The Anti-Call and How It Led Me Here

It really is quite a view. As I write these words, I’m looking out an office window down a snow-covered stretch in to the city of Burlington, out over Lake Champlain, and over to the Adirondacks beyond. It’s the kind of scene that makes you wish you had a camera, or glad you don’t as taking a snapshot would somehow take away from the uniqueness; or, possibly, you feel both ways at once.

A year ago, I was in Baltimore; a frustrated business analyst at an unrewarding job on a career path I wanted no part of.

My wife and my family and my friends were (and continue to be) great, but I was feeling a growing dissatisfaction with the size and the speed of the city and an ever-increasing realization that the job I was going to every day was not what I was supposed to be doing.

It’s hard to explain. Some people feel called to a certain profession, a certain vocation. They just know that they’re supposed to fill their time be doing something, it could be a priest, a teacher, a doctor…whatever. I was the opposite. Every day I showed up at work, I was receiving the anti-call. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing but I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be doing this.

So I thought about it. A lot. I received encouragement from my wife. A lot. Many people have life changing moments, but I was given the luxury of choosing what mine would be and when it would happen.

So I chose.

I wanted to work in a field I felt called to. To do that, I needed a little background knowledge. And so, I’d be going back to school.

In the summer of ’07, we quit our jobs. In August we sold our house. We rented a truck and pointed it North. On August 27th 2007 I started the next great chapter of my life; I started working towards a Master’s of Science in Historic Preservation.

Perhaps in a later entry, I’ll go in to why preservation matters to me. For now though, it’s enough to say that I’m living a fairly different life than I was a year ago and I have absolutely no doubt that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

It’s a great feeling.

So, for now, that’s who I am. I’m 30 years old, with one career behind me and back in school with the goal of getting my foot in the door of a second. I’m not making much money and am incurring debt at a staggering pace. But I have a great wife, I live in a beautiful part of the country, and am happy.

In later posts, I’ll babble on about Historic Preservation, about my impressions of Vermont so far, etc etc etc…

But now I have to go crawl around a library and paw through hundred-year-old issues of journals with names like “Railroad Gazette” and “Van Nostrand’s Eclectic Engineering”.

How great is that?

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