I love the idea of absolute immersion which Tynan described
in his recent article, "Love Work."
I intend to apply similar techniques to the next big job, project or
passion that comes my way. But I am not
ready just yet. When the time comes to
make that leap, I'll be first over the edge, but for the moment I have found
something else. I've diverged from the
'normal' but have not found or created the next road. In terms of a lifetime I am standing
still. Taking a break. Stagnant.
But guess what? You don't have to
be running forward to smash complacency.
If you are tired of the status quo, but unprepared to leap into a new
life, this post is for you.
I'm a mechanical engineer, more or less. I love solving complex problems, but that
love does not extend to the issues that come with the bureaucratic
workplace. To that end, I'm done with
the corporations. There are too many
interesting problems in the world going unsolved to waste time and talent
generating minute changes in stock values.
That's all I really did at my last job.
There was no sense of ownership in one's work, which for me led directly
to having no sense of purpose. I need a
sense of purpose.
So last June I turned in my notice and looked at my
options. I had enough money to do
whatever I wanted for the first time in my life. (I'm 30) No ties to anything. Basic freedom. The open road. It was overwhelming.
I would roll through half a dozen ideas a day, thinking each
better than the first before coming back to zero. I have lived a pretty standard life; being
faced with unlimited options is a foreign concept. "What would you do if you could do
anything?" That's a powerful thing.
Generally a rather decisive person, I was stuck with a decision life had
not prepared me to answer. At least not
immediately. I needed a stop gap.
So I packed up the car, moved from Seattle back to Tennessee,
and started teaching. A one year
appointment at a state university, instructing sophomore level engineering
classes. You could call it a demotion of
sorts. You could call it a step
backwards, career wise. You could very accurately
call it a 6 figure pay cut. I call it
perfect, for three simple reasons: