Where to next?

This is my first ever blog post. Woop! Since it is the first one I’d like to make it as current as possible. I want to write about what is happening now. However, before writing about now, to provide context I’ll briefly rehash the last six months… In a nutshell:

  • After working for four and a half years in offices (three and a half of these at accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers), I decided it wasn’t working for me and quit.
  • A very serious relationship ended literally at the same time as my employment. We had been together for five years, were living together and had talked about marriage.
  • With drastic change on the mind and the luxury (thanks Mum and Dad) of dual US/NZ citizenship, I purchased a one-way plane ticket to the USA.
  • The plan was to buy a car and drive around the West coast for a month before making my way to Las Vegas in June to play poker tournaments at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) for a month. This two-month journey was the extent of my plan. After finishing playing the poker tournaments the plan was to be a million dollars richer, obviously.
  • However, realistically speaking, the plan was that there was no plan after the WSOP.
  • It’s now July. I have done the above. I am not a million dollars richer, obviously. However, I do own a 1999 Toyota Corolla named Cassi. We are in love. I am more emotionally loaded than Donald Trump is orange and racist.

So, the WSOP is now behind me. Unfortunately, I didn’t win a million dollars. Fuck’s sake. The dream that I had when I was a kid of becoming a millionaire bum remains unfulfilled (for now).

When I began this journey the WSOP was in front of me… Now, sitting in a hostel bunk bed in downtown San Diego, laptop on lap, writing into a word document, I find myself asking this question – what is in front?

If I am honest with myself, the answer is not much…

Let’s take a step back for a moment. About a week or so ago I was feeling low. It was difficult to pin point why, though I think it was something to do with my journey with Cassi coming to an end. It sounds pretty stupid now with the clarity of hindsight, but I thought at some point over the course of my road trip I’d stumble upon divine intervention. I thought this divine intervention would be so strong it would illuminate the path I was meant to travel down next – in my head I felt it would be a kind of lightbulb moment “duh, of course that is what you are meant to do you muppet!”. Thinking about it now, perhaps the word ‘hoped’ is a better fit than ‘thought’.

A week ago, while feeling low sitting outside at a Panera bread shop in Denver I wrote the below passage. I think it sums up how I was feeling quite nicely:

All I see in front of me is an overcast sky, an empty peach and blueberry smoothie cup, a scrunched up paper bag and a staggered stream of different looking people walking past me. Where is the divine intervention? Where is the blindingly bright light illuminating the path ahead of me? Perhaps the empty smoothie cup is a sign that I am meant to start a business making delicious and nutritious smoothies? Or perhaps the overcast sky is a sign that I am meant to become a weather man? Or perhaps the scrunched up paper bag is a sign I am meant to work in hospitality? Or perhaps the people walking past are a sign that I am meant to be a bum living on the side of the street watching people walk past me day after day? Or perhaps I am meant to live on the streets in a smoothie making food cart, selling smoothies by day to the people that walk past, making small-talk with them about the weather. Or… Perhaps not… Obviously none of these things even remotely resemble an illuminated path. Nearing the end of my journey I find myself feeling almost as lost as I felt when Cassi and I first met (i.e. when I began my road trip). The fuck!? That’s not what was meant to happen. 

Panera

The realisation that yet again I find myself in the situation, or mind-state, of being lost is a difficult pill to swallow. Where is Mary Poppins to help the medicine go down when you need her?

Interestingly, since writing the passage above things have naturally begun to take shape and I don’t find myself feeling so low anymore. The (very) loose plan I have is to travel to Portland and set up base there – get a place to live (though I don’t know where), get a job (though I don’t know what), join a gym (though I don’t know whether I’ll actually do this) etc… And, perhaps most importantly I’d like to continue playing cards (poker). The WSOP was such an amazing experience that I think I’d be stupid not to strive to do it again. I’ll dig into my thoughts on how I would like to approach playing cards in another blog post, which includes a funny story involving a whale, a drunk middle aged man and catching an uber back to my hotel room at 7:30am in the morning.

Anyway, whatever happens in Portland from a job perspective, I think at this stage that I might prefer to achieve wide as opposed to achieve high. This, in a nutshell, means I’d prefer to learn a little about a lot (and get good at a lot of different things), rather than to learn a lot about a little (and be great at only one thing). This may not translate very well into dollars and cents (the world values those who know a little about a lot), but it’s my guess it will translate very well into stories and sense.

So… I guess you could say travelling to Portland is what was ‘meant’ to happen!

One thought on “Where to next?”

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