Friday, February 08, 2013

My trains sure run on time

Looking back on my life so far, I'm surprised how neatly it divides into different eras. Even more striking is how virtually all of it is in two- and four-year chunks:

I certainly didn't it plan it this way, nor does it feel as static — sometimes four years flies by; other times, two years feels like an eternity. (And it should go without saying that some overlap exists, most notably with freelance jobs and the seven years I worked with the UL track team.)

The common thread in all of these chapters is that they each had a natural end point. Obviously, this is true of school, but it's also unfortunately been the case with my post-college, full-time jobs. To paraphrase Doc Brown, four years could very well be the temporal junction point for the entire space-time continuum! Or, it could just be an amazing coincidence. 

Growing up, I never imagined I'd spend every two or four years bouncing around. Of course, I never really thought that far ahead. When I thought of adulthood, the job part was just sort of a given. Even after I learned what layoffs and cutbacks were, I never imagined they'd ever be a threat to me. And even when I graduated high school and was certain I wanted to get into journalism, I joked that no one ever cuts back the newsroom. In 1998, they didn't. No one ever talked about that then. Or that gaps in professional employment would become the new normal, a term which itself had yet to become a thing.

So I was wrong. But as far as being wrong goes, I'm not too upset that I didn't buy a house a month after graduation and stayed there. Seems I was more cut out for the schedule too many years of schooling burns into you. Never stop learning, kids!

Nevertheless, while I'm not someone to settle down for 50 years like my grandparents, or spend 40 years climbing the ladder like my mom (can anyone do either anymore?), I would like to break this overly predictable 4-2 trend with something really special.

Starting with the next, unwritten chapter, of course.

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