In my twenties, I found myself in a bit of a predicament.
Shortly after I’d resigned from my job in Tallahassee, and had let my lease run out, I found out my new opportunity—with a previous employer in Gainesville—had evaporated.
I learned this at 10 pm on a Sunday night, when I still had 135 miles left to drive on the return leg of a weekend trip. On the agonizing ride home, I concluded the practical, and easy thing would be to rescind my resignation, then I could find a new place to live.
The next day, my boss said they hadn’t hired my replacement and asked if I wanted to reconsider my resignation.
I opened my mouth, with intent of being practical and saying ”Yes…” but I was overcome by a stream of impractical thoughts. The first thing to come to mind: I couldn’t stay in that soul-sucking job.
I was also more than ready to leave Florida where I’d been for 15+ years since my parents relocated their 3 remaining nestlings to The Sunshine State from Massachusetts.
My impractical thoughts raced to my youth, in Connecticut and Massachusetts: the fall colors, the fluffy snow, the topography, clam rolls, Fenway Park, apple orchards, the rocky coasts, Lexington and Concord, aunts, uncles, and cousins, …and cooler weather. I decided to make a big change.
The impractical thoughts won. I answered ”No, I can’t stay here.”
She asked about my new plans. I replied, ”I guess my new plans are to make new plans.”
The next day, I bought a new typewriter and started writing cover letters to organizations in the Greater Boston area and was able to line up some interviews.
An unexpected, though welcome, twist was that a couple of college friends (who were now a couple) had offered to let me stay with them, if I was interested in working in the DC vicinity. Thus, I contacted some organizations in that area, too.
The next few weeks, was a blur of yard sales (where I tried to sell my beater truck) working overtime, researching potential employers, writing cover letters, running, and listening to live music (see below).
I had lined up some interviews in Boston and DC, and picked a departure date that would allow for some short visits with my college friends, and my sister’s family in Connecticut, before I had be in Massachusetts for the first interview.
It was almost exactly 30 years ago today, that I put the last armful of items into the trunk of my Mazda 323 and headed north. I’d would eventually settle in the DC area for a spell, before moving to Chicago, and finally West Michigan.
Other than the occasional adrenalin surge and swearing that accompanies skidding on an icy road, my regrets are few, far between, and of short duration.
It still seems like one of my best decisions ever.
(Funk Bible “Funken Soul”)