Thanksgiving gives us time to reflect on our year and be grateful for our lives, families, and loved-ones… It’s important to do this from time-to-time, but I’ve been reflecting too much. I’ve been stuck wondering about my decisions over the last year, and playing the “what if” game.
Let me start by looking back at Thanksgiving, 2012.
I was working for a small advertising agency as a project manager. I was responsible for keeping website projects on-track, staff busy, and clients happy. I really enjoyed the working environment and my co-workers and bosses… But financially, it just wasn’t progressing,
Next was a brief stint as the marketing director for a group of law firms. The pay was amazing. Unfortunately after a few months I realized the environment was poison. I quit after three months, in February 2013 with no plan or new job lined-up (this is NOT recommended).
After two weeks of unemployment a friend suggested I take a solo cross-country motorcycle trip. I left March, 15th 2013. I visited 22 states totaling just shy of 13,000 miles. I learned more about myself in those 10 weeks than I had in years. I camped and couch-surfed along the route. Everyone I visited was fantastic and after meandering home from Key West, Florida I was ready to hit the ground running and get my career moving again.
Returning to Washington did not go how I’d hoped.
In late-summer of 2013 (while still getting my bearings career-wise) I had family visiting from Texas. An aunt, uncle, and their grand-kids. I had just visited them in Austin during the motorcycle trip and it was so much fun to hang out again.
Just before packing up their RV and road-tripping back home my aunt went into the hospital. She eventually passed away from advanced, undiagnosed cancer.
Questions of mortality, permanence, and meaning made my career seem so trivial… I had to workout what I really wanted to do with my life. After seven years as a creative working with all-kinds of clients in different businesses… it all just seemed pointless… What was a job well-done? How was I contributing to humanity? Who was I really helping with my craft?
I was rethinking everything.
My sister and I own a home together. We’ve been roommates for four and half years and (surprisingly) get along really well.
We’ve had each others backs at various times in our home-owning partnership… and I needed her during this time more than ever. She’s had my back. She’s supported the home while I’ve been struggling and I love her dearly. But we’ve both known that we weren’t going to stay in the home forever. So we’re dissolving our partnership in the house, and freeing us both to move on. Thank you Athena.
Now it’s almost Thanksgiving again. One year later from starting with the law firm.
I had “my big break” last year… but this year I’m happy to report than I’m having “my big breakthrough”.
My goal is to put together a life as a wanderer. To go from place to place chasing opportunity and experience. I will live minimally consuming as little as possible. I will be self-sufficient and work to earn my keep and pay my way. I hope to maintain remote relationships with clients I love working with and who love working with me and do my work from the nearest hotspot.
I’m not sure exactly how it’s all going to come together yet. But I know what I want out of life again and that makes me happy.
I am Paul Thomas, and I am curious about the people, and the world around me. I’ll be keeping this website as a place to document my life as I embark on this adventure.