Move and Move On

Ten years ago this week I was handed a layoff notice. It wasn’t a shock – reorganization had been discussed for months and the factory where I worked wasn’t going to have enough volume left to support all of its staff. But it was still frustrating – it was the third job that went away within a seven year period. The first two had required cross-country moves to find a new job and I knew there was a high probability this one would too.

And that bothered me. The first move was an adventure… an adventure that turned into a nightmare. The second move got me out of that nightmare. It also brought me to Atlanta. It was my first experience living in (or at least, in the suburbs of) a major city. It was close enough to my childhood home and family without being too close. Hills and trees were right outside my door and mountains were an hour away. I had a nice house. I had some good friends. I’m a builder at heart and I had finally started building the kind of life I had always wanted. I liked living in Atlanta and I did not want to leave it all behind.

Obviously I did leave. I moved in late 2001 and I’ve been in North Texas ever since. I miss the hills and trees and mountains and I wish I could get home a little more often, but other than that I’m happier here than I ever was there.

More importantly, this move opened up spiritual opportunities I never had in Atlanta. Would I have found a CUUPS group there? Would I have even gone looking for one? Would I have set aside my suburban pastimes to pick up OBOD studies? Would I have had the opportunity to serve and lead and speak in a UU church? Would I have started this blog? It’s impossible to say for sure where “the road not taken” would have ended up, but I think it’s highly unlikely I would have grown spiritually in Atlanta the way I have here.

I didn’t set out to do all this. I just set out to do what I had to do – to find another job at roughly the same level. In making the unpleasant but necessary decision to move and move on, I opened myself up to a life I couldn’t have imagined ten years ago.

That layoff notice was frustrating and painful, but it led to great things.

Where do you need to move and move on?

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About John Beckett

I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.


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