There's something about Apple from Clean & Simple Scrapbooking, 2005. Click on the image to see it larger in a new window.
Tuesday night the Zielske family went out to dinner at Famous Dave's barbecue. I was tired and a little cranky from my decision to start drinking decaf that very morning and I had zero ideas up my sleeve for dinner. I'd been working furiously all day, trying to get back into the groove of class development for Big Picture Classes. I was spent and wanted food followed immediately by rest.
We returned home just in time for the beginning of the Boot Camp episodes on the X Factor. It was my one night of the week without sports games, practices or play rehearsals. I happily hunkered down for some serious couch time.
Then Aidan came downstairs with a confused look on her face, and she asked, "Did something happen to Steve Jobs?"
The next thing I know, I'm staring at the Apple home page, and the tears just came, surprising me with their intensity. I was overwhelmed with sadness.
You see, I'm a Mac.
It started in the computer lab at the University of Texas–Arlington in 1987 when these adorable little beige boxes starting popping up as we started learning how to make resumes and cover letters.
It continued in 1988 when working at my first corporate job, the company announced, to much grumbling from the old school, the advertising department was "Going Mac."
And still it continued in 1990 when I landed my first job in Minnesota, which evolved into my first design job. We published a monthly corporate magazine on a Mac Classic with a 9-inch screen featuring New Baskerville type. I'd never felt so much love for any inanimate object in my entire life.
The years passed. I oversaw upgrade after upgrade in my corporate realm. I bought my first Mac for home in 1992—a used Mac IIsi with no internal hard drive. I remember distinctly freaking out beyond measure when I turned in on only to see the dreaded Sad Mac.
A Quadra 700 followed that. Then an iBook. Next, a G3. Then a MacBook Pro. A G4. Another MacBook. And finally, my big silver dual core, 8 gig MacPro.
Then there were the iPods, Nanos and Shuffles. Of course there was the iPad, and finally, an iPhone.
Every single cent I've spent adding this technology to my life has paid me back and then some. From giving me the tools to be an effective, creative graphic designer to making my runs less tedious via my hot pink Nano, simply stated, Apple has contributed to both my professional success and personal happiness.
But it's not just the life improvements. It's more than that. It's the personalization. It's the beautiful design. It's the elegance and beauty and simplicity. It's the chungggg when you turn it on. And it's the unshakable feeling of belonging to something really, really special.
What Steve Job helped to create has been a critical part of my life—the part where I got to try and grow up and be somebody. What he created helped to change and shape what I was able to do with my life.
Apple is part of what made me who I am today.
That would explain the tears and the sadness.
That reminds me of how grateful I am.
So thank you Steve Jobs, wherever you are.