Solsbury Hill

Posted on January 25, 2012


I was updating my resume this evening in anticipation of my departure from The Independent and my future life of job searching, and it almost felt like putting the final touch on a tombstone. Under my most recent work experience, I had listed the paper as “October 2008 – present.” I had to actually put in an end date: March 2012. Doing that kind of drove the point home — I am leaving. I have to leave. There’s no other way around it.

It kind of feels like walking off a cliff to abandon a job I’m — for lack of a better word — comfortable with for a future of uncertainty. When I was a stunt cowboy at the Wild West Town, they had to teach us how to fall. What’s so complicated, right? You see the ledge of a roof, and you lean over and fall into the mat. But it’s not that easy — when we start leaning over, our brain realizes what we’re doing and tries to take control. It says, “Oh no, you’re not falling. You’re going to jump instead!” That lack of control is extremely difficult to swallow, both in the case of falling off buildings and in human nature. And I think that’s what’s happening to me — I’m in a place of relative comfort (a rut) and I need to give myself a little push. Because, in the end, the audience appreciates a cowboy who realistically falls onto a barely concealed mat after being grazed in the ass by a shotgun over one who looks like he’s jumping into a pool. I’m not quite sure I can take this metaphor any further…

As many friends and family have pointed out, I need to get out of this job and out of Woodstock (at least for a while). There’s no other way I can grow, both personally and professionally. So many people are “growing up,” getting married, having kids. So many jobs have opportunities for advancement, and from what I hear, these things called “raises” where they actually pay you more money because you work there longer. It’s bullshit, I say, but people tell me otherwise. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking that my standing still was a worry, but now I think this trip and this blog will give me a chance to make some serious lemonade. I would think many people would jump at the chance to travel where they want, and my lack of commitments here in town combined with my temporary-retirement fund will allow me to do just that. I could slog along at the paper, writing the same stories about the same topics. Or I could do something grand, something epic, something I’ve never done before. And maybe this might even lead to something bigger than I ever thought. But I’ll never know unless I take the chance.

I try to limit my comparisons to famous rockers (it’s just so easy to do), but in “Solsbury Hill,” Peter Gabriel was wrestling with the decision whether to leave Genesis.

“So I went from day to day/ Tho my life was in a rut/ Till I thought of what I’d say/ Which connection I should cut.”

The song’s been rumbling around in my head the last couple days and, even though I’m not sure my solo career will be as strong as Peter’s, I think I owe it to myself to give it a shot.

My heart’s going boom, boom, boom…

Posted in: Woodstock