In January 2016, I left a 30 year career in radio to find a new path. Fear, doubt, and anxiety filled the vacuum at that time. I had no idea where life was going to take me. These writings are about my experiences and how I landed back in radio, but I truly hope they are inspirational to those who are going through something similar. The fear, doubt, and anxiety can all lead to a tailspin. I knew that. I also knew that I had to keep moving toward something…..and hang on.

Her name was Benique. She had a pleasant and friendly tone to her voice. I did notice how more angelic it sounded after she told me I had officially become a member of the Southwest Airline family. I'll never forget that moment. I was at the end of a cul-de-sac talking to her on my phone as John continued his rounds down the street. I was in no hurry to catch up with him. Benique told me what was next was the "onboarding" (cute, right?). I had the choice of Friday, May 5th, 12th, or 19th to be at the People Department for the first day. I chose the 19th because it would give me time to continue pushing the voiceover career and it would give me time to try to get myself physically ready for my new job as a ramp agent. It seemed like the right decision at the time, but I had no idea how important choosing the 19th was going to be for me down the road.

After the call from Southwest, I really wanted to go home. I had enough of the dairy sales and wanted to close the book and move on. The problem was, John drove. He drove the company truck. He's making his living and I can't stop him. I'm stuck going door-to-door for the rest of the day.

I didn't say anything to John until we broke for lunch. As we were sitting at a restaurant, I told him. The look on his face was something I'll never forget. At first, he looked envious. He, like everybody else, is aware of Southwest Airlines and how cool of a company it is. Now, John likes what he does for a living and I believe he likes the company he works for, but that look he gave me. I'm sure it was envy. Then, as we kept talking, his face warmed and his excitement level for me rose. John is a good man. He told me flat out that I was making the right decision and he wished me well.

We went back to the same neighborhood to finish out the day. I looked at John and this job much differently that I did before the Southwest call. Knowing that I didn't have to concern myself with learning the in's and out's, I focused more on John and how he did his job. A knock at the door. A doorbell ring. One more polite knock. And, then we stare at the door for another 20 seconds. Wait! I think I hear footsteps? Nope. We put a flier in the door and walk away. Another house and another knock, ring, knock. Someone opens the door! Ah, I see. Lactose intolerant, huh? Thank you!

It was the end of April and I had about a month until my first day at Southwest. I was genuinely excited, but concerned about my age, my shoulder, and about income. Plus, there was the drive to DIA that would soon become routine. That was crossing my mind with every knock on the door and every lactose intolerant resident giving us the brush off. Between the two, the Southwest job was looking better by the minute.

(Part 5 coming soon!)

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