You really never know what you'll find when you unearth emails from old accounts (aol.com or yahoo mail, anyone?).
I just couldn't resist sharing this never-published gem, a little journal essay I wrote myself when I was in the throes of building my first career in public affairs and figuring it all out. This essay was written during my Coro Fellowship government sector placement at the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles.
Now-Jenny, I'd like to re-introduce you to Early-20s-Jenny.
Before you read this entry, some thoughts:
- I finally took the advice of this supervisor MANY years later.
- I was not quite a "20-20-20." Thank goodness.
- My statement about my personal mission still pretty much holds true.
- In lieu of memos, I now write stories and jokes, and I'm loving it.
- Did I know I'd eventually pursue comedy and writing as a career many years later?
- I think I need to get back in touch with that supervisor.
If you get through this, let me know what you think. Have you ever uncovered old writing you forgot about? What did it reveal about you? How'd you feel about what you read?
from the bowels of Ronald Reagan
As I sit and write, Cali's big bad governor Gray is above my head ready to nominate a moderate brown brother to the state supreme court. I think to myself, "why me?" Why am I sitting amidst all the titles, cocky politics and minimalist gray walls? Why am I sitting in the bowels of the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles under the name of a Republican president in a democratic society when independence is all anyone wants?
Perhaps to see the finely greased machinery of state government churn?
Push the limits on the amount of personal emails I can blast off from my posh State office? (since most of the regular occupants spend much of their time in Sacramento)
No. It's so that I can be thankful for the wonderful feng shui (fohng sway) of my workspace; I can clearly see the doorway from my desk - no backs to the door here.
It's because the Grand Central Market is just a quick weave through two short blocks of homeless vagrants and downtown dilapidation where I can quickly grab me a 2 dollar gordita with a juicy chopped charbroiled breast of chicken, all the lettuce, tomato and cilantro fixins, and no beans please. LAWD! It's a tasty treat fit for a queen! (or a downtown rat like myself)
It's so that my supervisor can get to work at 10, and leave at 3 so that he can yell at me at 5 from his cell phone to "GO HOME!"
My new super' Jorge, and yes you'd say it in Spanish (Hoar-Hay), imparts his half-century's worth of wisdom on me at strange moments when we work.
"Life is not about accumulating or achieving."
"In your lifetime, you answer to no one in the end but yourself."
"Life is about experiencing, giving, and feeling the appreciation from others whom you have touched."
"Don't be a 20-20-20. (what's that?) A 20-something year old working 20 hours a day for 20 thousand dollars a year"
I got two 20s down...and twill never be combined with 20 hour work days (so help me God).
He's a renaissance man and free spirit with an eagle eye for understanding people quickly. He knows more about me in two working days than some friends may know from 10 years of friendship.
He engages in driveby life-probing.
"What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? Really." (uh...-shift in seat- I guess I'll be...) "No. It's okay. You can get back to me on that."
I want to teach. Educate. Mentor. Encourage little people with little lives to think BIG in hopes that they live BIG.
So I look back at my Dell computer screen, and blink a few times to shake off the radiation. It's probably time to write a Memo or something.