I had, what appeared to be, a picture perfect life. I hit several of the picture’s requirements – nice job, lovely little flat with a nice commute to work and a dog for companionship. The job gave me the ability to travel and meet interesting people. I had it all. Except, maybe, a job I cared about. I punch in, I punch out and the hours between pass by slowly. I need a break and some excitement. All this is probably why I find myself renting a beach house in an out of the way of corner of the world. At least I still had my dog.
I’d been with the company long enough I qualified for the sabbatical granted to employees who managed to stick around fore more than seven years. Most of the people who stick it out that long are the ex-academics who use the sabbatical to tune back into their former lives on this or that. I didn’t have that connection, and more surprising to my coworkers was the fact that I had been around long enough to qualify. I was low enough of the hierarchy that most of the lifetime employees didn’t notice my existence and most of my level rotated out after three years to more lucrative positions with other companies. Somehow, I never had bothered to move on and because of that, they’re trying to find someone to fill in for me while I try to figure out my life in thirty days or less.
The beach house where I planned on finding myself was a find in itself. The house was a sprawling affair on stilts on the end of the island. The real road ended a mile up the island. To get to the house, you have to have a jeep or decent four wheel drive and not slip too much in the packed sand. From the wrap around deck, the view of water and untamed land beckoned. The houses out this far were spaced so you didn’t feel like you were on top of one another. The solitude was a wonderful contrast to the cubicle living I had been in almost constantly since I finished college.
I had known since I finished college I would have to pay my dues professionally. Since then, I have made friends and talked with the right people. Somehow, others have always received the credit for my work. And because the work has been nothing I’ve been proud of, I have yet to see the point to argue. What drove me to this sabbatical was finally having a project that I did care about and worked very hard to get launched only to have it corrupted and stolen away from me as it neared completion. With this change, I couldn’t focus on even pretending to play nice with others. It was time to get out.
But the big question – What Next? I hoped to find out here.