There have been very few times when I've felt like I was insignificant. This week has been one of those times.
I recently started a consulting career where I travel every week. I generally like traveling and consider that one of the perks of the job.
My first assignment, however, is to Los Angeles. A city that is 7 times larger than my beloved Cincinnati. I've never seen more people or cars in my life. It is daunting.
I'm not one to usually be phased by an issue like this. It's stressful being in such a foreign environment for the first time, but I've done that before.
I've been deployed to Guam, Spain, and Turkey. Why is this trip so different?
I think the stress of being so new in this career has compounded the stress of a new environment. I'm not only trying to figure out LA, I'm trying to figure out why on earth I'm even here.
I've been working for this company for 8 months as an intern in Cincinnati. That has made things easier for sure. However, there are some basic processes that I never encountered as an intern.
Fortunately, the people I work with are extremely helpful and have been very patient with me. I've been learning heaps.
I get to fly home every Thursday so I can spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with my family. Being home with my family is one of the best things to help me feel normal and like I have some degree of significance.
However, I haven't been home in two weeks. Last weekend I flew to a family reunion in Missouri instead of flying home. I was home the weekend before last, but even then, I was barely home because I had my military drill weekend.
I can hardly express how happy I am to be on my way home.
Last week the project I'm working on was extended. This is a common occurance in consulting (so I'm told) and usually means we throw the whole project plan in the rubbish bin. That was most certainly the case this time.
I was originally scheduled to return to LA every week until August 19th. Now, I have only one week left.
So after 12,000+ miles and many jet-lagged nights, I get ready to leave this project for good. It has been such a whirlwind, that I am left sitting in the airport wondering in amazement at how insignificant I really am.
I'm just one person among billions. I'm in a city of 14 million and hardly anyone knows I even exist. In just a few short weeks, even fewer people will remember that I was ever here at all.
It's mind numbing to ponder your own insignificance. I'm glad to be on my way home.