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February 13, 2010
Dreamer, Please Return

Many years ago, Garrett Morris of "Saturday Night Live" portrayed a baseball player who declared baseball had been very good to him. This skit never failed to amuse me, though I wondered why the player was so enthusiastic.

About 25 years from now, I envision myself saying unemployment had been very good to me.

Don’t misunderstand: I miss going to work, being involved, and interacting with co-workers. However, being laid off has become the new insiders' club, with its unique moments of relationship opportunities and project building.

Although I am not earning half the salary I once took home, I find the opportunities to be abundant asymmetrically.

I have discovered less income presents an opportunity to evaluate what is important to purchase, how I pass time, and who is truly important to converse with and meet. Random acts of stress, cubicle dialogs, or team goals do not exist.

My team is now my family. My meetings and project assignments are devoted to a broader theme, a more healthful approach. My life and objectives have been reclaimed.

Thirty years at the office delivered nothing substantial to the growth of my heart or my mind. Not once did I find poetry in my voice mail nor did I take a spirited walk after a one-hour lunch from my work-release program.

Of course, the world could collapse, my health care could expire, or worse, a job could present itself. In the short span of two months, I have discovered the greater opportunity to better myself 20 different ways, and I am grateful for this gift.

This early hour yields a slow cup of coffee, a read of The New York Times, and shoulders that don’t creep toward my neck. I am relaxed.

Indeed, I am the outsider looking in. Didn’t films of our youth glorify the loner, the cigarette-smoking outsider and radical?

This is the moment to seize. This is the time of day to see the sun illuminate the sky and to clear one's head with coffee. The aroma of opportunity not inhaled since childhood is here.

I am taking this moment of investment opportunity and depositing it into my personal funds, for I have been given a second chance. I am not broken into 20 different pieces nor monitoring my breaths per minute. I am “Easy Rider” for a day.

Now, it's back to the job search and enough glorification. This morning’s yield is slow and time for another sip of coffee. Here comes the sun.

Smelling opportunity, I look for my book of contacts and erect my cubicle walls for the next eight hours.

Dreamer, please return.

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Early in his career, Barry Comer was known as a sculptor and fine artist. In 1985, Mr. Comer found a new focus, developing an award-winning career in the commercial arts. In 1992, Mr. Comer affiliated with Phillip Cooke and Daniel Maye; co-founders of international and national culinary associations. Currently, Mr. Comer is writing and blogging while exploring new career opportunities.

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