Sunday, March 20, 2011

Running Away

The purpose of this blog has been and continues to be to follow my journey out of corporate America, and as I cross the one year point -- the time I'd originally said I'd take to find a new direction -- it seems like the proper time to reflect.

One question I haven't asked here is: running away, or running towards...something? On reflection, there is little question I've been running away over the last year. To say running toward something would imply a something that could be identified. I've been running into the fog, and trusting that I'd emerge a different person living a happier life once I was done. That's pretty much the way things have panned out, but there is no question my original motivation was escape.

A corollary question, then would be: Is running away bad, good, or is there no value judgment? That's a bit harder to answer.

I suppose most people would say running away shows a lack of persistence -- a character flaw, if you will, and one that is undesirable. But I don't think I lack persistence in general. Hey, you don't climb mountains and run marathons based on a limp will, or lack of commitment.

My running away had more to do realizing I'd put my brain on hold for thirty years, pursuing a dream from my youth -- one that was turning out to be further and further than I imagined from reality, by the way -- and then waking up one day and realizing the metamorphosized goal was inconsistent with the way I was wired as a person. And after thirty years of trying to stuff my square peg into Corporate America's round hole, I didn't want to do it anymore. Quite frankly, I no longer wanted the proverbial pot of gold at the end of that rainbow. It was an exercise in self-realization, rather than simply good or bad, or the manifestation of some character flaw, or any piercing insight.

So how has the year gone? Not like I expected -- I'll detail more of that in a future post. But it has led out of the fog, and the exercise has been terrific. I still have a toe in the business world, and try my best to maintain my old contacts and relationships. I've developed one of my interests and passions into a real career opportunity in the making -- novel writing, and while I haven't managed to get any of my work published, I will. Even if it means self-publication.

And what about all the other ideas floating around in my head -- non-profits, further education, radical career changes, becoming a pirate (no, really)? When they failed to create enough natural energy in me to sustain a full blown exploration, I let them die on the vine.

Am I in a happier and more fulfilling place today? Yes. Is it the end of the journey? Probably not completely, but I think I'm close. Would I recommend the same path for others? Now that's a good question!

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