I’ve been waffling lately. I sit at the computer and can’t write. OK, maybe it’s more like I won’t write. How about more Skittles? That sounds better. Also, screw you, blank page; YOU STOP STARING AT ME. I have been in desperate need of motivation. I’ve been disgruntled at work, questioning the amount of time I’ve spent in a position that is not a good fit. I needed to escape, think about something else. I had no idea that an escape would soon be offered or that it would reshape my focus, my goals.
A couple of weeks ago, when Lara asked if I could go to New York midweek OOOOOOH, I said yes before I had a chance to think about whether I actually could. But I was determined to make it work. Chevy was introducing the all new 2014 Impala. And by all new, y’all, I mean it’s NEW. Forget what you thought about the old Impala. The new one is sleek. It is roomy. It is sexy. It has 3 USB ports (fan me). It has a hidden compartment right up front for easy storage of your phone or sunglasses, or at least two small bags of chips that you can hide fast from your kids even though they get in and ask if you have a snack for them. It has leg room and is wide enough to keep a 12-year-old from touching a 9-year-old and a 9-year-old from looking at, unnecessarily, of course, a 12-year-old, but still room enough for the 3-year-old’s car seat to be a barrier between them.
First, I talked to Crystal Windham, the first black woman to hold the role of Director of Interior Design for Chevrolet Cars and Small Crossovers. I don’t want to undermine her accomplishments by focusing on race. It’s not about race. But, actually, it kinda is. Why shouldn’t I be proud of her accomplishments? Why shouldn’t I specify that she is the first black woman to hold this position? It is important. It is worth noting. It is inspirational and I felt surrounded by people who were determined to create a car they could be proud of, people whose work meant everything to them. Crystal talked about college and falling into the automotive field accidentally, much like Kara Gordon, who I spoke with later. Kara is a lead acoustic noise engineer. When I say that I am floundering in my career, Kara is my absolute opposite. She was so animated, so excited, so thrilled about her role in the car’s design. That is what one should have when talking about her passion, her profession, her life. And if she has children, they likely have no chance of mumbling because with her special training she can probably hear eye rolls.
Next, I spoke to Rick Williams. Rick played a role in the interior design of the car. But. When Rick started talking, it wasn’t about just the Impala. It was about GM as a brand, as a family company. The passion with which he talked about his grandfather made me want to find a computer and say YOU TAKE THIS, BLANK PAGE; I AM WRITING. It made me want to get up, do something (outside of dance because COME ON, the music DJClarkKent was spinning? I mean seriously, when was the last time you went someplace with a live DJ who seemed to KNOW YOU? That man played the soundtrack to my life! I could barely sit though talking to Rick. And I couldn’t dance the way I wanted to because hello, not a party. Also, not that kind of party. I wonder if he can send me the playlist.) Rick told stories of brand loyalty and commitment and showed us a tattoo in his grandfather’s honor on one side of his arm:
On the other side, a quote (Napoleon Hill?): Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. My middle daughter repeats this quote frequently as it’s used at her school a lot. It empowers her. It invigorates her and it is something to behold. Those few words, when said to her when she is struggling with a math problem (and I am not helping because seriously, decimals, fractions, percentages, what reason do you have in my life?) can transform her mind. It makes something click. Listening to Rick talk about GM and how the company is his family’s company, from his grandparents to his parents, to himself receiving a scholarship for college, it was the equivalent of how my daughter responds to that quote. And it inspired me