(written 02.08.2011 in LA, posted 02.09.2011 in PDX)
I was in Los Angeles for work today, giving a presentation that in some ways is a showcase of the most significant achievements of my career. Some of you know that I spent a lot of time here last year to figure out that a friendship was not meant to be a romance. There are memories of this place, some warm, some not. I’m particularly happy to say that last evening found that friendship, and others, intact and moving forwards.
This visit has been different- my professional obligations give me more focus and purpose, and there are a number of wonderful people at the company office in LA that I sincerely admire, and will miss working with. After giving a practice run of my presentation over lunch, I spent a bit of time sharing my traveling plans with people. As has been the case with most of the other employees I have talked to, people are understanding of my opportunity, and perhaps just a little jealous of what I am up to.
In a way, there is more sadness here than I expected, certainly remnants of a failed romance, but also of a career that seems to be getting snatched from its highest point in the sky. I nailed my presentation earlier tonight, and was excited to see other developments in my field. I’m proud of what I’ve done as a professional in the sustainable building industry, and perhaps I didn’t fully account for the difficulty involved in quitting my job on a positive note.
This city has an energy and a style somehow seems to resonate with me. I often considered (as probably many would) Los Angeles to be the opposite place of where I might feel at home. Massive highways, unfriendly bike infrastructure, and ostentatious displays of wealth certainly don’t feel welcoming, but on the other side, I see people having fun, a rich history of places, and feel a buzz of unusual purpose in the air. The people who are here, are stoked to be here. It’s a stark change from the listless, jaded glaze so common in Portland.
The mantra returns- it’s time to let the baggage go and stick the feeling. I’ve got another 40 years to work, and this time is important.