"What in the hell am I doing?"
It seems fitting to start things off with "The Question". After all, it's the one that won't go away and pops up at the strangest of times. I'll be driving down the road and, out of nowhere, find myself so buried in doubt that I have to pull over. I lie awake at night with "The Question" running laps inside my head. I've always been level-headed and that trait has served me well over the years, but these days it's really working against me.
Logically, I can't ask for a better job than I have now. Most days, I enjoy my work and the pay is extremely nice. I've also got a great place to live which doesn't cost me a dime (thank you, government-provided housing). Good friends and a great location (the Caribbean) are just the cherries on top of an already great life.
There are people out there who would give a lot to be in the same position I'm in. I know that I'm fortunate to have this life. I get this, I really do. It feels like I'm slapping fate in the face by even thinking about leaving this all behind. Why then, am I so hell bent on trading it for a great unknown? Where's the tangible benefit? What am I hoping to achieve? Am I going to screw up my life? What in the hell am I doing?
I wish I had the answer. I wish I could sum up my reasons in one, blinding sentence that would make it all clear. Unfortunately, I can't. Even I don't know for certain why I'm doing this. The closest I can come to a single reason is that I don't like who I'm turning into.
You see, the simple fact is that I don't have much of a life outside of work. I noticed a few years ago that when asked to describe myself, I'd reply with, "Well, I'm a fill-in-the-job-title with fill-in-the-company, working at fill-in-the-location" When you start to define yourself by a job title, no matter how impressive that title may be, there's something wrong. There needs to be something more to life than work.
Many people choose a part of their lives to use as an anchor and then live for that. It can be work, family, friends, religion, etc. I've never been particularly religious and haven't met anybody that completely turned my world on end. Work seemed to be as good an anchor as any. Can I climb the corporate ladder? Can I make good money doing it? The last few years have proven that I can. Huge success! Okay, so now what? I've been asking myself "What's next?" with increasing regularity over the last year. I guess this is the answer.
My plan, though it barely rates the name, is to leave my job in April of 2011 and spend the foreseeable future traveling. There are no set destinations or timetables. We're just going to see where this takes me. If that wasn't traumatic enough for an IT geek, must-plan-or-nervous-breakdown-ensues kind of person, I'm also selling or giving away everything I own. This isn't a statement against materialism, but rather the desire to not deal with storage.
To sum up, in May I'll have gone from a six figure job in a comfortable environment to being unemployed and having no home. This is going to be interesting. *cue panic*
More to come...
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