DIY Biz: Looking Back

Yesterday afternoon my phone rang. I looked at the number on caller ID and it was somehow familiar, but I couldn’t place it. So I answered, and it was my boss from the first job I had after college. He explained that his phone sometimes just calls me whenever he finishes a call to his office and usually he stops it before it goes through, but today he thought he’d just let it ring and see what I’m up to now, ~7 years later.

In a moment, I’ll get to the point I’m going to make, but first I have to say that it was just great to hear his voice on the other end of the line. He is one of those really, really good people- the kind of leader that anyone would be happy to work for and with. Smart, kind, dedicated + compassionate. We didn’t work together for very long, but I have often thought of the example he set and how I can be more like that in my life and work.

You know how things change slowly and you don’t even notice until one day *snap* you look in the mirror and think ‘who is that person?’ When I was telling him what I’m doing it felt like that. Married, new name. Living in Texas. (I never would have predicted that!) Not working as an engineer anymore. Building a business in a field I love. Not perfect, but really, really happy. He could hear it in my voice, and so could I. We both know that I didn’t always sound like this. I used to sound very different.

I was going to write about something else but I think I’ll save it for next time. I’m feeling a little caught up in the emotion of where I was then vs. where I am now. I haven’t blogged much (at all?) about it, but like many 20-somethings I was lost for a while. Perhaps more lost than most 20-somethings, actually. I was really unhappy and it took a long time and some great people and few doctors to get through it. And until today, I haven’t really thought that in a while, which is in itself really remarkable.

I hope you get a chance to work for someone like this, and I hope I can be this person for someone else someday. Thanks for letting it ring, Steve.


  1. Liz says:

    I loved this post. I graduated college last year in a technical field, but I always knew that it’s not what I love. I started my career at a corporate company and had a great manager who really wanted me to be happy and follow my dreams. I’m still on that journey to start my own craft business, and I love that your blog shows that it is possible to make a drastic career change and do what you love. Thanks so much for the inspiration :)

  2. raven says:

    This is definitely one of those things you read where you realize by the end of it that you’ve been smiling at the computer screen since like sentence #2. I’m sure that voice he heard on the line changed his day too – in the best way. Look how far you’ve come + the amazing things that are sure to follow! xo

  3. Lundy Neely says:

    Alicia: James gave me your website. Cool stuff. Glad to hear you are doing well, and are happy doing it. That’s what’s most important. From the first day we met, I knew you had great potential. I love you’re Romney posts. Still the same, committed person we knew many years ago. I love it. Never give up on what you love to do.


  4. Stargazer says:

    I went to write a comment and realized I couldn’t find the right words. I really know the ‘lost’ feeling. I’m in high school and everyone is pushing me to find what I want to do in my life and I just. don’t. know. I’ve gone through some really tough times emotionally and my teachers have noticed when I’m feeling….myself. Thanks for being such a great, positive, role model, and thanks for the post.

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