Almost Over

June 13, 2004

One way or another I am nearing the end of my period of unemployment. The next few days will see me commit to either a full-time job in Kansas City or accept an as-yet-to-be-made offer to work 4 days a week from home on a java development project. The former starts in just two weeks on June 28th, the latter in eight days on June 21st.

Friday, Michele and I traveled the 350 miles to Overland Park, a southern suburb of Kansas City, were we expect to reside should I follow through on that job offer. Overland Park is new and spacious, filled with shopping and restaurant offerings. There are also a couple of upscale apartment complexes that offer attached garages. After visiting them and spending an afternoon in the area we both have a good feeling about living there.

It would be a significant change from our home here, but the bitterness at leaving behind our pool, and the acre of ground, the birds and all the greenness will be offset by having a new city to learn and explore. We would also have the excitement of searching for and selecting a new home.

Staying here would also have some bitterness, we'd miss out on having a large metropolitan area at our disposal, but we'd be able to keep our (relatively) quiet corner of the world for a while longer. And we could continue to expand our growing circle of like-minded travelers through life.

We met with the president of my future company, and the man who initially recruited me at the end of our afternoon there. Both were pleasant and agreeable men; we had a nice visit that added to our comfort level. The ride home late that afternoon and into the night was long, tiring, and ultimately satisfying, as we knew we had laid to rest the last of the fears about Kansas City. The two options we have are very different on the surface. Thanks to our willingness to go and fully explore Overland Park we were able to get past the surface tension of moving to a new city. In the day or so that has followed we've been able to compare our choices on an emotional level. And we've come to realize that going or staying doesn't impact who we are as individuals, or as a couple.

In his book "Illusions", Richard Bach says, "There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts." Abruptly losing my contract and needing to find a new job was certainly a worthy problem. Now I can start to see the gift I was really seeking. My faith in myself is growing again, and my trust in the relationship bonds I have with Michele is deeper than ever. The past three months have brought us closer together, and renewed our already abiding love for each other.

I have reaffirmed who I am as a man once again, and I am now ready to reenter the world at large so that the friction of daily life can continue to spur my growth.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.