Cast Away

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Quite a few years back when I was working at Crowe & Dunlevy in OKC, I discovered a sweet place where I could rest. It was down in the parking garage. I noticed it when I was getting into my car late one night after a long day. Most of the other cars were gone. I got behind the steering wheel and closed my door, letting out a heavy sigh of exhaustion. I closed my eyes, thinking of all the chaos, the stress and frustration that surrounded me. Then I noticed something strange. Silence. It was completely silent in that moment as if I were in a sound proof bubble. I remember the feeling of surprise and then curiosity. I never  realized how much I needed that silence. I sat there for probably ten minutes, soaking up that precious aloneness before I reluctantly started my car and drove home. It became a habit after that. I looked forward to getting to my car in the garage and closing out the rest of the world. Once, I even ate lunch there, watching people come and go, sunk down in my seat, feeling like every bite I took of my apple was SO LOUD.

I never missed that job after I left but I think about the parking garage often, especially these days when peace and true silence are nowhere to be found. Even today when we are said to be "snowed in" outside my window is the constant scream of snowblowers and revving cars.

Because, well, it's that time of year again. It's that time when all the things I don't like about NJ come together to form days that seem longer and harder for me to complete. It's time for me to daydream about warmer climate, cheaper groceries and a lower mortgage. It's time for missing family and friends, familiarity and ease. It's time for NJ people to be personally insulted for my wishing for something else. Time for religious friends to say they will pray for me and that God will not give me more than I can handle. Time for suggestions of a vacation which I cannot afford or a good book which I do not have time to read. It's tradition, or habit, I'm not sure. But I do know it will pass, at least in intensity, by May.

Until then I want to take this opportunity to say that
1. Moving to NJ was the worst financial decision I have ever made.
2. Just because I am not content in my present situation doesn't mean I'm an ungrateful chump.
3. To my old boss who said I could totally be like Tom Hanks character in Castaway - You were right. But apparently I can't last as long as he did.

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