Banana slug track
Leads up my office window—

Slug career ladder.

This piece, though light-hearted, reflects the sense of bemusement I feel about the traditional “career ladder.”

For decades, I had a Serious Career in communications and international development. It came with a fancy title, nice office, generous salary and benefits, international travel, half a dozen staff and a seven-figure budget. For many years, it was a very fulfilling career, working with exceptional people to make the world a better place. I consider myself fortunate to have had that experience.

Gradually, however, I felt drawn to working on a more intimate, personal scale, and in an arena where I could more fully express myself. In choosing this new path as a full-time writer and artist, I have given up much from my old career. In return, I have gained nothing less than an authentic life.

This quote by William James sums up my feelings perfectly:

I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big successes. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of human pride.