Making Changes

Yesterday I finally said enough was enough and gave my notice at my day job. It isn’t some “two-weeks-and-I’m-outta-there” thing, I just told them that I wanted to leave and that they had as long as they need to replace me. Could be six months, a year, maybe even shorter than that (which is what I’m hoping for, now that it’s on the table). I figured it was the fair thing to do, given that they’ve always been fair to me.

I had planned to wait until 2017. We even have a whiteboard up on the wall called “Freedom 17” that has all the things we want squared away by then. I turn 48 tomorrow, and my goal was to give notice on my 50th, with a plan to be gone by June. Late last year, early this, though, it became more and more apparent that I would be hard-pressed to make it that far. Little problems that used to roll off my shoulders with a shrug were becoming borderline meltdowns, which isn’t like me at all. Julia even had what she called an intervention to get me to consider that maybe I should try and bail sooner. Once I decided I would do that, the last couple weeks have been better, knowing that I’d retreat if necessary. Then a couple mild dust-ups that left me quivering with rage made me realize it was all getting to me more than it should, so I made the decision.

It is still stressful, but I also expect the steady paycheck has become a crutch that has allowed me to be less than gonzo in pursuit of doing other things. It’s something like put up or shut up time when it comes to increasing the freelance writing and photography stuff I’ve been doing, and I welcome the challenge. It will be interesting to see how things play out.


Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

26 thoughts on “Making Changes”

  1. Damn, goodonya! I’ll miss your missives from the road (when they eventually cease), but am so happy you’ll be doing more things that put wind in your sails.

  2. Thanks so much, everyone. Like I said on Facebook (literally, since I copied from there and am now pasting here), this seemed like one of those throwaway personal posts that no one cares about, and it’s almost overwhelming. Makes me feel better for sure. I expect to be working at least part time somewhere; I kind of want to, because one thing about the last 13 years, 10 from home, is I’ve lost touch with what it means to be around people very much, and I think my social skills and innate misanthropy have suffered for it. But we’ll see how it goes. Thanks again.

    1. Interesting thought and perspective on your social skills. Of course I don’t see you on the road or at home, but I have a feeling we all (or is it just you and me?) just become more particular about who we expend that energy on. I still love and enjoy communing with those I know I’ve made a connection with and invested in (and hopefully vice versa), but my reaching out into the void to others has been stunted a bit. Not to say I’m not likely to chat with complete strangers (yeah, I’m one of those sometimes, come by it honestly via my paternal gene pool), but my “skillz” in that area have certainly been more discretely aimed. If that makes sense. I guess what I’m trying to say in 8,000 words when less than twenty would do, I think you have pretty good skills in that area when it means something to you.

  3. Best of luck to you! I was the same in the two years leading up to leaving the day job: Impatient with fools (particularly so when they were above me in the chain of command); near meltdowns, dread of arriving at the job. I miss the paycheck & bennies so much but nothing else. Nope, nothing.

    1. What’s interesting is that after 13 years, even if it’s 14 by the time I’m out of there, I suspect I will neither see nor hear from any of the people I worked with again. Which seems strange given how much interaction one has with a group of people for so long, you know? If that isn’t the sign of an ailing culture, I don’t know what is.

      1. I am here to prove you wrong Mr. La Tray. Although we only met in person once, I remember you well and was wondering if you were still working in the industry. How absolutely bizarre that I decided to stalk you today which resulted in me finding this post. Not sure if you are still working under someone else’s terms or your own, but would love it if you could make one of your destinations Indianapolis. Would love to hear from you.

  4. There will be challenges going out on your own, but at least they will be your own challenges and you have the skills, talent, and connections to make this work for you! So exciting!! Best of luck on all fronts.

  5. I’m hopping late, as usual, but that just means I’m closer to knowing what’s going on since. Yep, big decision. Huge. I’d bet you won’t regret it at all. Just try one thing: cast off worry. Move forward, get organized, work your way into the accomplishments you seek. Best to you, man, very best indeed.

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