First I need to back up to just about a week or so before I was let go from the amazing job with the six kitchens.

Thanks for tracking with me so far. Until next time.

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