Aiming for a creative life

I Am Santo

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Things Continue to Transition

I’m in an unexpected state of transition. After eleven years of consistent, steady employment, I jumped ship for a cool company located about 25 miles south of me. Having commuted 45 miles for most of those eleven years, I figured this would be a walk in the park.

Yeah, I was wrong.

It wasn’t just the commute – the place had a “reduction in force” two weeks after I was hired due to a couple bad quarters of missing projected sales numbers, so rather than wait things out and see if I ended up in the next round of “force reductions,” I started looking and found something surprising: I missed the kind of work I used to do and the kind of company that I used to work for.

I joined a small asset management company back in November of 2012 as a web developer. In 2018, it was purchased by an overseas firm with excellent ideas and a solid growth plan. Success followed, perhaps not quite on pace with expectations, but in 2020 we really hit our stride. Business exploded and… so did my comfort at work. I tried incredibly hard to be everything our parent company needed, but the one thing I was never going to be was a local employee. They hired over me while I was on a sabbatical and what’s done was done. After a year of training my replacement, I’d had enough and jumped ship.

I thought I’d left the asset management space for good. Yet just a few weeks ago, an opportunity popped up in the industry that I am very excited about. In many ways, it feels like 2012 again, only this time I’m a senior manager with a ton of experience at my back. I can help this company grow and they know it.

I feel guilty about leaving where I’m at now as it’s a good company with great ideas. There are also some awesome people I’m going to miss. But I never quite felt at home there and that commute? If you’re ever considering working at a place that’s 30 minutes away when traffic is normal and it involves 93 to 95 in Massachusetts? Just make sure you’re doing a hybrid role, because the daily drive on those highways – especially in the evening – is a nightmarish test of patience.

So, after just six months I’m changing roles again, going from a more junior, more “relaxed” position to something more akin to what I’d left behind in October 2023. What’s strange is that I’m not really nervous about it. A lot of the challenges at my former company were personnel-related and not really about the work, although not being trusted as the authority on things I’d worked at for a decade was… dispiriting. Here I expect the trust and autonomy, and I look forward to seeing what I can do for them.

But this chapter doesn’t close as a loss in any way. Because the work was lighter lifting than I was accustomed to, I was able to work on creative endeavors during my free time at home. As a result, I’ve finally compiled the first collection of my poetry! And oh… is it a doozy. Coming in at 114 pages, “Gut Punch” collects poems written from 2013-2015, a time I’d say was the most difficult in my life due to selfishness and heartbreak. It’s a tough read, and much more of a memoir than I ever expected I’d write, but here we are.

I hope it finds an audience, but ultimately I wrote it for myself, and finishing the first draft has immediately lifted a huge weight from my shoulders. I believe it’ll be out in May 2024, so I’ll certainly post more about that as the time nears.

Until then, though. This is me saying “see ya later” to Waltham, Massachusetts and “hey, hello, hi” to Beverly, Massachusetts. If nothing else, it promises to be an easier drive.

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