For the second time in four days I'm on the Caltrain heading south, though this time instead of making my to way San José to see Ed Sheeran and T. Swift with my peeps, I'm en route to Palo Alto for work all by lonesome.
Every time I take this train I’m reminded of interviewing for a job at Google in Mountain View when I was twenty-two years old. I'd originally applied for a role at Google in Chicago because that's where I was living at the time, but they thought I might be a good fit for an opening in California so they flew me out for a couple of rounds of interviews in July of 2007.
There was a convention going on in the Bay Area when I was scheduled to visit so all of the regular hotel rooms were booked and Google had to stick me in a suite. With all of that extra space I couldn't help but invite my then-roommate Matt to come with me. I was such a naive kid in those days (I'm so much wiser now) that I asked the recruiter if Matt could come have lunch with us in the cafeteria at the Googleplex during a break in my interviews one day and bless her heart she said yes. In the immortal and oh-so-wise words of my literary hero Joan Didion, “...was anyone ever so young?"
Of that visit West I also remember walking with Matt around AT&T Park (which I pass every day on my way to work now) and thinking how neat it would be to see a game there and celebrating the end of my two days of interviews with very many beers at Red Jack Saloon in North Beach where I played The Outfield’s "Your Love" on the jukebox more than I should've.
Even though I didn't take the job at Google and it would be another four years before I moved West, I think I knew back then that I'd end up here.