At the crossroads
I’ve always taken the approach of keeping my options open and letting things present themselves to make the logical decision any given time. It generally has served me well over the many months, years and now decades of adult life. But lately I’ve been thinking more about the future. Thinking about what I want to do when I “grow up.” Call it a third-life crisis or anything else you want to come up with.
Let’s face it, I have it pretty good on the surface. I have a job with company that compensates me which allows me to buy and do anything I can think of. I have good health. I have my crazy immediate family that is always there for a laugh or help with anything. I have my circle of friends and acquaintances both old and new that are always there for an adventure or a laugh as needed.
But lately, and what keeps me up at night, is a sense of a desire of chasing or finding something. Maybe it is a goal? Maybe it is a new job? Maybe it is finding love? Maybe it is finding where I belong? Whatever it is, I can’t quite put my finger on it. No, it doesn’t mean quitting my job, buying a van and traveling the country finding inspiration or traveling to Joshua Tree with psychedelic drugs. (I’m way too logical for that!) I think the time is right to get some priorities in life in order that may help me find what I am chasing or looking for.
The first thing on the agenda is updating the old resume and LinkedIn profile. I’ve been way too comfortable doing the internal career path in in my six years at Northwestern Mutual. I’m at the point where I have priced myself out of a lateral move to a different function or department within the company to fill me desire to learn and do something new. A few weeks ago, I got professional headshots done that will put a face to a name and my personal sales pitch. You never know what company or what opportunity is out there if you don’t put yourself out there.
The second item on the agenda is to set some personal goals and themes to accomplish in the near future. While it’s time time of year for new year’s resolutions, those are for suckers. Why wait until January 1 to set out to do something when you can start today. These are the short-term things I want to make into habits.
Stay connected to the people that matter. A lot of people come and go and I am very much guilty of losing touch or staying present with people along the way. As an introvert’s introvert, I’m not inclined or need a whole lot of human contact. Add in the tendency to have my head in the clouds and my feet firmly not planted in the real world, relationships are not something front and center for those that don’t feed on nor energies by human contact. I’m sure there are many psychologists that can explain all of this better. You may have noticed a bit more engagement on social media. This is intentional. I’ve also send out way more text messages recently than I have in all of 2020. If anyone reading this wants to grab a drink, lunch, etc., let me know.
Keep pushing my perceived limits. This ties into my cycling goals for 2022 as well. The human body can go beyond what our minds say we can do. “Say no to comfort” is my new motto. As uncomfortable it is to make all of this public and allowing strangers to go deep into my private thoughts, you will never get that comment or insight from someone else that may be life-changing if it all kept bottled up.
Keep pushing forward. Forward isn’t a straight line. It rarely is. There will be lots of setbacks both personal and professional. Learn from them and move on. Chase tomorrow instead of yesterday.
Focus on what matters and tune out everything else. I liken this to when Neo was unplugged from The Matrix. Modern culture and society needs everyone connected to it to be operational. If there was ever more evidence that we are living in a simulation, the last two years are evidence of it. From the mass formation of really intelligent people, the media/government/industrial complex and the constant pressure to follow the narrative, I want nothing to do it it. None of it is constructive. I want to focus on the people and things that matter. All of the other nonsense can be for those that want to keep take the blue pills.
Explore the world to find a new home. This is a stretch goal for the near future. I’ve had a feeling of moving to a new city to live to start over completely for a few years now. I feel like I’ve grown out of the Milwaukee Metro area. I like the idea of starting anew somewhere else. My trip to Arizona earlier in then year was part of that idea to see if I could live there. Ultimately, I didn’t make the big move. I’m glad I didn’t as I would have missed out on the great experiences this fall and all of the rad people doing this crazy thing called cyclocross. But if the right opportunity, and set of circumstances presented itself, I’m calling the moving vans, I’m ready.
There are probably more things that I should commit to, but this is a good first start. In the words of one of my favorite songs of 2005, “I’m at the crossroads, waiting for a sign.”