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?