Blog 5/15/2012

Shayboarder: Turning a Layoff into Life Experiences





Turning a Layoff into Life Experiences

Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned. You can expect to be living in the same location, working the same job and keeping the same routine - but life has a different plan for you. This winter, I found myself about to take on a world of change. In early December, I walked into a meeting to discuss my future at Mammoth Mountain and found that I was being let go. After months of watching fellow co-workers get let go, it was a sigh of relief and a stir of emotions. I was ready to get away from the hostile work environment it had become but was still sad to leave a position and town I had worked hard to get to.

Time to have more fun

It took a couple weeks to get everything in order; I had to end my lease, close out accounts and pack up my belongings so they could spend the season in storage. I wasn’t sure what the next step was but I was ready to start living and find out. It's scary to pack your life up and take a step into the unknown. It started with a list. Utah, Banked Slalom, Colorado, Avalanche course at Baker, Revelstoke, Alaska, heli-snowboarding, snowmobiling, cat-boarding, Whistler, Superpark, camping on a whims notice. For me it was a list of everything I’ve dreamed of but never had the chance to experience yet. The dreams started coming true. I was able to meet Terje at the top of the Banked Slalom, watch Scott Sullivan perform live, get in my first helicopter, make countless powder days throughout the season, two cat boarding days, ride with Kevin Jones, watch the best pros throw down at Superpark, sit on the grass listening to Wes Makepeace at sunset and have a winter season full of plenty of high-fives and good times.

Heli-snowboarding powder dreams with Eagle Pass Heliskiing

The realization of this winter hit me when I was standing on Thompson Pass in Alaska waiting for my first drop in. Had I not been laid off, I would have been working in a cubicle that day but instead I was fulfilling a life’s dream and desire. I realized it worked out for me, that getting laid off was the best thing that could have happened this season. It gave me so many possibilities, so many new friendships and made me rich in so many ways outside my bank account.

Ready to drop

I won’t lie, this season was scary and it still is scary not knowing what I’ll be doing in the future. But sometimes taking risks leads to great rewards. Rather than spend my winter waiting on standby for the next job opportunity to open up, I chose to live each day and add to it with life experiences. Reality is still setting in and while my bank account may be dwindling, I wouldn’t trade what I learned this winter for anything else in the world. Now it’s time to sharpen up the resume and keep looking on for the next learning experience. If you know of anyone hiring in marketing/social media/copywriting/resorts, you can find me on linkedin.