This past week I’ve had the rare opportunity to travel back to each of the towns that has meant something special to me. I’m on a book tour with my dog and we cleverly chose places that we previously lived in to launch the book. Pulling into each town is always exciting. You get to see what’s changed and what stayed the same. What highways and tollways have been incorporated to sustain the growth. What happened to your old neighborhood. It’s always “iffy” returning to the past because things are never the same. Past flames never feel the same, some of the neighbors are gone, and your house may be painted a different color or torn down altogether.
The other thing you get to see is your true friends. These are the ones who would drive clear across town in rush hour traffic to help you celebrate your first book release. Absent are the ones who feigned concern when you were the boss, or could only relate to you when you were a member of the work pack. Things do change, but true friends don’t. It’s always good to separate the wheat from the chaff repeatedly in your life so you know whom to focus your attention, time and prayers on.
I am not running the largest organization I ever have at this time in my career. It’s a small independent publishing company. It’s a lean, tight workforce. Gone are the parking spaces, trips to corporate and sexy job titles. But that’s okay. Sometimes when we make changes we tend to evaluate them based on the very superficial things such as personnel supervised, revenue, title, and perks.
As I reconnect with friends who had known me from my previous “very important jobs” I wondered what they thought about my new leg on the road of life. It was immediately obvious. They couldn’t have been happier. We were all once awash in the sea of corporate bureaucracy, but now they see that I am on solid footing. I get to make my own decisions, donate money to worthy causes, and speak out without fear of reprisal. In short, they say, I’ve finally found exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. They told me they can see it in me. And that has been the most astonishingly tremendous aspect of coming home.