One of the questions I keep getting regarding this whole sabbatical/journey is “what brought this on?” And I kind of said that I wouldn’t really go into the detail in my announcement post. But I guess I need to give a little background to dispell the myth that it just came out of nowhere. Nothing comes from nothing right? [Well, I’m a Bible believing Creationist, so that’s my opinion anyways. It’s the whole – God is, always was, and ever will be – thing. Won’t get sidetracked here, but God is a theme.]
As far as I can tell, it’s been a long time coming. I’ve always loved traveling, especially to off the beaten path type places. The summer my sister and I drove coast to coast was the closest I’ve ever come to doing something like that. And that was only a few weeks of road tripping but it included visiting old friends, camping in one of the arguably most amazing settings on earth, some athletic endeavors, plenty a local eatery (and watering hole), and generally great relationship building time. I have wanted to go back and spend more time in the Pacific NW ever since. So there’s the road trip aspect that appeals to me. All the places I have yet to see and experience right here in America. But I also want to spend enough time out west to know if I could really live there longer term (I’m already pretty sure the answer is yes but I’m willing to be surprised). If I’m going to quit my job and sell my house and find a new place to live/work/be then I should really seize the opportunity to run around and do a whole bunch of stuff before getting settled into making a new home for myself in city X.
So essentially my parents planned a family vacation for 2 weeks in April and when an opportunity presented itself to go to Germany with a friend to run a marathon right after, I figured I couldn’t exactly take a month off work and the obvious alternative was to just quit. Seems a bit drastic, sure, but what the hell? It’s not a secret that I’ve been looking for new jobs and haven’t had a ton of direction since the Bersin gig fell through back in September. My activities at work have been feeling kind of futile anyways. It just felt like I had to let go of what I had to free my hands to receive what comes next.
I would be lying if I said my mom’s cancer didn’t have any influence on this decision. The shocking news that came last April changed the landscape of our family dynamic forever. Praise the Lord that we all hold His promises as our firm foundation. I can’t imagine facing something as heinous as cancer without the hope, strength, and comfort found in Our Lord and Savior. But it does point out what is important in life, even if you hadn’t completely forgotten. Even if you already faced two foundation rocking events in the preceding 9 months. Constant refining. That is life. And truly I am expecting a lot of that on this trip. I want it. Intentional self-discovery, self-improvement, self-sacrifice. If my days were cut short, I’d want to leave having done more than I’ve done, seeing more than I’ve seen, giving more than I’ve given. So it’s time to stop playing it safe.
Yes it all sounds very self-indulgent. And I recognize that I am really fortunate to be in a position to do what I’m doing. But I’m putting this out there as a request for accountability – this is not a free-wheeling adventure ride. It’s an intentional process. At times intentionally free-wheeling, at times intentionally labor-intensive, at times intentionally relationship building. It all works together to get the imagination going, to learn as much as I can, and be open to meeting people and going where opportunities arise. So far no one I’ve shared my “plans” with has said it’s a terrible idea. Even my parents, who I was extremely nervous about telling, were surprisingly not freaked out. That was HUGE. Everyone who has done something similar says hands down, no regrets, the experience of a lifetime. Everyone who hasn’t done something similar wishes they had/could.
Basically if I’ve asked you to be a part of this in some way – as a stopover, as a roadie, as a training buddy, as a prayer partner, as a resource, as a reality check, as an introduction, as a storage facility, or in a role yet to be determined – it means you are important to me. Don’t worry, if I haven’t already asked, it doesn’t mean I won’t 🙂 If you’re feeling ambitious, ask the Lord how you might partner with me. What experience can we share? What wisdom can you impart? There’s a lot going on behind the scenes and I don’t have answers to a great many questions yet. Now is the time to dream and have faith that my steps are ordered.
Oh and speaking of… anyone want a well-maintained 3 bedroom townhouse in Cotswold? Step 3: Sell house [preferably to coincide with final paycheck].