Day Zero, September 12, Mileage 0.
I’m trying something new this week. I am breaking out of a terrible rut by hitting the road. I’m not sure where I’m going to be tonight, but eventually I will end up Southern California where I will spend a week networking in Orange County.
Like trips in my single days I’m going to try to blog every day on this trip. The other new thing I’m trying is technology, something to balance my two opposing goals I have in my life and on this trip. I am going to be composing all of these posts, hopefully, with voice dictation. It is a technology that has grown by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years but few people, including myself, are using it.
My two opposing goals in my life or, maybe I should say, in the next two weeks, are:
- Gaining employment or another client for my consulting business
- Getting out of a very deep rut I have put myself in emotionally and spiritually.
The first requires connection to the internet, discipline, dedicated time, a proper desk, and many phone calls and emails to other people. The second goal requires disconnection, reflection, no schedule, no destination, and a clear view of a limitless horizon.
So voice dictation is my effort at making my time in the driver’s seat productive. So often I have thoughts when I’m driving and I strive to remember them until I stop and have time to write it down. But with voice dictation, my hope is that I can speak what is on my mind at any point in my trip. I may have to do some editing, but the important thing is that I get my thoughts down without relying on my own memory. So you, my blog followers, my Facebook friends, and whoever else shows up and reads this are, unfortunately, my guinea pigs. I will try to maintain some sense of professionalism, and good writing. But I can make no promises.
So why am I going on this two weeks or longer trip? Well, I know I need to spend time in Southern California to network and look for opportunities there. Unfortunately, my career does not provide a very easy entry point to most companies. My talents are broad and my industry experience is diverse, making it hard to fit into most published job positions. This means, much like my time in Silicon Valley, that my jobs will come from connections and people that know me. So instead of scheduling phone calls and making vain attempts at applying online to various jobs in Orange County, I’m going out to spend at least five working days in Orange County to be able to meet people in person for coffee or lunch or drinks after work.
The other part of this trip is Adventure. I need to be on the open road and I need to be going someplace other than Middle Tennessee or Northern Alabama. My soul longs to be back out west where I can look for hundreds of miles and not see any sign of human civilization. I also long the places where the nights are crisp, the days are sunny, and the humidity is low. I miss the ability to go on long hikes and not sweat or worry about mosquitoes and bugs. So the first leg of my trip is to get out of the East as fast as possible. So my intermediate goal or, let’s put it, my goal for today, is to be as far west as possible at the end of the day. Most likely, that will put me in Kansas.
In many ways I am recreating a trip from my past. Many many years ago I took a trip from Huntsville, Alabama to Denver, Colorado. This was during my college years to try skiing in the west. For the most part, I will be traveling the same roads. Going through the same big cities. And, if everything works out, stopping at the same exit in Hays Kansas, and throwing a frisbee through the arches of the McDonald’s sign. Call it a crazy memory, call it a strange practice, but I have already done that twice in my life and for some strange reason feel compelled to do it again.