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When I worked at TechTarget, often at Thanksgiving I would do a top 10 list of things my readers could be thankful for. The first was for the IBM AS/400-iSeries-System i crowd. Fiercely loyal people, iSeries users love their midrange server and hate anything that competes with it, including Microsoft. That first year, the number one thing they could be thankful for — there’s no Bill Gates.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I’d do my own top 10 list of things to be thankful for. What am I, a 42-year-old, recently re-employed woman with a pre-teen daughter and a failed marriage, thankful for? Let’s take a look:

10. That I look younger than my age — Thank you, Dad, for the fact that I have no gray hair and few wrinkles, save for those

Thanksgiving Chapel in Dallas

laugh lines that are starting to rear their ugly heads, and thank you, Mom, for my thinness. But as you can see from numbers 9 and 8, I believe my natural features need a little help.

9. My colorist & hair stylist — Thank you, Tawna, for the magical work you do coloring my hair, transforming my natural drab brown into golden blonde, and thank you, Harris, for knowing just how to cut my hair. Until I went away this past summer I had no idea how great you are. I went to two different colorists and stylists in Boston, and none did what you so ably do to make me look fabulous.

8. My trainer — I work out on my own, but without Josh to push me to the limit and figuratively kick my butt each week, I would not be in as good shape.

7. JetBlue — It might seem odd to have this company in my list, but with this airline I can easily and usually cheaply get back north to see my family, friends and co-workers. Plus, who wouldn’t love the free snacks, TV, roomy seats, crew, and customer service? And they fly direct from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Boston. Read the rest of this entry »

On June 5 I began my journey to Boston to start a new job and possibly new life. I’ve named my journey “Breaking Boundaries,” as I am physically breaking boundaries by crossing state boundaries and I am breaking figurative boundaries — attempting to break out of my way of thinking and doing things. More than anything, it’s a journey to discover what I really want to do and what gives me joy. It’s a difficult journey, but I need to do it. I need to experience it — even if it reduces me to tears every other day.

My journey -- Breaking Boundaries (Photo by Rafael Gomes)

My journey -- Breaking Boundaries (Photo by Rafael Gomes)

My life in Florida as it was, was holding me back. I was confined to a certain role that was too small for me, too restricting. During the past six months I thought long and hard about how to change it. I decided to go back to the place that has always made me feel happy — Boston. I created a plan and fulfilled it — got a full-time job and have relocated there. Don’t ever let it be said that I can’t do what I say I’m going to do. But now that I’m here in this life, I’m questioning it. Actually, I started questioning the decision when I started packing, and several times during the drive north considered turning back, but I am going ahead with it to learn if my fears and doubts are true or if happiness truly resides here.

As I start my second week of work, I am feeling a slightly better about the change. However, when I stop and think about everything that’s going on, I feel fear deep in my stomach like the bottom is falling away bit by bit, I’m on edge, and I’m often on the verge of tears.

I question whether a full-time job that requires me to be in an office for nine hours a day is right for me. I question whether I can work such a job and care for my daughter if she lives here with me. I fear that having such a job means losing quality of life, as I have little to no time for social activity. I fear getting trapped in a job and losing my creative outlets. I wonder if my return to the Boston area is an attempt to relive my previous life here. Read the rest of this entry »