City Livin’

So nears the end of day 2 at CenterCal and I can already tell that this is a uniquely special place and I’ve fallen into something pretty incredible. I’ve spent most of my day reading everything I can find on CenterCal’s seventeen development projects: books of demographic analytics, the equivalent of stacks and stacks of online blueprints, and articles written in newspapers like LA Weekly and The Real Deal about various upcoming projects.There’s not much to do here with it being my second day and with today being the executive biannual retreat. After experimenting with the latte machine a bit and reliving my high school barista days in an attempt to break up some time in my thoughtful sleuthing, I went to check in with who is my direct supervisor for the next two weeks. She didn’t have anything for me to do either. I obviously haven’t met everyone in the office yet so she challenged me with a unique task. “Go introduce yourself to some dynamos,” she said. I was nervous, but she gave me two names and verbal directions to get to their offices, and playfully shooed me away.

The two men I met were eager to answer my many questions about what exactly they do here but they were also genuinely interested in helping me get the most out of my time here. “Make your goals backwards,” one of them said, “if you have a narrow focus, you’ll go in circles for the rest of your life without even knowing it.” This seemed wrong at first, contradictory to all of those years of being told things like “start small” and “baby steps,” but as we kept talking, he explained how he had been at a crossroads in college similar to the one I find myself quickly approaching: to be or not to be, law school or not to law school. These are not questions I need to answer right now, but they are those that my time at CenterCal will help me in answering in the near future. I don’t quite know how I am going to do it just yet but I know that the best life is one that enriches others and I have a lot more to learn from how the people at CenterCal do their business.

After work, I met up with some CMC classmates to go to the Dodgers game. I have lived in Southern California for three years and I’ve never as much as driven past the stadium. The Dodgers lost and the beer was expensive, but our time spent catching up on our time since school got out and our first few days at work was well worth it.




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