On the First Day of the Reverse Commute…..

day 1 photo

On the First Day of The Reverse Commute: I Left My Job in a Cubicle

I drove the forty-five minute commute to my cubicle for the last time on Friday. Hyper aware of my surroundings, the familiar sights I had zipped by every day for the past four years suddenly stood out. The fog on the Merrimack River as I crossed the Amesbury bridge. The stand of birch trees that are only visible in winter after all the other trees lose their leaves. The farm on the hill, the country store with the sign last stop before the highway, and the old fashioned silver diner that is always filled with people who somehow have time for a leisurely breakfast on a work day.

I recognized a few of my fellow commuters. The Christian fisherman in the Ford 150 with the colorful fish bumper stickers – a large mouth bass, a rainbow trout, and the silver Jesus fish along with an oval shaped sticker with three crosses on the hill at Calvary. A woman in her early fifties in a small Honda sporting numerous bumper stickers plastered all over the back of her car. As I zip along doing eighty in the far left lane, I never have the chance to read them all but I always recognize her large yellow peace sign and this morning I read the following: Mistakes have been made Others will be blamed and Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat. 

I think of the familiar license plates I’ve seen over the past four years. I read somewhere New Hampshire issues the largest number of vanity plates in the country and based on my experience driving the daily commute, that is probably true. There is “Ziti Boy”. I can’t figure out who would call themselves that. Maybe he is a chef at an Italian restaurant? But why would he be on the road every morning at seven? There is also the very confident “Super Mom”. In addition to her vanity plate she has bumper stickers. My child is an honor student and those annoying little cartoon figures of a family lined up along her back window-Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter, a dog and two cats. I wonder if most mothers are like her, confident in their maternal abilities. Or is it more common to be like me and my friends, always wondering if you’re doing anything right?

As usual, this morning I was cranking the tunes loudly, singing along to Jason Mraz. I had the pleasure of meeting Jason in October. I caught his show at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas. It was an amazing three hours of horns, percussion, fiddles, and great vocals. A top five show for me and I’ve seen a lot of music over the years.

The following day the guys went golfing and my friend Susan and I hung by the pool when who comes strolling along but Jason Mraz! I was editing the final draft of The Reverse Commute by the pool. (Gosh am I going to love my new job!) Acting like sixteen year old groupies, we went over and asked him if we could take a photo. We got not one but three photos with him and he signed the cover page of my rough draft, wishing me much luck and success. A truly amazing, authentic, really cool guy and I am hoping some of his good karma rubs off on me in my new adventures.

As I pulled into the parking lot for the last time, I was singing along to Jason’s song I’m Yours and the words were a good omen.

“Well open up your mind and see like me/Open up your plans and damn you’re free.” I lifted my arms up and really belted out those last three words.

“Look into your heart and you’ll find the sky is yours/So please don’t, please don’t hesitate/There’s no need to complicate/Cause our time is short/ This is, this is, oh this is our fate…”.

I have now left a job with a steady paycheck and health insurance, although I still struggled to pay the bills and never saved any money. I am chasing a dream, trying to find happiness and personal fulfillment. Some think I’m crazy. Others are envious and wish they had the courage or were foolhardy enough to do the same thing. One thing I know for certain, our time is short and we need to live life to the fullest. To paraphrase Voltaire, I may not know where I’m going, but I am on my way.

Wish me luck.

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