Always do your very best to live a life you’re proud of, and if it falls short, have the strength to start over again. I used Better Each Day as my mantra. In the words of 19th century psychologist and pharmacist Emile Coue: “Everyday in every way, I’m getting better and better.”
So here’s the spoiler. I moved to Mukilteo WA based on a gut feeling of following my own compass, making new friends and excelling in a career. After 5 years and 8 months I’m graduating from Home Depot Paint Associate to Buyer at Airbus Robotics.
The following are some words I wrote. Something from a lyric notebook. The spiral notebooks where I write poetry, lyrics, ideas and sometimes just what's on my mind. Here’s an excerpt from one of them.
“I spend a lot of time with those people. Time well spent. My mind and body get to do what they like best: chat about anything in the world with the brightest group of people I’ve ever met while doing a feel-good workout. Suddenly I realize how good it really is. No amount of money could buy this.”
These are the guys I see every week morning. I think we all have little slots of time where you’re with your friends, work colleagues or just warm thinkers. Sometimes it's at work, sometimes with your family. For me? I met this motley crue at the local YMCA. There’s over a dozen of us depending on the day. We’re ages from 42-80. Non-exclusive…it just worked out we gelled.
One of the regulars said the group is a sweet thing. I found what I set out for years ago when I moved here from Aberdeen. This was written for the relationship between her and her sister. Freya and Annie, The Sweetest Thing I’ve Ever Known.
It’s a team that was formed purely out of showing up to start the day at a gym. That simple gesture of peace to your body and mind is a good way to begin a day on your A game. We do our best work when all cylinders are firing.
So back to the Trainwreck of Aberdeen. Sometimes life is a complete tornado of disturbing changes and rip offs. I was spending a moment now and then on the edge of I don’t give a shit anymore. With a little help from my friends the train got back on track. And somehow when you look back at it all, it plays out like a finely crafted novel.
Flashback to June 2016. I moved from a trainwreck in my hometown Aberdeen. I was looking for love in all the wrong places. Maybe it’s ironic the first friend I made when I landed in my new hometown was named Haight. I met Graham Haight as a fellow real estate broker at Windermere and followed him around town like a stray puppy. I was a rescue. He later had me fixed. Then he had me sew some on.
I joined the same gym, hired the same doctor, dentist and even auto body man as Graham. When I needed to buy a car on my Wendy’s wages budget, he was there with a car dealership of a guy Graham was a corner trainer for in boxing. Graham was my ride for my hand surgery. I drafted behind him.
He became my head football coach and the guy to bounce things off. Someone to give me some focus and direction. The big brother I never had.
My real estate attempt in Mukilteo was an unreachable dream. Competitive beyond my budget and timeframe. I fell back on my painting business, gave guitar lessons, worked at Home Depot and spent the rest of my time writing, producing podcasts and playing an occasional gig.
All the while, I searched and applied for jobs. Then the pandemic hit.
I didn’t stop applying for jobs. I was looking for a job in procurement but was willing to start at any level with upward mobility.
Back in September Graham mentioned his daughter needed some paint work done. She’d just bought a house that’s nearby the Y and only blocks from her new place of employment, Airbus Robotics.
I said I looked forward to the day I didn’t have to rent. He responded with “well, she’s got a good job.” Not that my Home Depot gig wasn’t the motherload. She works in human resources for Airbus Robotics. It’s just down the street a couple blocks. The dream job location.
Throughout the whole process, the Y Fam supported me with an even stronger vibe than normal. The Human Resources Manager Jill hand delivered the offer to me, with an audience of Rusty, Mary, Paul, Carol, Wayne, Rosalie, Mike, Joe, Freya (who says I’m an optimistic visionary) and Annie. And more. This part of the new job was scripted. It’s the part of the show where they tell you to never give up. No matter how long, no matter how utterly stupid it seems sometimes, tenacity! Easy to say, harder to write a song about.