Totally irrelevant picture. But doesn't it remind you of those one-point perspective projects from middle school art class? I'm just playing with words. ;)
It was finally starting to happen. A little over a month since my job ended, and unemployment was finally starting to wear on me. Even as the ball might've at long last been starting to inch forward in a direction that was to my liking, I was getting bored and impatient and sick with uncertainty about my future.
So when I had the chance to visit the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters for the first time since my last day of work, I was equal parts excited and wary. I'm a guest now. I don't belong there anymore. I had to take a ticket in the parking garage instead of simply swiping in with my parking pass, because I no longer have my parking pass. On the walk to the building, out of sheer habit I went to check that my ID badge was clipped to my waistband, only to remember that I wasn't wearing my ID badge, because it expired along with my job. And in the lobby, I had to check in with security and get a guest pass and wait for someone to come down and escort me in.
For those of you that have never been there, the lobby of USOC HQ is a pretty cool place for an Olympic geek like myself. There are four TVs that play nothing but Team USA Olympic highlights and montages, and display cases full of memorabilia. So I was sitting on a bench facing the TVs and a display case containing all the Olympic torches since 2006. It was somewhere between admiring the torches (some of which I've held in my own hands) and trying not to get misty-eyed at the Sochi Paralympic montage on one of the TVs that I realized -- holy crap, when did this become my life?
After I was collected from the lobby, I was brought upstairs and got to visit with some old coworkers that I haven't seen in awhile and catch up with them. I wasn't there for very long, but I was welcomed with grins and hugs and encouragement. And again, I was left with this sense of amazement.
Sure, I might have to wear a guest badge and get my parking ticket validated at the security desk. But all that did was help me realize how freaking cool it is that I ever didn't have to do those things. The USOC used to be just a dream of mine, in some vague, foggy place in the future. But now it's something that's very firmly in my life. I was there every day for five months, with all sorts of breaking news coming across my desk before it reached the general public. I was friends with the security guards and once even joked around with the CEO when we were in an elevator together (true story). And even though I'm not there anymore, it's now a place where I have friends, people who support me and want me to succeed and will help me stay in Colorado Springs because they don't want me to leave.
So instead of reminding me of everything I don't currently have, my visit was a great dose of perspective. It reminded me of everything I do have, put some pep back in my step and got me excited about all the possibilities the future holds.
I always try to avoid sounding too preachy (because god knows I am no more qualified about anything than anyone else is), but I want to encourage everyone to be grateful. It's SO SO SO easy to miss the forest for the trees (hello, been there, done that, will probably do that again), but I'm really liking this whole appreciation thing. It's so much happier to be positive and thankful... and good things definitely happen when you put good vibes out to the universe. :)