1100 Days in Illinois

At first glance, a 30-year-old that is more comfortable behind a computer screen than at the beach, wouldn’t be described as adventurous.  A young person that praises the virtues of a steady job at a giant company doesn’t really fit with the current climate of the gig economy.  Even further proving the point, this person works in the insurance industry.  The boring job from every TV show you can remember.  However, I have seen amazing perception changes and have found it to be rewarding.  You cannot control which year you were born.  You can only observe what is happening around you.   

Since I started, a transformation within my company has been astonishing.   The rush to digital access has exploded in the past 5 years and even more so in the past 18 months.  If I was a little younger or started a little later, I might not appreciate the distance we have traveled in such a short time.  My working years have been a flow of constant learning as I moved from one role to another.  I knew all this evolution in the way we do business would affect our physical presence in certain areas.  People would have to relocate to a new city or find a new job.  I didn’t stick around to see the bitter end of the Jacksonville building.  I did feel the fear and hurt of my teammates when a hard decision was made.   

I try not to let that fear control me.  I still carry it with me as a reminder that my start was when someone gave me a chance.  My entire career has been a series of generous leaders who recognized my zeal to help people and to improve operations.  When I had the opportunity to move to the friendly Mid-West and try something new, I could hardly refuse.  I was ready for a new adventure.  The amount of courage it took for me to accept and handle the move surprised me.  I was truly worried I wasn’t up for the challenge.  My friends in Florida ask me if I would ever come back to Florida.  Trying to predict the future is not very productive, but I don’t see myself coming back to Florida any time soon.   

I want to explore my new home.  Being a couple hours from Chicago opens up my travel opportunities.  My previous posts on this site explain my adoration for the cornfields and the marvelous weather.  The land of basements and snowplows.  The land of windmills hiding inside gigantic farms.  Farms that feed the country.  More recently, we have become the land of all-electric trucks for the masses.   

For me personally, I have moved into a living space that gives me some breathing room.  A dedicated room for reading/writing is a bit of a luxury, but after 18 months of working from my living room, it’s what I needed to feel safe.  There is so much more to learn.  For almost half of my days here have been blocked by “the disease that must not be named”.  I used to joke that I could not plan more than six months into the future because my life would have changed so much.  This still seems to be true as I lived in Florida just a few years ago.  I also lived in a different town just four months ago.  At the same time, my second job role change since March 2020 has me busy helping the small businesses.  All over the country, employers are trying to bring in new employees.  I help maintain those extra benefits being offered.  What an honor to be helping so many people by completing my work.   

The one constant through all this has been the steady support of my coworkers and leaders at my workplace.  My family has also been very supportive.  Another holiday season is approaching, and I know that I won’t get to see them in-person until next year.  This part is hard, but they are just a quick flight away (or a really long drive).  And yet, when I listen to all my inspirational movie soundtracks, my decision to come here is validated.  Music about exploring, adventure, and following your inner voice with determination strengthens my resolve.  

Next month, I’ll review my goals for this year and see how well I did.  I will see how far I want to push myself in the new year.  Every time I doubt one of my decisions, I am proved wrong.  I guess someone is looking out for me after all. 😊 

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