Divorce Begins in Tennessee; Hope Begins Inside
While cruising along the Foothills Parkway through Tennessee, the universe struck me with a slap-across-the-face revelation: I definitely need to divorce my company. For eleven months my assignments dwindled, my responsibilities tapered, and my skills tarnished. The best advice I received from coworkers suggested I should smile and pretend I was happy , which is one of the wises pieces of self-care along with avoiding water and drink heavily. While coasting through the western edges of the Great Smoky Mountains, I awoke from the emptiness of my unchallenging career. I realized that if ensnared in a personal relationship as unhealthy as my professional relationship, faking my way through my misery needed to end. Freeing myself strategically, not impetuously, but nonetheless swiftly commenced at the next scenic overlook.
Once I decided to propel my life forward, finding a new career or opportunity or source of income ought to follow. No firm plans came to mind, but packing up my belongings in a storage unit and buying a camper blissfully appealed to my inner gypsy. Even my son, just starting out on his own uncertain future, agreed that the change of scenery took precedence over the change of income. With tiny steps, I began talking with those people in my smallest corner of the world who would be able to provide a measure of thoughtful advice or insightful recommendations. Thankfully, life gives us heroes not always identified by their actions, but in my world, by their words and their belief that amazing new courses are to be charted.
The Universe Put a Quarter in the Juke Box
“Everything will change when our desire to move on exceeds our desire to hold on,” a friend posted on Facebook and thus the fates weighed in with their own brand of idiosyncrasies, too. Credited widely on the Internet to Alan Cohen, I added the phrase along with a photo I snagged of a sweeping expanse of Nevada to my computer desktop reminding me each day of the direction in which I am pushing myself. One night those playful fates tumbled me into my next career over a meal of s’mores and wine in the company of perfectly placed friends. With each day and each step I began moving happily on rather than holding on to the limiting life I knew. The planets continued to align over a couple cold beers as a coworker’s insight and encouragement added to my prospects. I shared my excitement of the highway down which my life is traveling while the universe sang to me from the juke box in the corner:
Lord, I was born a rambln’ man
Trying to make a living and doing the best I can
When the next song began with Ricky Nelson reminding me that he, too, was a travelin’ man, the melodic words became too loud to ignore. Simply and effortlessly, the plan unfurled at my feet and this divorce, painless and perfect and planned by the universe’s karmic force, carried me along in a warm, lazy river winding its way towards my future. Life began changing, not instantly but decidedly. My desire to move on lifted me each day. I found myself holding on to less and less, and feeling strangely and delightfully wonderful.
So today, I give my notice. I scribe the finale to my wretched relationship between the massive conglomerate and its neglected employee as our time together concludes. With just a few months shy of fifteen years abusing one another for our own selfish pursuits, I am divorcing my company (see The Clarity of Nature from August 2022). I am moving onward and I am radically changing my world, not for the better, but for the best.
And when it’s time for leavin’ I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ [wo]man.