“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – CS Lewis
It’s been a really long time since I’ve come here to write. In fact it’s been almost 8 months. Maybe I was lazy. Maybe I lost interest. Maybe I was busy trying to figure my life out. Honestly, it was all three.
In the next few paragraphs, I am going to let you all into my life. Rather than being cryptic or facebookish about me, I think it would be more interesting to the reader to just be honest and open.
So let’s play some catch-up.
I left off in November sometime. I remember specifically, sort of, going into this silent mode as the elections were coming to an end. I had a lot to say but nothing that wouldn’t already be said right? The blogs were going crazy then and I felt the need to just…shut up. I thought I was being mature. Anyone that knows me knows that being mature is a daunting task for me – especially when it comes trolling people who are whining about politics or religion. I wish I could smack them through the computer/phone screens but it’s not possible and then, smacking myself for the same satisfaction – it’s not the same.
Moving to the day before Thanksgiving, I got into a wreck and totaled my little Prius. It was a blessing in disguise because I got a Lexus instead. It was definitely on my bucket list to get the car I now own so that was awesome.
Skip to Christmas. On Christmas day, I had a couple of mimosas and decided it be an awesome idea to visit my estranged grandmother who I found out was living in an old folks about 6 miles from my house. I know what you’re all thinking. I agree. Right?! It’s a long story for another day. I definitely will talk about this later – so keep your shirts on. The visit didn’t really turn out the way I wanted, but I did discover why she not only is estranged by my immediate family but also from the rest of her children too. That was a sad discovery.
Going into the new year, I started realizing a few things about my career path:
I think we all have these moments. Some of us do something about it, the rest of us do nothing. It occurred to me that I didn’t want to be in the “rest of us” category. So I did what any goal oriented person would do and well, set goals.
One of my goals was to buy a house. I had been renting these small spaces for the past 7+ years and it just seemed like I was throwing money into the toilet and then watching it swirl to oblivion like I would if I had dropped an award winning turd (everyone does it, don’t judge me). No pun intended, but the whole thing stunk. I was in a crappy situation. Okay…the pun was intended.
The problem with the goal of buying a house was: in order for me to buy a house, I had to stay at my current place of employment. Most home loans aren’t granted if you can’t prove you’ve been at the same place for at least two years. This really put me in a bind; because on one hand, I wanted to make my career path something other than it was. Then on the other hand I wanted to make my wife and family happy too. I basically had to choose which one to sacrifice, so I chose my wife and what she would want for the kids over my own misery in the work place.
Long story short, after a long grueling process of never ending loan documents and information requests, news escrow was or wasn’t going to fall through, and my minor meltdowns; we finally got a house. So yeah, hip hip hooray for everyone. But, the problem still was there with my job. Fortunately, towards the end of the house buying process, people started appearing in my inbox asking me if I wanted to work here or there. It’s pretty normal for me to get new job offers because of what I do. People like me with my talent and knowledge don’t grow on trees. I am a valuable commodity in my field of work and I never have not had a job since I began my journey in my career. On a quick side note, I am not bragging or trying to sound awesome – it is no secret that people like me literally have a price tag around our neck…and we are snagged off of the shelves as quickly as we are put up.
So going full circle back to these job offers; I didn’t put myself on the shelf to be shopped for. It was just “out of the blue” that employers and headhunters were inquiring. The sudden influx of inquisitors in my Linkedin inbox set a fire under my butt and I took it as some kind of divine Linkedin message that it’s time to leave my place of work. To top that off, my misery stemmed from coming to the sad realization that I wasn’t going to get any further in my career at the place I was currently employed. I don’t want to do what I am doing now for the rest of my life. I want to get as high in a company as possible without owning the company. I am an ambitious person and when I am working at a place that stifles my ambitions with “good ol’ boy” clubs and nepotism, it just sucks…you know?
Back to the long story short: I took on a new job offer with much more promise, lots of good projects to put on my resume, a nice pay hike, and a tad bit more professionalism. I will admit though, turning in my two weeks was a tough one to do this time. I had drank the Kool-Aid for so long there that I actually believed I didn’t need anything else; that this was all there ever was and all there ever needed to be. I am not sure if that was healthy for me or what, but all in all, I think I took a good step in the right direction. Change is always good right? After all John Spencer said it best in the classic short story: WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?
“If you do not change, you can become extinct.”‘
I think this is true for everyone. We see it especially with the older generations; they just simply stay put where they are at. It’s not that they have a bad work ethic, their work ethics are amazing, but, they just never go anywhere and flat line because that is what works until retirement arrives. Sad. The end result: they are extinct figuratively before they become extinct literally. No legacy, nothing reaped because nothing was sown. I can’t live like that. Hell to the no no no and triple quadruple no with double o’s.
I wanted to conclude this welcome back blog with some encouragement. I quoted CS Lewis in the beginning of this piece because I thought what he said was perfect. I am 25 years from retirement and have not a penny put away. Not one. For some reason though, I don’t care. I feel like I am living the dream right now in a million and one ways by pursuing my goals, balancing my family life, keeping my head on straight, and just pushing through the wall of poo the world likes to erect on every path we take.
Just in this blog alone I talked about getting the car I always wanted, I talked to my estranged grandmother (that I had to get out of my system) on CHRISTMAS DAY, I bought a house, I took a risk by quitting a stable job in a stable environment to continue to pursue the next rung up the career ladder.
There is hope for all of us and sometimes all it takes is just hitting that reset button. Debugging our lives. Swerving off the highway and taking surface streets for a while. It’s all good. It’s always good.