Caught Off Guard.
You might be surprised to learn that I was never a PJP V. 1.0 employee. On occasion, I would help out here and there, but it would have to be fairly dire circumstances for my limited skill set to be called in as calvary. When Jeanne and Peg started the very first location in 1994, I was a sophomore in college and worked at MBS Books (because, I think it may be written in City of Columbia ordinance that if you graduate from high school in Columbia, you do at least one tour of inventory duty at MBS). And then I worked as a teller at a local bank until I graduated from college. Like most college kids with parents who are able, I was supported in part during those years by The Bank of Jeanne. And perhaps in testament to the sort of mom she is, never once did she demand I work at PJP in exchange for car payment money. And she certainly could have. But in her intuitive way, she got that PJP wasn't for me then. (And bonus points to her because I certainly didn't even know what was for me at that point in my life).
After graduation, Jeanne was pretty much determined that I go to law school. And not to say that I didn't want to go to law school...I just really didn't know what I wanted out of my life. (Because I was 22. Don't you wish you could go back and tell your 22 year-old-self what you know now??!!) I knew I liked to read, research, and write and I'm pretty certain that desire is about how 42% of law school students end up sitting in Tort Law class each August (my take is that the other 46% want to make money and the other 12% have no freaking clue what else to do). The great irony of me in law school is that I do not care for confrontation. AT ALL. I was basically a law student with no interest in ever going to court.
All that said, I went to law school and actually did quite well in law school (it is all about the reading skills and the flashcard making skills, future LSAT takers). And then I practiced law...at a private firm in Kansas City and then at the Missouri Attorney General's Office. Sadly, both of those places made going to court on a regular basis a whole part of the job and well, meh.
Fast forward to last fall and I'm working for a company in California and have the ability to work from home with local clients and while the work was dry, I could primarily use the written word to argue and my days of being on edge about yelling "objection!" were far behind me.
And then PJP.
And then PJP completely blew up my world. Look, I really was insane enough to think I could be a full-time lawyer AND grow PJP into a company with substantial forward motion. And if you read the blog or know me in real life, well then you aren't surprised by my plan to just oh, DO ALL THE THINGS.
Until a few weeks ago. I made the decision to do consulting for very few of my current Missouri based clients and say good-bye to all the other...including the comfortable income and the stability of the predictable. And I am a big fan of the predictable.
And I keep waiting to feel something...something akin to grand scale panic or terror sweats when I think about how I've heaved my hopes and dreams and long-term plans onto PJP. And aside from a few random exhaustion driven moments and the one day last week when Jeanne made me listen to "Rawhide" by Frankie Lane on repeat, it hasn't happened. Rather, it has all felt like being in the right place at the right time. And feeling that has caused me almost more panic than my original potential panic. By nature, I'm a cynic and so the times in my life where I've felt I was in the right place at the right time are all intimately known in my mind's eye. I didn't even see you coming, PJP. Well done.