This track leads to somewhere

12-Month Review

This track leads to somewhere
This Track Leads to Somewhere

It has been about one year since the day when I walked away from my professional job. One cycle of Earth traveling around our Sun seems monumental enough to look back and assess the original decision to change my life and the resulting degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. I recall that when I left my profession, I experienced a feeling of a new found freedom and I wanted to do everything at once. My head was swimming with ideas; I wanted to try things that I never tried before and potentially do not have an aptitude for, like playing a harmonica (fail). I wanted to go and see distant places, meet new people and re-meet those who over the years I left behind. I wanted to learn, read, and expand my intellectual horizons. I desired to create, explore, and exploit various facets of life.
How did I make out between August 2021 and August 2022?
I am pleased to acknowledge that I have no regrets with my original decision; as I told my boss a year ago, my heart was no longer in the game and both he and the corporation deserved no less than one hundred percent in exchange for the monies that they were paying me. At that time there was no point to discuss the reasons why I was unable to engage with the corporation to the point of my satisfaction because that would require significant changes on their part; changes which I realized they were unable and unwilling to commit to. The corporate culture was set and the employees had a choice of working within it or to mutually agree to separate. It was my time to eject and I stand by that decision; it was a good and valid decision and the time was right.
Albeit, I confess that on certain days when I look at LinkeIn and I see people changing companies or positions reporting on their professional moves with an air of joy and optimism something inside of me stirs and I experience FOMO, fear of missing out. Then, I think about my agenda and the experiences which I either just lived through or are about to endeavor upon and I realize that I could not live my current lifestyle and hold a professional engagement at the same time. Currently I prefer my freedoms of choice, movement, and mental gymnastics.
My current lifestyle.
The first thing that I should acknowledge is that I get enough sleep. It does not matter how late I go to bed or how early I need to wake up, on the whole, I always get enough rest. Morning coffee is not a pick me up or a necessary wake-up elixir. It is a cup of delicious dark liquid which I sip slowly analyzing the sweet and acidic notes of the coffee beans as they tickle my taste buds. Do not get me wrong, I have not become a coffee connoisseur, I simply have the luxury to enjoy my coffee without thinking or stressing about my day. Some mornings I jump in my car and drive to visit a friend to share a few social moments as we drink coffee together before her work day starts. Having enough time to maintain real social connections is priceless, way better than scrolling through FaceBook.
My calendar hardly resembles what it was like merely a year ago. Gone are numerous multicolored blocks of time stacked two and sometimes three or more deep; no one can be in two places at the same time. These days I have weeks blocked off to indicate where geographically I will be; the occasional smaller boxes indicate flights, book-club meetings, and dinner engagements. All other time is for grabs and does not need to be strictly scheduled. I can decide without much planning if I want to go for a run or a bike ride, head to a coffee shop or an arboretum; I can stay home and read or write, take a class or go wander nowhere in particular. Even without a strictly organized schedule I find that I have more ideas and things to do than the available time.
These days I rarely try to multitask; I have the luxury to concentrate on one activity at a time. Doing simple things and experiencing them fully is very fulfilling. All that stuff about mindfulness … there is something to it, being mindful and in the moment delivers pleasure even from simple chores like mowing grass or reading nutritional labels while grocery shopping.
I am now solely responsible for challenging my life with tasks and projects, this is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I decide, chose, and judge and a curse because I am responsible for deciding and choosing as well as judging my accomplishments. This past year I decided to write and publish a short book, dive with my boyfriend in Bonaire, travel on an extended RV trip with my father where I collected 150 pages of material for a future book that I am planning to write. I also read or rather listened to numerus audio books, took classes at the local community college, spent time with friends and family, and took many short trips (probably more than I can count).
What do I worry about?
By nature, I am not a worrier but after one year of being without an income, I am still concerned if my financial calculations were correct and if I will be able to persist until the end from the finances at my disposal. I am worried about the economy, 8.5% inflation rate, and the negative earning on my investments. I am concerned that if I miscalculated, by the time the error becomes apparent, it will be too late for me to take a meaningful corrective action. With this in mind, saving money became a sport to me.
One day I took a walk through a local shopping mall and noticed a mish-mash of styles, everything is available but no one trend nor color, nor style is apparent or predominant. There was nothing that I wanted to buy because there was nothing that I liked and when I looked at the price tags, I was shocked by the printed dollar figures. My new sport is thrifting; for a person who is not too tall and not too short, not too slim and not too large thrifting can be extremely rewarding. I am now replacing my professional pant-suite wardrobe with funky and stylish finds from the various thrift stores. Every trip that I take to a new location includes a visit to a local thrift store to find vintage and label items sold for five dollars or less. The sport of saving money extends to reading, I am now a member of four libraries in three different states and get most of my electronic and audio books via Libby. I am amazed at the wealth of books available in the libraries for free.
What is next for me?
My calendar is filled with future adventures including a visit to Poland to bum around with a backpack using public transportation, I am especially looking forward to train rides. I signed up for a trip to the country of Georgia; a high point of which will be to climb Mount Kazbek, pun intended ( In February together with my father, we will travel around Western Turkey and roam the bazars of Istanbul. And in July, I will go dive the Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon in Micronesia following the bubbles of Jacques Cousteau (
As already mentioned, I desire to write a real book of about 200-300 pages and 50,000-75,000 words. This I believe will be a big challenge for which I will allow myself a reasonable yet unpredictable amount of time; unfortunately currently, I am suffering from writer’s block. I would also like to run 13.1 miles, that is a half-marathon distance, to do so will require training and many interesting audio books to keep me company during the monotonous and repetitive body conditioning.
I have spent the last twelve months in ways that fed my spirit, rebalanced my soul, and promoted physical and mental well-being. But life is not empty of tragedies that exist all around us and recently struck people close to me.  Fentanyl poisoning, tragic effects of mental health issues, and recently we lost a friend, a law enforcement officer shot in the line of duty. All these experiences mark our lives and have a lasting effect on the future outlook. I keep asking myself, what do I want to be when I grow up? And I still do not have a clear answer so for the next twelve months I will continue on my journey to reinvent myself.

Share this post

2 thoughts on “12-Month Review

leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *