It’s funny. Sometimes we do things in life that don’t have any rhyme or reason at the time, and later it hits you like a beam of light – in my case a rather heavy 2X4 of oak thunking me upside the head.
Like this revelation I had the other day. Well, the other day a couple of years ago, but I wasn’t writing this Web site then.
In any event, when I first moved out West in June of 1990, it was because I’d never been to California and always wanted to check it out.
That, and every newspaper to which I applied up and down the Eastern seaboard rejected my applications outright. They sent me very nice letters, and in a couple of cases there were even clear efforts to personalize what was otherwize a templatized missive.
(Lest you think I’ve succumbed to that deadly corporate disease – Corpus Verbnounsis – the lethal tendency to turn nouns into verbs – allow me to explain. ‘Templatized’ is not actually a word. I made it up, and unfortunately you may likely see some moron use it in a business presentation. That sad soul, of course, will be in the final stages of debilitating Verbnounsis, and will need to be medicated. Heavily.)
Now where was I? Oh yes. My deluge of “thanks but no thanks” letters. I wouldn’t say that I have ever taken the punch of rejection well. I would, however, say that I have always been adept at glancing off the blows – at least enough so that I can identify a new approach, a new path of action.
I was raised to believe in the “a door closes and a window opens” philosophy of life. I’ve also always held deep faith in the belief that there are critical life lessons in all things we do, and all experiences we have. From brushing our teeth in the morning to how we greet the first person we see, to how we do our jobs, to how we exist in relationships – everything we do provides something of value.
So when I came up empty on the East Coast, I looked at the other end of the map.
After being soundly rejected throughout the states of Washington and Oregon, I came to California.
The San Francisco Chronicle – no.
The San Jose Mercury News – no.
The Marin Independent Journal – no.
The Oakland Tribune – no.
The Peninsula Times-Tribune – YES!
Ten days after my college graduation I landed at San Francisco International Airport. It was June 26, 1990. 11:16AM Pacific Time.
After heaving my bags into the first Alamo rent-a-car shuttle that passed (tossing myself in immediately thereafter) it wasn’t long before I was heading to my hotel. The sky was sharp, royal blue with the sun-baked hillside almost glowing in crisp contrast. I’d seen clear skies before. I’d seen nature before. Somehow, it felt as though I were seeing things for the first time. The air even smelled different. I took a deep whiff.
That’s when it hit. The good old 2X4 came swinging out of nowhere and thunked me.
I had just arrived home.