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Go West Young Man!

Eleven months ago I lost my job.  Like many people over the past handful of years I was consolidated.  I saw it happen to many people I know but that day it was my turn.  In that moment I was initially surprised and hurt.  Oh my god!  This is it.  It’s really happening to me.  For a few seconds I was numb while my boss’s words hung there and then sped past me in a blur as I quickly flashed on that journey I had started 16  years earlier and was now coming to an end in less than a minute.  After the initial shock I quickly found myself feeling strangely at ease.  I realized I was no longer responsible for the long list of things I had been working on and it felt as if a huge weight was literally lifted off of my shoulders.  It also started to occur to me that since I was a manager who had been with them for 16 years the HR Director was hopefully going to be giving me details on a nice exit package and that indeed was the case.  I loved my job and didn’t want to leave the company but I was ready to take my career in another direction and now that opportunity was handed to me.  I never want to have that experience again and it stung but I can honestly say they did it as respectfully as possible.  I was allowed to say some goodbyes through the building at my own pace without an escort which meant a lot and they enabled me to take plenty of time to figure out my next move.  So there I was going on 40 and unemployed in a terrible economy without a solid idea of what I was going to do.  I knew that I wanted to take some time to figure out ways to take life after 40, “The Second Half” as I’ve been calling it, in a different direction…with more direction.  Learn new things.  Have more experiences.  Go places I’ve never been.  See what I’ve always wanted to see.  Make more plans.  Take more chances.  Reach for my dreams.  It was time to go west!   Read more »