This post is actually one of gratitude, of things coming full circle, and recognizing that one’s errors from the past can help guide a brighter future. There will also be some snark, because.
“Here’s your final check. Never set foot on this block again.”
It was August 2002. It was my last job before becoming self-employed. I had been coding websites for regional businesses in an era before social media and WordPress. The Internet was new and limitless.
I had also taken deep interest in Oregon’s blossoming wine industry, and had secured a damn good domain name, OregonWines.com. I used it to hone my programming skills. It started as a pet project, but as I added information about the wine industry, I realized I wanted to learn everything about wine.
I was let go for “competing” against my employer. I guess a 27-year-old coder was a real threat to a 100-year-old brand. I obviously missed the compliment.
In truth, I did deserve to be let go, but not for the reasons they stated. My heart wasn’t in coding any longer. I wanted to follow my passion for learning and writing about wine, and that dream was simply incompatible with the terms of my employment.
Fast forward to today. I attended an industry tasting and panel discussion in McMinnville, held in a revamped meeting space located on the same city block I was fired from 21 years ago.
It was also an opportunity to reset my memory of the building, which is now a beautiful event space! The energy of today’s event could not be more positive or more different. The room was filled with the very passion for wine that led me to getting fired. Had I not been booted, would I have ever followed my passion to this end?
Humorously, I realized I’m still here doing my thing, and that old employer is the one no longer to be found on that city block. The image shared here is the door to my old office, for old time’s sake.
I’ll post separately about today’s event, tomorrow.