Say YES to Opportunity!

Danielle Putnam
Contributing Writer
The New Flat Rate

On barely more than a whim with only $2,000 to my name
, 22 years old and fresh out of college, I packed all of my belongings into a Nissan Altima and hugged my family goodbye in Georgia. Determined to find adventure, I headed across the country for Portland, OR.  Without a prior visit to Oregon, my expectations were made of dreams, in my mind Portland would be the perfect city because of the proximity to mountains and ocean where I would land my perfect dream job as a fashion designer or flashy executive, someone important with a laptop and cell phone.

Little did I know, at the time Portland held the highest unemployment rate in the Nation. After two months of knocking on doors and wandering through sky scrapers, I was still jobless, out of money, and nervous that I’d soon be getting really hungry.

As dreams quickly faded into reality, my big clunky phone rang and I was happy to hear my Dad on the other end with a friendly, “Hello sweetie do you need some help yet?” He’d been waiting for me to try on my own but then as fathers do, he reached out to help when I was ready. I explained my attempts for a job and that I was getting desperate. So he said, “Write this number down, it’s my friend Charlie Greer. Call Charlie and tell him you’re my daughter, tell him you’re in Portland and ask if he can refer you to any contractors in the area.”

Opportunity was knocking and I wasn’t about to let it pass me by. With a nervous hand I dialed Charlie and stuttered as I explained who I was. He quickly picked up his rolodex and flipped through naming 3 contractors who were friends of his and told me when I called to say, “Charlie sent me!”

The first contractor I dialed quickly became my next employer. As the marketing girl for Climate Control, I learned and grew. My expectations of being a fashion girl changed along the way as opportunities continued to present themselves and experience took root. It is when we look beyond our expectations, and recognize the MANY existing opportunities in our lives…we are truly living.  

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