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.