Happy Friday! And that it is!
It's still hard to believe the change that will be happening today. After just over 5 1/2 years working at Quad/Graphics, today is my last day with the company.
I was given the great opportunity to join such a great company, and one that has truly felt like a family to me. I've worked hard to prove myself as more than just "some punk college kid", and have been rewarded time and time again.
Having moved to 4 different states with Quad, I've had the opportunity to see many new places, experience new things, and form new relationships. No amount of thanks can explain how much I appreciate what people have done for me over the years. Taking me under their wing, taking me into their home, keeping me fed :), teaching me new things, and overall going above and beyond just accepting me. Thanks to all who have touched my life in some way! I hope I have somehow returned that favor.
When I relocated to Saratoga Springs, NY, my love for everything outdoors exploded! I decided to go on a hike in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake Placid one weekend by myself. That was only the beginning. From there I kept hiking more and more, and eventually found a few great groups of friends who enjoyed getting out and exploring with me. From long hikes and camping trips, to snowboarding and snowshoeing, and getting lost in caves for hours, we had a blast getting out there and enjoying Mother Nature!
This brings me to the next chapter in my life. Through these experiences, I found a true passion for the outdoors, and at the same time, realized that I'm probably better suited for a career that is in line with my passions in life, and hopefully something that keeps me active. Being a desk jockey just doesn't stimulate me enough these days! As the title of this post states, "every ending has a new beginning", today marks the end of working at Quad, but the beginning of a new adventure! In an effort to get away from the crazy hustle and bustle of everyday life, and to be able to think about things and focus on what is important to me, I will be leaving California to head back to the East Coast to hike the Appalachian Trail. If you're not familiar with it, it's a marked trail that runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. That's roughly 2,184 miles, which should take about 5-6 months to complete.
On March 7, I will be flying from Los Angeles to Atlanta. I'll begin the hike with Chris Clemens (a college roommate and friend), and Brian Sarvis (a friend of Chris' through Rotary Club). The plan is that Chris and I will be thru hikers, going the entire distance in one shot. Brian will be hiking for about 6 weeks with us, then will go back home for a while, only to meet up with us down the trail in the Northeast to hike again and to celebrate our completion. We are three different guys with various backgrounds and interests, and I'm pumped to be going on this adventure with these gentlemen!
I'll post more over the next few days as I spend time in Santa Barbara with the other guys, finishing up preparations for the trail (which includes beer and good food!). I'll review gear, post some facts about the trail, and post information on how you can send some goodies (ie- twinkies, slim jims, words of wisdom, clean socks and underwear, etc) to me for motivation, if you so choose.
While I'm by no means leaving my job because of anything negative the company has done to me, nor will I be flipping off any of my bosses, I love these lyrics, and you can be sure this song will be pumping through my earbuds at some point today!
"Quit my job flipped off the boss took my name of the payroll" - Jason Aldean