Due West

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I was sitting on the front porch at my new place tonight, feeling slightly irritated because the sun was in my eyes. Around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, that big orange star drops low enough in the sky to slip below the old metal awning that keeps it out of my eyes earlier in the afternoon. It occurred to me in that moment that my new place faces directly to the west. I chuckled and shook my head at the thought.

I’ve moved around a lot over the last five years. Alabama has remained home through all the moves but I’ve managed to inhabit the cities of Anniston and Weaver in Calhoun County, Adamsville in Jefferson County and now Decatur in Morgan County. My paths, both personal and professional, are long and winding. I’m certain I’ve gone left a couple of times when I should have gone right and doubled-back at least once when I definitely should have kept pushing forward but despite all that, I kept moving and I believe there’s honor in that.

In 2013, I took a job I was certain I would hate. Jumping into the insurance business sounded like maybe the most boring career choice I could make. I went into it thinking it was time to give up on the idea of doing something I enjoyed — work is work, I thought. Take the job and you can exercise your right brain in your free time.

I was wrong on both counts. This job I thought I would hate turned out to fit me like a glove. I don’t love every minute of every day but I do love the work. It turns out that every other job (there’ve been lots) I’d ever had (a co-worker asked me recently if there was anything I haven’t done) prepared me for this one, and so did my college degree. As for my free time, I haven’t had much of that due to staffing issues but I see the light at the end of that tunnel and am hopeful I’ll get there before the light goes out.

I’ve spent the last five years adjusting and re-adjusting when life didn’t go as planned, trying desperately to figure out what I was meant to do with my life and trying to navigate my way back to Florence, Alabama. As I shielded my eyes from the sunset tonight, I laughed because I’ve spent so much time trying to get my bearings and there I sat, facing due west. And when I turned my head slightly to avoid looking directly into the sun, I’m certain I was staring a path straight to Florence, Alabama.

There will be other twists and turns in the road, but tonight, it feels good to know exactly where I am.

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