A Year in Retrospect

I ran out of creative juice when selecting an article picture.

I ran out of creative juice when selecting an article picture.

I’ve been writing a lot of political and social commentary pieces lately and I’d really like to step away from that for a while. In the spirit of returning to a lighter fare, I thought I’d sit back and bask in a bit of reflection.

So here we are racing towards the end of another year. In many ways, this has been one of the best of my life, despite, or perhaps in some cases because of all of the changes that I’ve endured.

Last January I took a huge leap of faith and left the security of my job with a Fortune 500 company. I won’t say their name, but they ranked 143 this year. I’d love to tell you that this was a calculated decision based on a cleverly devised long-term plan. It was not. My departure was the natural result of a mind (and body) that was no longer healthy.

I recall working the first week of the year and then having what I now believe was a total mental and emotional breakdown. I spent a week in a deep depression, falling further into an abyss of fear and darkness.

Each day I tried to collect myself enough to make it to work. The first day I got showered and dressed and almost made it out to my car. The second day I made it to the first exit off of the freeway before looping around and heading home. Finally, on Friday I got as far as the office building where I worked and almost was able to pull into the parking lot before that adamant voice in my head took charge of my hands and the next thing I knew I had jerked the wheel of my car and found myself making a beeline for home.

It was only when I finally summoned the resolve to pick up my phone and submit my resignation verbally (I really was not in any state to go in and officially sever my employment) that I felt the burden I’d been feeling start to lift. My healing had begun.

My state of being at that time was the result of a long string of poor choices made primarily from fear and compromise. For too long I had turned away from the much harder road that led to the things I really wanted and had instead accepted a boring and mediocre life. I guess somewhere inside me the heroic child that still believed in magic decided it had remained silent long enough.

In February I started this blog. It was my intention that I would use this as a tool to practice my writing, showcase my talent and force myself to stay on the path of my goal (which of course, is to carve out a living as a professional writer). This then, was the first step in my slow transformation from a fat, lazy fearful man into a still fat but losing weight, still lazy but more disciplined, far less fearful man. (What were you expecting? Superman?)

In June I made a difficult decision. I would leave my home in Arizona and return to the frozen (or not so frozen) tundra of Wisconsin. I hated leaving behind a state that I had come to love and a few important people I had also grown to love, but I knew that change required sacrifice. I had family that awaited me to the north and so in September I loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly… errr… The Dairy State.

I would love to report that I’ve met my goals and am now a successful, well-paid writer living the dream. I would love that but it would be a work of fiction (maybe there is a story there). I write, but to date no one has seen fit to lease my considerable talent. (Seriously people, I work cheap! Hire me!) My journey continues but at least happiness rears it’s rather attractive head in my life regularly and I often reach out and give it a good scratch behind the ears (just the way happiness likes it).

I close the year far better than I opened it and honestly, isn’t that the best we can do? I experienced an amazing year of discovery, upheaval, serenity, failure, success and I am still alive to talk about it. Not a bad way to kill 365 (and one quarter) days.

On a final note, I want to express my appreciation for all of you who have shared a bit of my journey with me and have graciously allowed me a small peek at your own journey. Like a giant, twisted family we all careen through time hurtling towards our inevitable demise together and along the way, life happens. I’m glad you’re all here with me.



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