The scary thing and the wonderful thing is that I no longer have a simple answer for this question. After leaving a job I thought would always be my passion, my calling, my alter ego, my reason for getting up in the morning, I’m going to have to relearn what I want instead of coasting on what I do. I am newly hatched. I don’t have a resume. My deadlines are self-imposed. My old business cards have been recycled. I am open to being a stranger to myself for awhile, but if someone asks me at a party what I do, what will I say? That I’m a night owl and reluctant riser? That I’d rather read cookbooks than cook? That if I have a religion, it’s poetry? That I love the sound of wind chimes on a wild winter night, the bell that rings in It’s a Wonderful Life when a fairy gets its wings, a mournful country song on a solitary road trip, logs settling in a wood fire? That I dream of living in the country, but only if there’s a Starbucks nearby? That I’m easily distracted by bright shiny things and multiple conversations going on around me? That I can’t not write? That if I lost all my music, I’d be lost? There’s no job description for any of that, or at least not one that you can present at a networking event. It’s a rare and remarkable circumstance to be suddenly standing in your life without a predictable identity that can be summed up on a business card or used to reassure yourself when the world shit-kicks you into self-doubt. I’m terrified and grateful at the same time. I know in the months ahead there will be times when I will regret my decision, worry about money, wonder what my purpose is, worry about money and long for my old routine. But how many chances do we get to start over by choice, to find out who we are instead of what we do, to have the whole world open before us in the same way it did when we first left home? In his poem The Laughing Heart, Charleston Bukowski wrote, “be on the watch. the gods will offer you chances. know them. take them.” I hope that’s what I’m doing.