In April of 2015, I called my boss to tell him that I was going to be leaving in two weeks. I was going to be leaving the job which had given me so much. I grew immensely during my tenure as a petroleum field engineer for FTS International and was compensated handsomely.
Yet still, I decided to leave knowing that it was not the path I wanted to continue down. When I said shook hands and said goodbye to maybe hundreds of people whom I had worked with in the field and the office, I realized that I was leaving the majority of the past 2 years of my life.
The decision to leave was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. Its not because I wasn’t sure it was the right decision, but because it was the boldest decision.
Why would I leave such a lucrative, promising career? Why would I leave my excellent managers, whom I had great respect for? Why would I leave a company where most of the people I worked with enjoyed working with me, and I with them?
I had thought about the choice to leave for maybe 6-8 months. I realized that I wanted to do something else. Nothing else mattered. I wanted to develop other skills, see and do other things, meet different kinds of people.
When the time came, and I called my boss with my heart beat racing, I finally said those words. He responded calmly, like he always did and said that he understood.
My manager and his manager (the man who hired me originally) were among the last ones I shook hands with before walking out the door.
The feeling was bittersweet. A mix of elation and excitement for the future, swirled with a fear of the unknown as I stepped out of the building and into the sunlight.
I knew that I had money saved up to help me through my transition into whatever it was I would decide to do.
I took a long vacation with my family to fish and swim at a beautiful Texas river.
I drove up to Michigan later that summer with a group of friends from another city to camp at a music festival. It was one of the most unique things Ive ever done and it was a blast.
I took a Solidworks class a few weeks later and developed my 3D CAD modeling skills and it was interesting. I began exercising more regularly and eating healthier, I needed to remedy some of the bad habits from my old job- eating poorly and not working out or playing outside enough in my leisure time.
It was at that time that I realized I wanted to move to the city I always wanted to live in- Austin. I still had enough money and I took yet another big leap, moving from Fort Worth to a city I’d never lived in.
In September, I completed the move. I met old friends and new friends and the fall was warm with seasonal parties and new experiences. I was exercising and eating healthier. I joined an AMSA soccer team and began training in soccer, a sport I never played even when I was young.
I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family, a luxury I didn’t always possess with my old employment. The oil field almost never stops and someone has to be out there, even on holidays.
I have appreciated all of my free time since leaving, always soaking in just how rare a chance it is for anyone to simply not need to work, especially at my age. The fall was when it sunk in that Im very fortunate to be where I am.
In winter and spring, I traveled more. I went on vacations in Houston and central Texas. I went to Puerto Rico with a group of friends. I’ve gone to many fun events and sites and experienced Austin. I’ve visited family.
Over my whole life, Ive done and seen so many weird and exciting and fun things. I’ve been to Spain and France and Monaco and Italy. I’ve seen Niagara Falls in Canada. Ive seen Mexico across the border. I’ve seen beaches and old streets in Puerto Rico. Ive seen the Pacific Ocean in California and rivers in Florida.
All told, Ive been in 6 different nations and 13 US states. Its been fun to say the least.
Its great to see and do things that are exotic and foreign… and while all of those things do give perspective and contrast, Ive learned that they don’t really matter as much as having people in your life that you can rely on like friends and family.
Life’s much more about building relationships with people and perhaps most importantly- constantly improving yourself and challenging yourself.
Now, I just want to achieve new things.