An empty spot in my pocket
Although it was small it weighed heavy on me for nearly 15 years. It was a huge responsibility in a small package, representative of something much bigger than myself, something necessary for an orderly society. It paid my bills, fed my family and so much more. Now it is no more. My badge, my shield is gone. I have turned it in and there is now an empty spot in my back pocket that has not been empty for years. For years I was used to feeling it on me, knowing it was there, knowing that at any day at any time I may have to use it in an emergency, the weight of it a conscious part of my daily awareness. Part of the burden of this job is that you are never ever off duty, even when you are off duty. You must always be prepared to act. Now that burden, that weight is no longer mine. Sure that attitude will likely remain for a spell, but the obligation is no longer there. Friday was my last day going to work as an Alaska Wildlife Trooper. Friday was likely my last day of “going” to work as anything, and the whole week was surreal. It was a very emotional week. My heart pitter- pattered all week like a nervous school child preparing for his first speech. I just kept waiting for some big outburst, some bolt of lightning, something to symbolize the end of my career. Instead it ended like they all do, food, plaques, gifts and stories. Dont’ get me wrong, it is exactly how I wanted it, a small gathering of some great friends and a chance to say goodbye, with all our emotions kept in check. What I didn’t expect was the flood of emails from friends throughout the state, those hit me kind of hard. Some of them were extremely heartfelt and very personal. They made me feel fantastic, appreciated and sad, and increased the anxiety of leaving the brotherhood I have known for so long.
Quitting a job is a big decision. Quitting a job that you have held for over 15 years is an ever bigger decision, and quitting a job that guarantees to pay you for the rest of your life if you only work it for 20 years is down right crazy. Well call me crazy I guess. I won’t kid you, it was not an easy decision. It was one made over years of prayer and toil. Beat down over and over,back and forth, pros and cons, impossibilities and possibilities. In the end it is all about doing what we think we are supposed to do, and taking action on that. Not just thinking about it, not just talking about it, but doing it. That is what we are going to do. No matter how absolutely nuts it sounds, we are going forward in faith.
So now what? Well now we move on to the next phase of our journey. Arguably, the most adventurous, exciting, and unknown phase. Now it is time for use to put our money where our mouth is and make it happen. With God on our side, we plan to do just that. Although the picture is not crystal clear as to what our life will look like a year from now, it is pretty clear that I will not be employed, and almost assuredly not be employed by the government. From this day forward we are going to change a lot of things, and we pray they are for the better and they are in God’s will. I will continue to blog about our adventures, our problems, triumphs sorrows and joys, but I will be doing it from a little farther south, and I hope you come along for the journey. I have a feeling that I will never lack for topics.