Reflection: Meet Sherry…This is Now
As Sherry Ott approached the end of her trip, she reflected on how her career break opened up a new world to her.
Sixteen months…wow…I’ve surprised myself. All of you out there (specifically my brother and sister), who bet that I would never make it past a month…hand over your money.
I was looking at my original ‘This is Me’ post I did in July 2006 and I was taken aback. First of all, I looked a lot thinner, younger, and very blonde…but looks aren’t everything. The important thing is how you feel. Sixteen months have gone by and I feel like a completely different person. I honestly have no idea what I used to do at work any longer.
A month ago, I actually got out my resume and looked at it wondering what all of it even meant. I really, really tried to remember specifics about my old job – what software we used, what vendors I worked with, what projects I worked on for three years – and I could come up with nothing but faint memories of bad florescent lighting and eating at my desk. All of the specific memories have moved into the deep depths of my brain waiting to flash before my eyes at the time of my death. Instead, my brain is now filled with pictures – pictures of the world, of dramatic landscapes, kids, families, big smiles, and desperate poverty. It is filled with knowledge – knowledge of the world, cultures, and joy.
I actually got out my resume and looked at it wondering what all of it even meant…and I could come up with nothing but faint memories of bad florescent lighting and eating at my desk. My brain is now filled with pictures – pictures of the world, of dramatic landscapes, kids, families, big smiles, and desperate poverty. It is filled with knowledge – knowledge of the world, cultures, and joy.
I looked back at my original post and saw how I talked about needing a break and wanting to find my creative side. I think I successfully found creativity….in this blog [Ottsworld]. I still am amazed how much I came to love writing and photography. Or maybe I loved the writing because it was my way of communicating with friends and family – people who I missed, but never seemed to get homesick for. Thanks to the internet, I was able to stay in touch and never feel completely alone. Plus, I started developing this sense of duty as I traveled. I felt a responsibility to show people the world – the people who don’t have passports or don’t have the time off, or don’t have the means to travel. I felt like it was my contribution to educating people about cultures and essentially global peace in some very small way. I still come back to the popular saying “Why can’t we all just get along?”
As I wind down this segment of my journey, my head is overflowing with ideas on what to do next. I hope to revisit this post in a year and once again be amazed at where life has taken me. My guess is – I will need my passport.
Read what made Sherry decide to take a cultural career break in “Circumstances: Meet Sherry…That Was Then”.
And read more about her current expat-adventures living in Vietnam as a Corporate America Runaway.