Every so often, for no real reason, I’ve gone back to Intermedia Communications’ web site to see if it’s been updated. It hasn’t been since 2002, not too long after the company was purchased by WorldCom. The last time I went to look, though, the site had finally been taken offline. (The name resolves, but there’s just a cryptic text placeholder there.)
There’s some peculiar personal circle being closed over the last few months, I think. I’m back in the networking field—not with a permanent position, granted, but a better contract than either of the other ones I’ve ended up with out here. And I’m back at a really large company. I’m not feeling particularly stable—and the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period is proving to be a very hectic one—but I’m feeling just a little more organized and a little more creative than I have in quite some time.
It’s a good feeling, but it’s a feeling that baffles me, too.
See, I had an image of where I’d be ten years after college, what I’d be doing, the whole lifestyle. I’d be a writer—not necessarily best-selling, but successful enough that I was making 100% of my money through writing—living on a secluded spot of land not too far from a quirky, civilized area. That area was, at various points, Key West, Taos, Tucson or Big Sur. And sometimes the career choice got varied a little. Maybe I could also do shareware. Or photography. Or run a bed and breakfast. Or run a coffee shop.
You’ll notice a common theme through all of those—independent, sole proprietor kinds of things. In all but the last two, fairly solitary, too.
None of them seems to have much in common with “work for large high-tech company,” does it? Yet, it’s objectively, undeniably true that my most comfortable periods since leaving college have been working for just such places.
I’ve had the somewhat flip thought before that my move to California has been a lot like going back in time a decade—back with housemates, back doing temporary jobs, back having long stretches of no income and worrying about whether I’m going to be able to pull together rent.
If this really is the case, I hope that the current contract ends up being like the temporary job that brought me to Intermedia nearly ten years ago.
And who knows. I’m only a few years out from the traditional age of the mid-life crisis, so the bed and breakfast in Taos may be a few years out.