This post is inspired by one by Reggie, so if you haven't read that one, do that and then get back to me.
Coming out of university was a weird one for me. My grandmother had just passed away; my relationship with Rachel had just started. At the same time, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. Barack Obama spoke at my graduation, which wasn't even my graduation because I had to finish a few more classes the following term. The mood was somber, and I was looking for work.
I landed a job as a marketing intern at a local company. It sold software for monitoring forklifts and staying in compliance with OSHA. It paid, and I got my own office in an old building in Cranbury, New Jersey. I knew absolutely nothing about marketing, but I assumed the business owner just wanted someone to run their social media. So I just did that for a few months.
I was still living at home with my parents, and had my wedding on the horizon when I sent an email to Mike Dempsey. I had followed him for a few years when he tweeted that he was looking to hire someone for Compound to do some database work. I composed an email and prayed.
Rachel and I were cooped up in a single bedroom at the opposite end of my parent's house. The bedroom used to be the visitor bedroom, the one that my grandmother would stay in. Rachel had recently started a job, and shared breakfast mornings with my mother as the two went to work. I drove Rachel to the train station, where she would disappear until it was time to pick her up from there in the evenings. I prepared dinners, planned the wedding, gave Uber and Lyft rides, and occasionally drove to my mom's office and worked as receptionist.
While I had enjoyed living with my parents for most of my life, I was going to be a married man in short order. I was blessed in that my parents and Rachel's had paid for the venue and our honeymoon. There were still the outstanding issues of the rest of a wedding. Decorations, in that the venue did not provide flowers so we bought a bulk pack from Sam's Club instead of hiring a florist. Those flowers sat in my parent's basement until the day of the wedding, when some bridal party volunteers (some involuntarily) helped bring them to the venue and set them up. Suits and dresses were hired from a local tailer. Family flew in from the U.K., South Korea, Abu Dhabi, and Israel. We had to make sure they had someplace to stay, and on the day of the wedding a way to get back to there after the festivities. It also didn't help that the day before the wedding, my ring finger was inexplicably swollen and pus-filled. A few glasses of cognac with my best man later, he convinced me that he could fix it with a box cutter. It worked, and I stumbled into my bedroom to sleep for my big day a few minutes later.
The wedding was fantastic. It was fun, exuberant, and none of the guests picked up on the many things that went wrong. Weddings are something that you ultimately do for your guests. They are over too fast for the bride and groom.
We flew to Hawaii over two legs with the first in San Francisco. Some of the first photos I took were of our rental car. I was worried about being charged for any bumps that were already etched into the exterior. We had a lovely time, having plenty of fresh food and outdoor adventures. We made some friends by the pool on the third day, and met with them a few times throughout. We took a Cessna around the island. And then, towards the end of our stay, I woke up to an email that 5,008 miles away, in New York, Compound had offered me the role. And then, just like that, I was in it.