Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On Second Thought

Looking back over the choices I've made over the last few years I've discovered that I'm a Plan B kind of person. It's not that my initial plans always suck, but my second ideas tend to be much better (at least in my mind) and are generally the ones I end up going with. And I don't mean Plan B as in a backup plan or the very next thought I have after the initial idea strikes me. It's more along these lines:
  • I decide on a course of action
  • I start putting it into motion
  • I discover a different way to achieve the same (or almost the same) goal, or find a completely different idea along the way
  • I abandon the first idea and go with the new one.
Almost 8 years ago I had the chance to essentially start my life over again. I won't go into the details but I found myself in the position to change location, start on a new career path, and get myself moving in a different direction. The initial plan was to move to Raleigh, find a job, and get myself back into NC State and complete a degree program. In the beginning everything was going according to schedule. I'd managed to make it to Raleigh and start hunting for an apartment and searching through the Want Ads for a job. But none of it "felt" right. I was back in Raleigh; I was looking in all the right places for apartments; I had gone by State and was stoked to get back into school; yet I felt like none of it was what I should be doing.

I was staying with my sister in Greenville and driving to Raleigh every day checking into things. I'd done this all week and hadn't found anything I wanted to settle with, so I decided to stop in and visit some old friends who had moved back to Raleigh a few years before. And over the course of one evening there I'd completely changed my direction. Instead of Raleigh, I was now moving to Asheville. The other parts of the original plan were still in place in some fashion, but the location had changed. And it all felt right. Welcome to Plan B.

Flash forward seven and a half years and I'm still in Asheville. I know I'm a completely different person than I would have been if I'd kept going the other way. I would have had a different job and different friends, and would have had vastly different experiences. But I chose to come here and have all of those experiences in Asheville instead and I don't regret a second of it. February of next year will be the 8-year anniversary of the move here and will be a milestone of sorts for me. I will have spent more time here than any other place I've ever lived. Even counting childhood. There's something about Asheville and the North Carolina Mountains that draws me in and makes me want to stay. Plan B is working out pretty well.

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