Some of the best decisions I’ve ever made happened during this middle of August week in years past. Usually, I find August to be a filler, a waste of space, summer slowly interfering with the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes and cooler temps. I don’t suppose I give August enough credit for the days that changed my life.
The year is 2002. I traveled lands far and wide to a place of sunshine and humidity. I left my homeland of Michigan and the safe choice of college in (of all places Minneapolis, freaking, Minnesota) for the tropics, for the great, world renowned, Southeastern College. That’s right, COLLEGE and I will cherish those last days before it became a
Disney resort University all my live long days.
If I remember correctly, on this exact day TEN YEARS AGO, was the freshman community service project. We were bussed to a local park, that I am certain we never visited ever again, to free it from the oppression of air potatoes, the great offender of all weeds. Looking back, could this have been a massive joke? Quite possibly, yes. I remember the dehydration, being stranded under a pavilion, in the afternoon rain shower, while other students showed off their coolest human tricks, this was our moment, to make our mark, after all!! Mostly, I remember the people I met, who became my friends instantly, because that’s how it was in college… and that is in my opinion, the very best quality of post-high school education. Real-life-post-college-adulthood-friend-making could learn a few lessons here.
The year is 2006. I wake up in a camp on a dusty mountain in California. I was already smitten with the land of wonder. My new co-workers and I are making a pilgrimage into a tiny little town called Los Angeles, to sit in the warehouse of the company office and listen to guy named Ernie tell us about car insurance. It was wildly boring. Thankfully, promises of a fun evening staved off death by insurance safety lectures. The night before, one person in particular was talking about going to a concert in Hollywood. I was mildly impressed that he was familiar with this artist named Mat Kearney and I wanted in… also I was excited about shopping and Starbucks, before returning to our wilderness camp. I didn’t ride in the same van or even hang out with him that night, but it was our first conversation. I fell in love with a sweater, a marvelous red and white striped beauty. It cost exactly $188. Every last co-worker of mine thought I was insane and made fun of me. Clearly, they had never heard of Anthropologie, not the most fashionable bunch. I didn’t buy it, I still wish I did.
The following night at dinner, we found ourselves sitting across from each other. He made fun of me for liking Dashboard Confessional. And the rest is history.
College and California… the best decisions I’ve ever made, and that’s all for today’s episode of this week in history. Until next time, friends.