No real fire was involved, but it sounds cool.
Besides being the name of one game in the awesome Quest for Glory series of games by the now-defunct Sierra Online, there is a definition for this phrase. Though being a phrase, the English dictionary does not define it, but it is defined in many places on the Internet. All definitions are generally the same and state, “Any ordeal which tests one’s strength, endurance or resolve. “
Sometimes we humans have to take the plunge and put ourselves through an ordeal or multiple ordeals that test these qualities. So I classify this as my own Trial by Fire. Over the last 5 months, I have been through many ups and downs. As some of the other posts here have explained, I had some problems that I needed to figure out. After work and on weekends only was not enough time. After much deep thought, discussion with my wife, and the emotions that went along with it, I decided to take a sabbatical from any employment.
Though I have enough funds to live comfortably during this sabbatical, this was still part of the ordeal since I have not gone longer than 1 month without a job in the last 25 years. It took over a month for my mind to realize that my world was not going to fall apart just because I was not currently employed. There are all kinds of emotions that go along with that. I questioned myself every day for over a month, the main question being, “Have I ruined our life.” That was the first ordeal, only mental in nature but is physically depressing in the end.
After I had accepted that my existence was not going to disappear just because I was not working, I threw myself into many projects, one right after another. Most of them just testing what I could figure out and how fast I could figure it out. I put out many charged blog posts and a whole bunch of random YouTube videos, poked my nose into politics, pissed off a few people in the process. I did not like that feeling, so I pulled back from politics and focused on more random projects. As far as my mind is concerned, this is ordeal number two. I like to be the peacekeeper, not stir trouble. I felt the impact, and that was enough for me.
And most recently, I dipped my hand into day trading the stock market. That was a real eye-opener to how cutthroat that can be. That trip was a “Grass is greener on the other side” kind of thing. I blogged about that here.
I could go on and on into the minute details of every little thing that spurred me to write this blog post. Still, in the end, the last 5 months have been a real eye-opener that I needed to experience so my family can move on into the next chapter of our life. More than likely, I will continue down the path of booting up my data analytics business centered on making obscure data usable. Expect some examples and updates on that soon.
What I have explained above is the long and drawn-out way to say that this sabbatical has allowed me to grow mentally and spiritually, which has allowed me to close this chapter of my life. The PTSD that haunted me for so many years is now a closed chapter in this book of my life. The way forward is now up and positive at the most stellar rate I can attain. I have data processors to write, data decoding dictionaries to write, websites to build, epic stories to tell, and whatever else I feel like putting out there.
Stay for this chapter if you wish.
–When you take a leap of faith, you will crash. Faith in yourself will pick you up.–