I know it’s a cliche but….

16 02 2009

So I got to go to see the start of the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California yesterday while visiting family here in Davis. I am not going to rehash all the stories, but it marks the return of Lance Armstrong to his racing career among other things. And while I was sitting on the patio at Steve’s Place (anyone from Davis will know what I am talking about) watching the peloton zip by a couple of times, I realized a couple of important things.

First, my personal challenges are pretty minor comparatively speaking. While I need a new job, that just makes me pretty ordinary, if all the recent (bad) news stories are to be believed. I am one of thousands (millions?) who is affected by the economy or lack there of, and needs to figure out what to do next. People with stories like Lance Armstrong are extraordinary. Someone who comes back from cancer and wins the Tour de France 7 times, or even the ordinary rider who just ekes his way onto the team for the opportunity to ride for little or no pay because he loves what he does. These are great examples of how to live life.

My day was extraordinary because I got to spend it with my family, and they are supportive of me no matter what I do. In fact, my brother got me very excited by agreeing with me that going back to school full time for the next couple of years might be the best option for me. But I am truly starting to realize that I was too caught up in my work and letting my employer define who I was, and not what I could do. I want to be a great family member first, and just have a job that allows me the freedom to do just that.

I was caught up in the myth that my employer’s so called social responsibility made me a better person just because I worked there. Instead, I found out that they were no different than anyone else, and in the end I lost my job because they needed to maximize their profits. So I am no longer looking for any potential employer to provide me with anything other than a paycheck. As an employee, I will represent them honorably on the clock, but am no longer concerned with anything else they do once they satisfy their obligations to me.

I spent over twelve years at Starbucks, and all I got was a lousy grinder. While it may make me jaded, there is no way I am going to invest that much of myself into another company again. The world is a changing, and I need to be okay with that, and just get through to survive to fight another day.

But with the support of family, I am starting to realize that there is something bigger out there for me, I just need to work hard and find out what it is. But whatever ‘it’ is, might not be apparent for a while. That’s okay, I’m patient, they say it’s a virtue.

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