Counting on Change: A Banker’s Story

A lot of people hate change. We don’t. Clearly. But this short story of our trip (hard to call it more than a trip after only 10 months) to Louisiana is a bittersweet ending. The whole point of being around family doesn’t really matter if you’re jobless…

It was a sunny Wednesday around noon. I found myself sitting in the home improvement store parking lot, parked in my truck shoveling down value menu fast food items for the second time that week. I had to get back to the office and sit at the computer to finish up my underwriting and then combine 8 different documents for a credit decision that I knew was thin. That’s not necessarily the tipping point, but that was certainly a sign that this job I took to get our family to be closer to family might not have been the right decision.

But decisions are made every single day. Some affect us in profound ways, some affect us in small ways we never notice. And others may affect the people around us more than ourselves. I choose to believe the latter.

I believe in fate in an extent. I believe in the path put before us to a much higher degree. Our past decisions all culminate to our current place. And I look around and see a lot of good things. I see a grandfather who clearly loves the way his granddaughter looks up to him. I see an uncle stepping into a role I don’t know if any of us thought he might take. I see all this potential wrapped up in a cute little package, complete with a bow on top, just changing people left and right.

Some days it’s the lady in the restaurant who stops to tell us how beautiful our baby is. Some days it’s all mine when I witness something for the first time and truly have a sense of legacy. That I taught another human some small thing. How to press a piano key, for instance. Not like I taught her Beethoven, but my smile is just as genuine.

All things regarding happiness in life are connected. I choose to look at life from the aspect of a four-legged chair where if one leg falls the foundation is coming down with it. I think the Greek philosophers may have referred to four pillars in a similar manner. Mind, Body, Spirit and Social Interaction are those pillars or legs of my chair and I’ve been getting a Cobra Kai “sweep the leg” from Spirits’s corner for 10 months.

Americans spend an average of 8.9 hours working a day at 49 weeks a year at 5 days a week. I won’t do the math for you, but that’s a lot of unhappiness over the course of 10 months. It was time to enact change.

We explored our options to stay in Shreveport. Both of us went on interviews to see what the possibilities of staying might be. After all, the whole reason we moved here was to be close to family and raise Emerson around her kin.

We’ve prayed for patience and guidance. Together we asked that our path be illuminated clearly. We had sacrificed a great number of things to get Emerson to Shreveport, and we’re humbly not asking for all of those things back. Just a solid foundation in our chair of happiness. Okay, I see why philosophers chose “pillars” over “chair” now.

In the end, those opportunities came in waves and they all pushed us back to Dallas. Through months of this process and after some dumb luck, I landed a job doing what I’m truly good at in a place I’ve always longed to work.

I always teased Jess that I wanted Emerson to be born in Texas just in case the state seceded from the union. That way she and I could go back and we’d leave her behind. Well, we’re all moving back as a family to the place we started.


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