For this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, we are asked to consider the idea of going into the unknown. I was thinking about writing a piece of flash fiction, maybe some sci-fi or fantasy post, but then I thought about four times in my life when I felt, at the time, I was stepping into the unknown.
My first job after graduating from college
After spending sixteen of my first 21 years in school, I graduated from college and entered the workforce. Not some paper route thing or making ice cream sundaes part-time at the local ice cream shop. I’m talking about a full-time, grown-up job. I was hired as a management trainee at an insurance company and I had no idea what to expect. I ended up becoming a “senior manager” and spending ten years with that organization.
I was a wild and crazy guy and I loved being single. I remained single until I was 32 when I married the girl I’d been dating for two years. Learning to share yourself completely with another person, especially when you start late, like I did, was a whole new way of life. Fortunately, I adapted. And so did she.
Becoming an empty nester
Kids take a lot of time, effort, energy, and attention, and my wife and I spent most of the first 25 years of our lives together dedicating ourselves to raising our two kids. Then one day, they were both out of our house and I suddenly wondered what, aside from our kids, my wife and I had in common. That was scary. But it turned out to be a period of relationship rediscovery and enrichment. After a while I hardly missed not having our kids around all the time.
I had, for my entire adult life, defined myself by what I did for work. And then I retired. For the first time in almost five decades I didn’t have a job. No boss, no coworkers, no subordinates. No meetings, no conference calls, no business trips. So who was I? What was I supposed to do with my time now that I no longer was working? Talk about stepping into the unknown. Well, it’s been about three years since I retired and I have discovered that there’s much more to me — and to life — than what I did for a living.
I’m sure there have been times in all of your lives when you felt like you were stepping into the unknown. I’d love to hear from some of you what your “into the unknown”experiences were.