There is something almost hypnotic about watching a storm roll through Florida.
It starts with the big, ominous clouds that take over the skyline. Then there is the swishing sound of the wind as hits the palms and, in my backyard, the drops of rain that dance across the surface of the pool.
In this setting, with the windows open to experience the full feeling of the afternoon storm and a cup of coffee, I started to think about the future.
What comes next?
Uncertainty can be daunting. It is an uneasy feeling when the next paycheck isn’t scheduled for the 15th or 30th, when you don’t quite know how long it will take to find a new job or another client.
About three weeks ago, I walked away from a certainty that comes with a salaried position at the University of Washington. My wife and I sold our house – and most of our belongings – and drove across the country, moving from Seattle to Florida. We took eight days, venturing through Moab, down to Route 66 before zipping down to I-10 to finish the journey.
We made sure to stop and experience a wide swatch of Americana. We treated it as a vacation, so I pushed aside work and the future. Then we spent a week visiting family and another week getting settled in our new home.
And so, as it rained, worry started to creep in. Instead of going to the DMV, another tedious chore that comes with moving, I started to look toward the future.
I’m honestly not sure.
Freelance writing projects? Maybe.
New photography clients? That would be nice.
Driving for a ride-sharing service like Lyft? It’s a nice way to maintain flexibility while looking for other gigs.
But the more I thought about what I wanted to do, the more exciting the possibilities became. There is no fear of leaving a job, because I don’t have one. There are no obstacles preventing me from moving forward.
I’m not sure what’s next, but that’s OK. Maybe I find another job in sports. Maybe I don’t. Maybe this move pushes me down a new path toward a career I’ve yet to consider. It is a unique feeling to be forced to figure things out. There is no safety net now. I’ve got a few more weeks to line up something new before money becomes an issue, but I don’t feel pressure.
I’ll find work. I’m excited to take the next step, to embrace a new challenge.
But right now, for at least a little while longer, I think I’ll just sit here and enjoy the rain while I finish this coffee.