Hello, friends and followers. I hope you are doing well and getting safely through what hopefully is the last wave of Covid.
This is my first update of the year, and it’s a big one.
After three years of editing and production, my debut book The Long Walk Home: How I Lost My Job as a Corporate Remora Fish and Rediscovered My Life’s Purpose is set to come out on April 15 from Blydyn Square Books. All author proceeds from sales of this book in 2022 will be going to charity. I will be sharing the name of the non-profit next month.
So, what is the book about?
Well, it’s about a 22-mile walk I made home from the office the day six years ago when I learned I was losing my job at the big tech company where I worked at the time. I’d been there for nearly twenty-eight years (yeah, I know) and I thought I was secure. I was like one of those little remora suckerfish that rides the backs of sharks and whales for its entire life, until one day the leviathan tosses him off its back in a corporate restructuring and he doesn’t know who he is without that whale underneath him.
It’s a terrifying feeling, especially when you’re in your mid-fifties with a mortgage and three kids in college. After getting the news, I stepped outside the headquarters building to clear my head and started walking. Seven hours later, I made it home, tired and car-less, but a lot clearer in my mind on this whole absurd notion of security, whether in the workplace or anywhere else. I mean, I’d been through cancer, chemo, divorce, dark bouts of clinical depression, more accidents and mishaps than I could list. What gave me the idea I was secure in the first place?
So the book is about that, and also about adversity, and what keeps us going when the way is not clear in life, which so often it is not. It’s about the walk each of us takes in life as we try to figure out who we are, really, when we strip away all the masks and false selves, the fears and insecurities, the commercial influences, the societal expectations and pressures to fit square pegs in round holes. It’s about how twisted our journey (and our heads) can get when we allow all that stuff to take us off our true path, the one uniquely written and destined for each of us.
Yeah, it’s a bit of an odd book, for sure. I’ve had people compare it to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, which I read back in high school and didn’t quite get back then. I make no pretense that my book is anywhere near as erudite as Pirsig’s on these head-scratching subjects. But my earnest hope is that by sharing my experiences, I help shine a light of clarity and inspiration for others who are facing adversity in their own walks.
I release this book into the world with some trepidation, for the simple reason that I lay bare in it much of my personal demons, particularly my past tussles with the black beast of depression. For all the progress we’ve made as a society on so many fronts, there continues to be a great deal of stigma around depression and other mental health issues. But I take courage from the growing number of public figures, from singers Adele and Demi Lovato to actor Chris Evans and Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles, who have recently gone public in sharing their internal battles.
Because here’s the thing: the brain is an organ, and like any other organ, it can get sick. It can also be treated and get well again. Mine did. It's going on twenty years since my last brush with the beast, and I’m happier today than I’ve ever been. If I can do it, anybody can. Seriously.
I plan to post biweekly (that’s twice a month) updates on the book and my other writings. If you know of anyone who might be interested in being added to the subscriber list, they can sign up on my blog at peaceableman.com
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