It was a three-day trip to the home office with one day dedicated almost completely to celebrating. I stepped out from behind who I have been hiding behind for the last couple of years and returned, experimentally of course, to the woman I was before Donkey. I stood tall. I spoke with confidence. I remembered me.
Day 1 was travel and work; day 3 was work and travel. Day 2 was work, network, and party. Day 2 was my day. Day 2 was incredibly energizing.
It started with a handshake at the employee recognition lunch. As a new employee, I was pulled away from the table in the social time between salad and entrée to have my picture taken for the company directory. When I returned to the table I noticed my boss sitting one table over talking to the company president. I walked straight to them and introduced myself to the president before I could freak out, change my mind, or realize I had nothing to say but my name. He invited me to sit. We talked about books, lessons in literature, the mechanics of storytelling, and Joseph Campbell. I talked with him again at the holiday party about his philanthropy philosophy and the next morning he called me into his office to talk writing projects.
I learned a great deal about this company, the work we do, and our dedication to community service. As I close in on 90 days, I now have goals that will carry me through the next year and into the future; goals both business and community. For business goals, I plan to rock it: to learn, to question, to understand, and to become a reliable and relied upon source for research and writing. For community goals, I plan to take our large box of former employee’s now-unused cell phones and arrange for them to be donated to Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program, now and every year, and to bring our philanthropic activities to the Atlanta office by finding, planning, and executing fundraising activities for the causes we support, and trying to add domestic violence to that list.
So by the end of the evening I was smiling bigger than I’ve smiled in years. I’m not kidding. I don’t know what got into me (actually I do – it was a Jager bomb with a Corona chaser).
I let go and lived for almost one whole complete day. I felt like shit the next day, and loved every minute of that too. I am going to continue to live each and every day. I lost my life when I lost my kids, and I am coming back from the dead (apparently just in time for some zombie apocalypse happening this Friday).