On Having Arrived

I had an appointment downtown the other day. It’s on the very top floor of one of the skyscrapers towering above the city, one of the sleek and mirrored ones that reflect blue sky and white puffy clouds on clear days. The top floor has its own elevator; you have to take the regular elevator up to the 33rd floor and then get on a separate elevator which whisks you upwards 12 feet to the penthouse above.

As I exited the elevator at the top, I passed an office with enormous glass doors. I could see right through the office and out the floor-to-ceiling windows cradling this executive’s suite. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, and did a physical double-take when I realized the shaft of white I saw was the Space Needle. I backed up three steps and stood there, mouth agape.

The enormous windows framed the Space Needle perfectly and the office was the same height, so level with the observation deck. It was unreal. It seriously looked like a fake picture.

There was the guy with his desk abutting the window, talking on the phone. On a crystal clear day, sun streaming in onto the floor of his office, the Space Needle sparkling like some real estate ad in Architectural Digest.

And I wondered – when this guy walked into that office on the day he was hired, did he say, “Okay. NOW I’ve arrived”? Was that a watermark morning for him? Such a lush and tangible proof of accomplishment?

I keep wondering what my moment will be. If I’ll have one of those moments. If it will come slowly, if it will sneak up on me while I’m busy doing dishes or writing another rough draft.

Or if I, too, will be handed the keys to something so undeniably full and bright. Unlocking the door to some proverbial room to discover the Space Needle wrapped up just for me.