Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unexpected Surprise #2

20 Feb 2009

I’m on an eastward trajectory in First Class at 39,004 feet over Prescott, Arizona.  I need to decompress and digest the week behind me.  A big decision lies ahead of me. One I never thought I would ever consider. It’s strange how, when the right circumstances pop up, things inside begin to shift and ‘never’ becomes ‘maybe’ and then ‘maybe’ becomes ‘I could do that’ and the softening of a tight grip allows room for change. What I said I would NEVER do, where I said I’d NEVER live, and the desires I NEVER had may be changing slowly but steadily. It’s bizarre how that works.

I settled in Connecticut over 3 years ago. I can’t believe it has been that long ago. I thought I had finally found the place that I would live for many years to come. I had high hopes for building a life and maybe even a family there. I love the area. I love the proximity to New York. I love the way of life and the aura of New England. The landscape is lovely and gives the feel of being rural while never too far out of the way. For me, it’s a perfect mix of city and country life. Connecticut felt like home from the start. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t looking around for the next place to go. I had no desire to continue the lifestyle of a nomad. After buying my home, I felt like I was on a path to moving forward in my life from the place of having roots. I had never felt like that before. For so many years, I was buzzing around from state to state, searching for a place to put down the landing gear and when I moved to Connecticut, I found the spot that fit just right.

I wasn’t looking for a change in location.

THEN an email showed up in my inbox, UNEXPECTEDLY. It was from the owner of the consulting company that I have worked for over the past 2 years. Having a vision for change within his own organization, he laid out a new opportunity for me. (Thanks to corporate budget cuts and an economy that has taken a nosedive, my position as a consultant for a health insurance corporation, was eliminated about a month ago.) Management experience, college paid for, growth for me and growth for the company oh and by the way, a move to California.

When I read the email, I immediately got excited. Something in me was shockingly open to this. I’ve always maintained a disdain for California beyond a short-term vacation. It’s the one state that I never wanted to live in, never had a desire at all. In fact, in the past, the boss-man had mentioned a few times, moving to California to work for him but I blew him off, never even considering it. I have no idea why this time was different. Maybe it was having a tangible position outlined in writing or maybe God has been slowly working in me without me even realizing it.

After thinking through all the pros and cons at a very high level, I began to talk myself out of it. Being the pessimist that I am, I found satisfaction in shooting down my own optimism. I went to California one week ago looking for more reasons to slam on the brakes. As much as I embrace the new and exciting, I also love routine, habit and comfort. I consciously made an effort to be open and willing. It’s safer and less vulnerable to stick with the predictable versus stepping out into the unknown.

After spending a week on location, poking around and getting a feel for what the job is all about, what the company is all about, who the personnel are, and seeing the area, I found that it’s not as scary as I had originally thought. California is still not my favorite place but it’s also just a place. Similarly, as great as Connecticut is to me, it's just a place as well. I have taken a 180 degree turn. I could see myself making this move. It would be hard, it would take everything that I am but it would cause growth and change and probably other unexpected surprises. So many things would need to fall into place for this to become my reality. Some that seem impossible right now. It's not a done deal yet, I'm just moving forward one step at a time with an open heart to see what happens.

I had no idea that when I began the year with a theme of unexpected surprises that something so major would show up on the radar just a few weeks into the new year.

All I know is that right now my flight path is bound for the east coast and whether I’m going home for good or only for a transitional window of time, I don’t know; but the view is far beyond what I could have imagined. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sealed With A Kiss

The sunset on the Pacific Ocean, is the goodnight kiss for America. 
All time zones are now tucked in until day breaks in the east. 

For more than 3 years I have greeted the morning, but this week I have been exploring what it might be like to put the nation to bed each day. 

Could I change my way of life and swing from one coast to the other??

Only time will tell...

Goodnight New Haven!
Goodnight New York!
Goodnight Nashville!
Goodnight Cedar Rapids!
Goodnight Cedaredge!
Goodnight Grand Junction!
Goodnight San Diego!
Goodnight Huntington Beach!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

No Longer A Fraud

I grew up at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. 
Even so, I have endured colder winters and more snow while living in Iowa and Connecticut than I ever did in Colorado. 
Strange but true. 
When my sisters and I were driving my parents crazy during the winter months, they would take us sledding or cross country skiing. Sledding was usually a fun event but cross country skiing, not so much. Even though "suicide hill" took all one's strength to climb
 with a sled in tow, the ride down was always worth the effort. Cross country skiing was all effort and no pay off. Any small hill to coast down meant frustration trying to ascend it on the return. Downhill skiing, the winter sport that most outdoorsy types anticipate with joy, was too expensive for our family of 6. As a result, I never went downhill skiing in the 10 years that I lived in Colorado. How can that be? That's like someone who lives in Florida and has never visited Disney World. Weird.

Last week, I went downhill skiing. 

My sister, Kari outfitted me with the gear and took me on the moving carpet up to the top of the baby hill. She is the most fantastic teacher. The slopes of CT are no where close to the same caliber as CO but never the less, they were still tricky for this novice. I tumbled more than a few times and bent both of the ski poles I had rented. Ooops!  Once I got the hang of it though, I started to think that I might like winter. Ok, that's a bit of a stretch. 
Alas, I am no longer a fraud. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Unexpected Surprise #1

Everyday for the past week or so I've had blogging on my list of things to do but so many other things have cut in line and blogging kept getting the shaft. It finally demanded to have my attention. 

You might recall that when the new year came calling, I felt that "unexpected surprises" was the '09 theme. 
Well, on January 15th, I got the first unexpected notice. It came in the form of a pink slip. Within 2 weeks, I joined the ranks of the unemployed along with 7.6% of the U.S. All the talk about the horrendous economy takes on a whole new perspective when it comes knocking on my door. 

Although I knew the possibility of losing my job by the end of the 2009 was probable, I never expected it come just 2 weeks into the new year. In the past, being without a job wasn't a huge deal to me. I've always been a fluid individual without many hard-lined financial obligations. Always rented a crib on a month to month basis. Always drove an older car that was either paid for or had a short term loan. Very little credit card debt = very easy to move anywhere on a moment's notice. That has changed in the past 3 years. I finally found a region that I fell in love with and began to pour concrete around my feet. I purchased a condo, a new car and grew into a comfortable lifestyle. 

With a few brief words, financial uncertainty has set me on edge. I have grown-up obligations now and jobs are harder to find these days.

What are the options?? There are options.   Stay tuned.