I’m Upside Down Again

by on February 19th, 2013

I started this blog when my life had turned upside down. I left a journalism career to gamble on an MBA, a direction I never planned my life to take. The blog gave me a great way to take it all in and process the new experiences.

Now my life has turned upside down again. In the last 30 days, I have:

  • Moved from frigid Minnesota to sunny southern California;
  • Switched from working in a massive corporate headquarters to a tiny desk at my house;
  • Left a job with a lot of process and plenty of guardrails for a job that’s brand new to the company in a market we don’t understand.

It makes my head spin. And it makes for a ton of new experiences to try to understand.

Does it matter if I wear yoga pants and no makeup on a work day if the only one who sees me is the dog?

How do you build something new at a big company that only changes by inches?

Will I become one of those weird, overly chatty people if I work from home for too long?

Why do Californians wear 800-fill down coats on 50-degree days?

That last one is one of the first things I noticed when we arrived. There was a cold spell in January, a run of days in the 40s and 50s with some chillier nights. Nick and I were at Bed, Bath & Beyond picking up all the things you never realize you need until you move. It was about 50 degrees outside and both of us were congratulating ourselves on moving away from the freezing Minnesota winter.

Then we saw her. She was about my age and swaddled in a chin-to-toe layer of puffy down. It was the exact same coat I’d worn all winter in Minneapolis, trudging through -20 degree weather. But she was wearing it in Santa Monica.

Maybe I became a bad ass Minnesotan over the last 18 months or maybe that girl was from some equatorial nation. Either way, seeing her in that puffy coat reminded me of the place I’d most recently called home when I felt tired and a little sad. After a long weekend of moving, it felt good to laugh at this little absurdity.

Except, I learned instead that I was the one who was absurd. Over the next few weeks, I saw dozens more down coats appear all over Santa Monica. I was the weird one, wearing my trench. That’s when I realized: California is a whole new world.

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