On the road again
I just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin’ music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
Here we go, on the road again
Like a band of Gypsies we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turnin’ our way
And our way is on the road again
I just can’t wait to get on the road again
I’ve always loved this song by Willie Nelson. It has accompanied me on many a road trip, with the windows down, music turned up, singing at the top of my lungs as I take off on another adventure. I was in my twenties when I first heard this song. Adventure was my middle name! I was soooooo brave and spontaneous back in those days. I know for a fact that my parents were flumoxed at my decision to leave Michigan after graduating from college, driving across the country with my girlfriend to California and spending three months traveling around Mexico. Then, what must they have thought when I decided to stay in California — the Santa Cruz Mountains no less! — buying a horse, getting a waitress job (which I did in college for extra cash), and declaring this was where I wanted to live. Talk about adventurous! I didn’t know anyone. My girlfriend had gone home to Michigan, leaving me alone with my horse. Guess what? I was in heaven…
I was looking for extraordinary. I was living by the seat of my pants. I had no plan (well, I was going to apply to graduate school at U of Arizona and become an archeologist). I was finally living the life of my dreams riding my horse into the redwood forest and all the way to the Pacific Ocean, without a thought about my future. Just living in the moment.

That’s me, above, teaching a young girl to ride my horse, probably 1976.

Eventually, my California life intersected with the burgeoning personal computer industry in Santa Clara (silicon valley). I was living with my boyfriend, Richard, and so over my horrible waitress job where the restaurant owner required the waitresses to work in the kitchen a couple days a week chopping onions and working the hot, greasy fryer. My face was broken out in hives from the grease splatter, I had cut myself several times with the knife (I finally learned the proper way to slice onions), and I wasn’t making any tips! So I quit. I remember telling my boyfriend, “This is the LAST time I will ever waitress.” And that was true.

The next day, my downstairs neighbor told me about a job opening at a company, Commodore Business Machines, in Santa Clara, as an administrative assistant. Do you remember the Commodore game computer, Commodore-64? Very successful! They were venturing into the personal computer business, following Apple’s path. Of course I had no idea what it meant to be an administrative assistant, but I was determined to get the job. And I did get the job. Hell…I was a good typist, I had a college degree, I was organized, and it turned out the VP of Engineering who hired me had designs on me that I was unaware of at the time. Those were the days of the “wild west” in the computer industry. No HR department, no anti-sexual harassment rules, only your self-esteem and self-preservation instincts to protect you from predators. It was a 100% male dominated environment. I was one of the fortunate ones — I had an amazing older woman (probably in her thirties) who took me under her wing and helped me move into the Marketing department after the Engineering VP creep tried to proposition me at a Las Vegas C.E.S. Show. I have tremendous gratitude for all the pioneering women who forged a place for young women now to thrive in the computer industry (I became one of those pioneers). I’m sure you have your own sexual harassment stories…we should talk!

Bringing it forward to my life today. I enjoyed 25+ years in the computer industry, as I shared in the excitement, magic, and energy of a new frontier that was changing peoples’ lives (for better or worse). There were no guarantees in the early days of the computer industry, as several of the early startup companies I worked for went bankrupt and I didn’t get a paycheck for months at a time. I learned early how to survive anything, and after my first marriage that ended in divorce, actually began to thrive as a single working mother.

Yes, I took risks. Some risks payed off and some did not. But looking back, I’ve always been willing to take a risk. It’s a bit scarier now that I am 66 years old, but inside I’m still the same pioneer woman who yearns for adventure.

Hence, here is the story of how I am leaving my California home of 40 years and heading to Santa Fe, New Mexico with my artist husband and my dog…

I’m starting over. This is ground zero. We are officially homeless as we sold our California home and we’re renting month to month in Santa Fe. We hope we find the right property that has a house with “good bones,” a barn that my husband can finish into his artist studio, and a casita we can rent on AirB&B. All for the right price that we can easily afford. That’s our vision. As our friend, Patrick, says, “I hope you get lucky, and you get everything you dream of.”

I am looking forward to Change. Growth. Mystery. Walking Into The Unknown. Making New Friends. Keeping My Old Friends and Seeing Them When They Visit.

Speaking of change…I’ve started doing a monthly series in The Style Club For Women Over Fifty, called “How I Transformed My Life Over 50.” And I’ll be creating a website called The Transformation Channel to showcase all the speakers and experts who are sharing their life stories about transformation. My friend, Leslie, and I were having dinner the other night and she said, “Linda, you have your OWN stories about transformation! You need to tell your story, too.” So, that’s what I’m doing in this blog series.

Come with me as I share my own story of transformation…