I guess that’s it then. I’m done. As I write this, I am sitting in my “office” on a H&P drilling rig, finishing up the last few days of my short career in the oilfield. About a month ago, I completely burned out, and turned in my resignation.
I’ve never quit a job before without having another to take its place. Since I was 14 years old, for the most part, I’ve been employed in some way or another. I’ve run truck and loader, mowed lawns, plowed snow, built stone walls and patios, finished wind turbine blades, shot sports photos, and delivered pizzas to earn a buck. I can remember a lot of wondering how I’d get by from paycheck to paycheck, but I’ve never been unsure of exactly when the checks were coming. Given my terrible luck with finding a new job during the last year or so, from countless applications and resumes submitted all over the country without a positive response, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit worried.
But, from where I sit, I don’t have much of a choice. I can’t go home, and I can’t stay here. Fortunately, the oil boom has put a little extra money in my pocket, that can last a year or more if I’m careful. So… screw it, I guess. I’m going riding.
There are two goals for this journey. The first is to find a place that feels like home, and to replace the dreams that have been squashed, interrupted, or otherwise lost during the last twelve years or so. The second is to reconnect with all of the people that I have unintentionally pushed out of my life by being gone all the time. I have missed a lot of holidays, birthdays, weddings, reunions, and other special events while out chasing the money that I once thought was of the utmost importance.
The people I miss, and the places I spent missing them:
In the words of Chris Knight:
“I walk through this world of loneliness and greed
I’ll never make enough money to get me what I need
If it can’t buy love and can’t buy peace of mind
Then I guess a million bucks ain’t worth a poor man’s dime”