Behind the wheel again

Yesterday was another edition of Techzulu‘s Tech Crawl.  This time, people hit the streets of tech startup playground Sillicon Beach.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect.  In full disclosure, I haven’t been going to as many events over the past year.  It didn’t feel as shiny.  I didn’t see the need to go to five nights a week… like I used to once upon a time when I first arrived in Los Angeles.

A friend of mine offered to drive.  He didn’t know anyone in the startup scene and was also looking for a new gig.  His experience is different than mine (in IT and networking), however, and so this was even more so a whole new crowd for him to explore.

It was really amazing seeing some of the older faces from my tenure and love with this industry.  It was also amazing to meet new faces (or new-to-me faces) behind the ever growing sector that is Sillicon Beach.

I goofed around and thought that when someone puts the words tech and crawl together, there would likely be booze.  As with any networking event, some was to be expected.  Holy hell that was a lot more than I remembered… or maybe it partially because I was extremely sober and recovering from dating an alcoholic.

As the night progressed there was more and more booze at each stop on the crawl.  Some of the crawlers exploited this and went to town.  Others were extremely moderated.  That was not the case, however for my friend.

To get this completely out there as well-  I’m not one to judge with how anyone attends an event.  In other circumstances, I’d have loved to indulge in a couple of beers or what not as well.  We’re all adults here after all.. even though there were some underage kids looking for internships there as well.  Hey, not everyone was there to drink and I give those kids a lot of credit for being brave and attending to look for work like that… it’s great.

At one point I confiscated my friends keys.  I wanted him to be safe.  It wasn’t a big deal if I had to drive us back.  Except that, well, he drives a Prius, and it had been over a year and a half since I’ve been behind the wheel of a car.

It was, suffice to say, mildly humorous.

Some of you may have had the pleasure to drive a Prius or a Mini.  Both have some weird ignition systems.  Late at the end of the night with my friend in no way able to help me, it was a rather comical sight.  In hindsight, I wish I had filmed that.  I was extremely nervous.  I fumbled around with the keys looking in the dark for how to turn it on, how to shift it to reverse, etc.

I felt like I was sixteen again.

I did, however manage to get a little snippet of video on the drive.  Note, I apologize in advance for the format.  I was more focused on driving and less about the phone, which, I’m sure that the other drivers on the road could probably appreciate.

I haven’t had the best luck with cars to say the least.  My last car, in particular, had a couple of “lovely” incidents due to its age.  So did the truck before that.  And, well, so did my freeway legal motor scooter which I had the pleasure of popping a tire not once, but twice, and in both parts of those videos you will see that I had heels on.  Needless to say, I have come to have a little bit of a fear attached to driving any vehicle really.

I should know better.  Fuck that Fear crap anyway.

Driving is not something I hadn’t done obviously.  This was a moment that I had been anticipating returning to for a long time.  It was, like so many other things.: nerve racking frightening, exciting, exhilarating, and empowering.  I was hoping it was going to be behind the wheel of a new Ford Fiesta as part of the Fiesta Movement.  Maybe that still will happen.  Maybe not.  But if it does, it was good to get some practice.  Not just at driving, but about facing my fears over silly things.

It’s good to be finally getting back behind the wheel navigating potential again… one way at a time.