Poker has never been my game of choice.
I am much more of a Blackjack man.
I don’t gamble much and certainly less than ever without a weekly paycheck coming in.
But I definitely enjoy a long night at the $5 table with friends, winning a few hands and drinking free watered down cocktails.
I know all the rules of Blackjack -- when to hit, when to stay -- but for some reason I usually play by my own guidelines.
I can still remember the dirty stares fired at me from around the table about 23 years, 7 months, 12 days and 16 hours ago when I split a pair of kings.
I think I lost both hands and I haven’t done that since.
I don’t know if I qualify as a simple person, but I do love the simple aspect of Blackjack.
Hit or Stay.
Bust or Don’t Bust.
Win or Lose.
It’s that simple.
Poker has more scenarios than a Rubik’s cube.
Just when you think you’ve got a winning hand, somebody flops a nut straight on you.
Ok, I don’t have any idea what that means, but I thought it would sound cool.
Perhaps the biggest reason I have stayed away from Poker is I don’t know when to go all in.
Pretty much the same feeling I have regarding my next move in the working world.
The bottom line is for the last 25 years, I have worked in one industry, building experience and a good reputation.
Two things that don’t mean squat right now.
I’m definitely not afraid to try something new, but I just can’t get comfortable with throwing away everything I have done.
But I’m getting closer every day.
I just got a very nice note from a loyal reader named Zoe who said that she believes that “you’re at the point when you finally realize that going back to your old life just isn’t an option.”
“Run to that place -- it’s liberating, then go and do what you want, just not that old stuff. Lots of us have started over and your big story will be how you got there and what you did.”
First of all, THANK YOU. Your feedback is much appreciated.
Second of all, easier said than done.
As I told her, the hardest part for me is going all in -- a 100% departure from my old life and old career.
A big part of me has definitely moved on, but all it takes is a call from a possible employer in my old industry (insert joke here) and emotionally I’m back in the game.
Now if we’ve learned anything from Lady Gaga, it’s that a true Poker Face has no emotion.
And of course, when that call doesn’t come, day after day, week after week, it can be devastating.
Seventeen months ago, when my job went away, I made a list (in my head) of all the things that I hoped to accomplish before heading back to the working world.
From family goals, like re-introducing myself to my wife and kids, to personal goals, like working out each day, I’m pretty proud of what I have done.
I’ve also learned how to use my home computer to edit video, to the point where I recently helped a friend by producing and editing a video for youtube.
I have NO doubt that there are a lot of jobs out there that I can do.
I have NO doubt that many companies would be lucky to have me.
But I have A LOT of doubt that I can really walk away from a profession I have called home for more than half of my life.
I may get there. Someday. I may not.
But what I do know is that either way, for now, I’m still motivated.
And I guess that’s my ace in the hole.