When I was a little girl, while my friends had dreams of being princesses or wives or mothers, my dream was to be a titan of industry. Perhaps it was because instead of fairy tales, my favorite shows growing up were Dynasty and Falcon Crest and Dallas and the Young & the Restless, all of whom focused on families with a business at their center. My dream of being grown up was having an office in a high-rise building with an amazing view of the city. In my last semester of graduate school, I was offered a job in the Mayor’s office. I quickly accepted because saying yes to something definite was easier than job searching.
My first day on the job was surreal. On the way up to the 12th floor in the elevator, I felt all of my childhood dreams coming true. For years, that 30 second ride (assuming no one else had to get on or off), was the best part of my day because I knew I’d wished for this. I loved my office view. I wasn’t on the Superdome side of the building. I had a more gritty view by comparison. I saw the interstate and the ER entrances to two hospitals in the foreground and the expansive city beyond. I loved it because it was not only incredibly beautiful, but a constant reminder of why I did the work and why I love cities so much. Ultimately, my job was about making life better for people.
I grew up a lot in this building. I had many joys and successes and cried many tears from crushing blows. I gained friends and lost them. I was able to celebrate marriages and new births and also console those dealing with divorces and deaths. This building was my home away from home. I haven’t been inside in thirteen years but it will always be a special place. This was the place I grew up. The place where I became an adult. I will always have a fondness for this building and the lessons it taught me. I will always cherish the lifelong friends I made here. It will always be the place where I realized I could make my own dreams come true.