Take a Break

Lin-Manual Miranda is famous for saying his best idea came to him while he was on vacation. He finally had a chance to unwind and read a book. That book was Ron Chernow’s biography about Alexander Hamilton, and the rest is history.

Last month I took a few days off from job hunting and the stress that comes with it to attend my cousin’s wedding in Ohio. I wanted to return home recharged and full of inspiration on where to land my next job. Instead, a surprising turn happened — we discovered what our daughter wants to study in college. We were visiting Otterbein University, the place where my in-laws met after World War II. I had donated ephemera to their archivist, when I asked him what is Otterbein famous for today. He rattled off a few majors, including equine studies and theater design. Wait…wait…go back to that last one. Theater Design? It was like a light bulb went off over our daughter’s head. After months of saying she wanted to study civil engineering to then study architecture in graduate school the real reason for her life goals came into focus — she wants to design sets for shows.

Ah…that changes everything. Now knowing a major exists that matches with her ultimate career goals we can hone her college search to places that offer that major and spend the next year to two years touring college campuses, applying to schools, and choosing the best one. There is a plan, which makes me quite happy.

As for job searching epiphanies for me, I am hoping mine comes during our anniversary vacation this month. I will be disconnecting from social media (even email and texts) and living in the moment. The last time I was able to fully do that was during a two-day trip to Cuba. I returned relaxed and recharged. May the same happen this time.

Of course, even better would be a job offer.

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