It started with cheese fries.
College student by day and bartender by night, I was staring down the barrel of graduation with no real plan. I hadn’t spent my summers working internships, and I knew I didn’t have it in me to tackle grad school. I was less than a semester away from a Marketing degree, and the innocent, “so. What are your plans after graduation?” questions were starting to get too real.
But three guys walked into the bar one Friday afternoon — and it changed my life.
Three guys from the marketing agency across the street, there for happy hour beers. They gave me grief about Outback being closed for lunch, I earned their trust by giving them insider info about the cheese fries (“Layered.” Ya gotta ask for “layered.”), and we hit it off. Before they left, I’d told them the whole “almost a Marketing degree” thing and one of them left me his card.
Three months and one diploma later, I started my career at Saatchi & Saatchi X.
For almost ten years, I’ve passed that Outback each morning on my way to the agency, and I smile knowing sometimes things just work out the way they’re supposed to. I was in the right place at the right time with the right cheese fry advice.
I could never have known that walking up to that table would be the beginning of such a journey. A journey filled with lessons and challenges and opportunities — and characters straight out of a Seinfeld episode. The collection of talent within those agency walls… and the passion and courage and refusal to take no for an answer… and the human element that makes it all worth it. Words fall short.
And today, was my last day.
It turns out that that passion and courage and refusal to take no for an answer — is contagious. And it’s made me (as) ready (as anyone ever is) for my next chapter. I have new lessons and challenges and opportunities waiting for me, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the journey.
Today, I hugged and cried and said my goodbyes — and reminded everyone I’m a Facebook post and a Razorback tailgate away. And I could hear a voice so vividly in my head. In high school, my drama coach would recite a poem called The Mile — as a kind of toast to transition and change and the heartache that can come with it. We all knew The Mile. Graduating seniors got The Mile, closing night of every show got The Mile. It came to mean, “goodbye, but man this was special.”
People come into our lives and walk with us a mile,
and then because of circumstances they only stay a while.
They serve a need within the days that pass so quickly by,
and then are gone beyond our reach, and we often wonder why.
God only knows the reason that we meet and share a smile,
why people come into our lives and walk with us – a mile.
Saatchi, we’re part of each other’s story now. I can’t wait to see what happens next. #nothingisimpossible