Thirds

The third job of my professional career provided more than enough mental stimulus and access to cool, new equipment and software. The only downside was that my workspace was in the basement. No windows. But getting to use non-PC hardware and software for a change made it worth the lack of sunshine during working hours. And a lot of time my working hours stretched far into the night, sometimes even on into the next day.

I had rented a mobile home in a rural location a few miles away so the daily commute was not an issue. But then I made a bad mistake. I started dating my boss and not long after that we married. Professionally, everything continued going well but personally I was living in hell. We lived together in a nice house in a nice neighborhood in the suburbs but that's as far as the nice part went. I tried to end the relationship at six months but was talked out of it. So stupid of me to think time would make a difference. On top of it all we commuted 50 miles a day during the week and 160 miles each weekend for bizarre reasons I won't go into here.

Fortunately at the end of my fourth year working at the global powerhouse new management swooped in and began reorganizing everything, including moving everyone who wasn't fired who wanted to keep on working for the company to a city about 260 miles away near the gulf coast. I moved and started working in a new office building where my workspace was illuminated by plenty of sunlight and I had a new boss who knew his stuff.

My wife sold the house and deposited the proceeds of the sale into her bank account. I didn't object.I was just happy to have a decent amount of distance spread out between us for a while. Down south I rented a nice apartment within bicycling distance of the office building but didn't end up biking to work as planned. And I only spent time in the apartment to cook, eat, shower, sleep and dabble in hobbies a bit. I purchased a surf kayak and spent every remaining free moment and all my excess energy solo surfing the waves along the gulf coast–seeing sights I had only dreamed of seeing. Sights like porpoises surfing inside the crests of waves, pelicans sailing between waves, huge swarms of jellyfish and a large fever of golden rays cruising directly beneath me as I watched sunlight reflecting off of them in dazzling, jewel-like brilliance. I also dined out a lot, enjoying seafood most of the time as well as some other excellent dishes only available along the gulf coast.

My previous boss didn't move south with me but insisted we stay married. And so began a separation which would never end with any semblance of reconciliation and reunion, and I began investigating precisely what I must do to end the lousy marriage. I was eventually able to get the hell away from her about two years later through a clean $15 DIY no-contest divorce. That invigorating change happened with another pair of job changes which took me back north about 250 miles to work on software supporting a retail industry giant and a banking giant for a while, but not before taking a couple of nice long vacations between jobs into and over the rockies to the northwest corner of the nation to explore the vastness of Olympic National Park, including a solo canoe trip across Ozette Lake and hike through a forest of huge vertical proportions to camp on isolated Pacific Coast beaches in blessed solitude for a week. Returning at an easy, slow pace and thoroughly recharged to begin work at each new job, I felt free again for the first time in years. And I began detailed planning in earnest for a path of escape out of a hellish relationship going absolutely nowhere.

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