As I was putting in my next visit, I noticed that today was my work anniversary. I've been working for the same company, more or less for 9 years. In the IT world, that's almost a career. I think the average job tenure is 3 or 4 years?? So nine years is pretty good and not a surprise. This position and my company has enough going on it to challenge me until we all go home. Interestingly, the company has changed hand and names several times in my time here. Four to be exact. I think it's four. Who knows? With direct deposit, it's not like I know who signs the checks. As a side note, I really miss getting actual checks. Yes, direct deposit is more convenient. It also means I never see my money before people start taking it, if at all. There's something tangible about cashing a check.
But I digress.. nine years with this company and ten years on this job! A year into this gig, the company I was with lost the contract and everyone flocked like rats off a sinking ship to another company that was picking up the contract. In hindsight, it all seems kind of senseless in a way. The only real change was who was pocketing the money I was making for them and who was signing my check. I guess it wasn't senseless to the people I was now making money for. But my point is that I've been in this job for 10 years!
That made another connection for me. I've been in South Carolina (this time) for 10 years. It's also my 10 year anniversary of being here. I must be having fun because the time has flown so fast. 10 years! You know, you only get so many of those and this last one passed so quickly. And 10 years later, I still catch myself in awe that I'm here.
Anyone who knows me knows that I was eager to leave New England. Even if you leave the motorcycle out of the equation, every winter seemed life threatening. What if some major thing happened because of the snow and/or cold that we could cover financially? What if a trip to the store turned into a fatal accident on the icy roads? What if..? Winter meant a host of hurtles that most New Englanders never thought twice about. For me, the onset of Winter was taking a deep breath and holding it until the snow was gone. Sure, it may be irrational. And if that was my only irrational thing, I'd be doing really well.
In reality, New Hampshire was very good to me. I have 18 years of pretty wonderful memories with family and dear friends that I'm distant from now. The last time I went back a few years ago, I was a little homesick. My heart has grown fonder for it now that I'm not there. For me, New England is a beautiful place to visit. Now that I'm in South Carolina and have a sense of what it feels like to be "home", I can look back and surmise that that's what was missing for me. And it left me restless.
Eventually, my wife pronounced that I had "done my time". I have to be careful when I tell people that I had "done my time" in New England. Anyone who doesn't know me and doesn't realize it's a metaphor may get the wrong impression. When I started looking for jobs, I was focusing in Arizona, Nevada,.. that area.. and the southeast. Although I spent some years here as an early teen, It was by no design of mine that I ended up back in the Summerville, SC area. A job opened up in the area and I talked to a guy on the phone who sounded eager to have me start immediately. I just needed an offer in hand before I'd quit my job, sell the house and move my family. Maybe I had some bias in the areas I was job hunting. But I wasn't aware of it. That offer never came. But within a few days, another one came up in Charleston and this one stuck. And they'd pay for relocating.
That was 10 years ago!
I read somewhere that time seems to go faster as you get older because all your memorable stuff.. all the adventure, love, lust, dreams, risks and everything else of note.. happens when you're younger. The theory is that, as we get older, we settle into a routine and there's noting that really stands out as time flies by.. making it seem like it goes by in a blur. Perhaps. Perhaps not .
If everything goes as planned, this will be my last 10 year anniversary in this position. I suppose, if everything goes down the toilet, the same is true. But I'm hoping to at least semi-retire in 9 years. I don't suspect that I'll ever be able to fully retire. We'll see where the photography and writing goes. Actually, in another 9 years, I can celebrate that 10 year anniversary. I hope you'll join me. We can have cake.
And that's my two cents.
Be safe out there!