Last week was significant, not because I gained almost 4 lbs. (oops, too many restaurant meals, not enough working out) but because of signing the employment contract.
So ... I am working.
And it is a freakin' blast.
What happened was, I went to my usual networking-type rounds during the week but talked up not so much myself as the company. I didn't even have company business cards so I was writing the company name on my own.
Then on Thursday my boss and I got together for dinner and biz. We were supposed to be going to a barbecue place but I got there first and it was locked.
Back up a sec. I had decided to kinda go all out, as we were going to an event afterwards. It was fairly warm out so I put on a black skirt. Nope, didn't like that one, went with the black pencil skirt. Okay, now I have no pockets. Didn't want to wear a sweater. Okay, the black blazer. Now wearing sandals looks bad. Put on hose and black ballet slippers. Grabbed black heels and threw them in the car, just in case.
When I got to the originally planned restaurant, I left the blazer in the car. So I was wearing, um, a green top, black skirt, hose and the aforementioned ballet slippers. Nice but not super-formal. Then my boss came over from where he was parked. He works as a software engineer by day (I am still collecting Unemployment -- this is the life of being in a startup -- you make other $$ until the real funding comes in; hopefully very soon) and the dress is casual. He is wearing a tee shirt with a button down shirt over that, shorts and sandals.
Since the dude is over 2 decades younger than me, we really stand out as the odd couple. We end up going to a Mexican place. We're eating, chatting, talking biz and whatnot and I start writing down my food. I can't recall if he asked or if I volunteered it but I said, I've been writing down my food for over two years now.
Because I lost a lot of weight.
You don't need to lose weight, he says.
You haven't been looking at my website, have you? I say.
Uh, no. Sheepish grin.
We pull it up on his phone, and I direct him to the page about the weight loss. There's my before picture, front and center. His jaw drops.
What? Is that really YOU?
Yes, it is. I was 346 pounds.
Oh my God. It's ... I would never have guessed ... you look like you've always been thin.
Nope, I wasn't. But, thank you.
We finish dinner (neither of us finished our meals; I think diet talk has that effect on everyone) and go back to my car for me to drop off my briefcase and all. I grab the blazer, I change into heels. He looks me up and down.
Is it that formal there?
No, I say. I just felt like doing this.
We go in, we see a bunch of people I know, and a lot I don't. We have new business cards. We have a nonworking prototype with us. It's a little thing, smaller than the palm of my hand. I've put it into a little change purse I got from CVS. The change purse is zebra-striped. It is a tad silly, to be sure, but it stands out.
We have one of those evenings where you break apart, circle back, break apart again, etc. as you go along. We are joking with people. We are making impressions. People are smiling. A good blog is written up later, and it mentions us very favorably.
We just ... it was fantastic. It was that kind of give and take you want with, well, with everyone. And I was able to get out there and do it, shake my not-so-big-anymore hips in a skirt and show off my calves with higher heels than I've worn in a decade. So much of this business is sheer flirting (who'd've known that would be a good job skill for a legal job?). I never, ever thought I would be in sales and marketing.
I never had the confidence before.
When we went back to my car, I grabbed my boss's hand for a second and just said, "Thank you for believing in me."
Thanks to all of YOU, too.
And now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go back to stoking the star maker machinery.