Recently I moved my office into another suite, down the hall from the other two suites our medical practice occupies. It was a long drawn-out process taking about two weeks with more frustration than trauma, as I waited for phone lines to be identified and connected, paint to be rolled on and new locks installed. Overall, I can't really complain too much about the move, there are a hell of a lot worse things that can happen than a move down the hall.
As with my previous experiences in 'moving', it allowed me to take an inventory of all my *stuff* and decide what to keep, throw out, re-organize or bury for future fun. It was in the midst of this shuffle, somewhere between throwing out some 2000 resumes (from my recruiting business which is rather shelved these days)and finding a little penguin statue sent to me in 1995 by a friend from New Zealand, that I came across a brown resume (portfolio) cover purchased for me by my Mom & Dad in 1984. Although a little faded, I could still make out the gold pressed stamp of Purdue University on the cover and inside I found a resume and a certificate of thanks...both almost 20 years old (egad).
Mom & Dad purchased the portfolio as a confidence booster for me as I prepared for my senior interviews, a rather humbling and meat-market type experience I soon found out. I know of at least three other occasions when I've run across this brown beauty (embossed with the word Royalfolio on the inside cover) and every other time I've almost thrown it away but it made its way into the save for the future 'you-just-may-need-it' pile. It seems to reappear right about the time I forget I still have it and each time it has the same effect...just like looking at pictures in an old and seldom opened photo album...I sort of lose myself in time and memory. Now I'm much too young to profess that I spend all my time looking backwards, into the memories, but I will confess that I sort of enjoy these brief stopovers that tend to make me laugh and be nostalgic more than anything else.
In the case of the 'royalfolio' it brought back memories of ding letters taped to my college room door, interviews where I completely made things up ("who would you most like to eat dinner with, alive or dead, and why? - that was always such a bullshit question) or where I didn't have a chance in hell to score an offer, a suit that didn't quite fit, a bad perm (yes Mom, it DID seem like a good idea at the time) and lost chances. It also gave me pause as I thought of friends who I've long since lost along the way after vows we'd stay in touch forever, parties that were so fun I thought I would explode and that general feeling of invincibility that was not unique to me as a college senior. I thought about friends I lost in college (Waymon Robinson and Jeff Johnson), girls I pined for during that year and long after (Ela, Jill, Kathy, Ann and that beautiful dark-haired Chi O what's her name), nights at Harry's Chocolate Shop with Eddie O, Pete and the crew and music (it always seems to come back to music with me). It was a good visit down memory lane.
I'm keeping the Royalfolio on top of my desk for a bit; if nothing more, glancing at it serves as a nice diversion for a few minutes during the day. And I do so with the knowledge I will slip it in some file or drawer, where it will disappear and hide for a few years and where, when I find it again, it will provide more chances to smile and drive slowly into memory lane.