My buddy Jerry calls me a martyr, but for two reasons I disagree.
In true martyrdom the end is heroic and the protagonist dies. My fate was neither. For my colleauges at my old company, Jerry’s assestment may have merit. To them, I was the innocent lamb to slaughter that stared my executioners in the eye as their axe fell true. For me, it proved that after eight years of progressive growth with one company the only guarantee in life is that there aren’t any.
I was laid off from my last job for a perfect combination of reasons: One part economic downtrend; two parts contentious relationship with my former boss; the catalytic ingredient being a company that has strayed so far from its core values that one would hardly recognize it from its earlier incarnations.
The second detail that runs contrary to the martyr template is that I am still alive! My heart still beats and my lungs still draw breath, only now it is at a rhythm of my choosing. If life is all about the choices one makes then I resolve to be the master of my own decisions.
The first choice I have made in my new life is that my wife and I will move back to our hometown to occupy her parents’ old house. It is a tactical decision and a symbolic one, too. The house has fallen into neglect, but the foundation is still sturdy. Now we will breathe life and love back into it.
The second choice I’ve made is to take a vacation! I write this piece from the comfort of a Murphy bed in a rented room in downtown Solvang, California with the cadence of my wife’s gentle snoring as my soundtrack. We are here to celebrate this transition in life with great food, fine wine and scenery so beautiful it’ll crush your heart!
The third choice I’ve made is to become what I have always been: a writer. This blog is the first step toward realizing that ambition.