The Hero’s Journey

Yesterday I was rehired at my old job! Once we came back from Hawai’i, one of the first things I did was go to the office to hang out with my old coworkers and help out where I could. On my return from Greece, it was pretty much the same. 

My double former coworker Matthew (we worked together at SUCCESS and Home Zone) had asked the owner if I could come back to help with a project but neither of us was given the affirmative. So I started to formulate a campaign. I was going to print off full-size posters for an ad meeting, one looking like a political ad and one reminiscent of the Uncle Sam wants you but pointing back at myself more like “you want Sam?”. Both saying, “Rehire Sam” but ask which was more effective.

I wasn’t able to design and print the posters as fast as I hoped so I erased a whiteboard in the conference room and went with what I was hoping to be a subliminal campaign. While I wasn’t at the Wednesday ad meeting, on Friday the owner asked me to have lunch. 

The thing is, I always loved working there, and while you might think “why not keep the travel adventure going”, I could tell my son wasn’t enjoying it. He really missed his Lego. My wife wants to see the world but isn’t a fan of the actual traveling part. With all that in mind, going back to the job I loved made the most sense. 

My boss asked enough questions to make sure I wasn’t a flight risk anymore and then hired me back on. I told him I have a return ticket to Greece but could bump it. Also, since the department has grown and was no longer a one-man band, I planned on letting go when I was on vacation rather than bringing my laptop and being ready to work.

Have you ever heard of the hero’s journey? This is the archetype of almost all myths including movies like Star Wars. The basics go; the hero departs from what they know, transforms along the way, and finally, returns to exactly where they were, but having been changed, see the same things differently.

If you haven’t here is a link to the Wikipedia Article so you can follow along. 

Many years ago, I grew dissatisfied with the same routine and thought I would go through a daily cycle until one day I died. My wife said things don’t have to be this way (Call to Adventure) and I thought it was ridiculous (Refusal of the Call). Eventually, I realized the house we had paid off would give us the ability to tour the world and live in cheap places for some time, and the Real Estate in North Texas going bonkers confirmed it (Supernatural Aid). After plugging away making our house in tip-top resale shape, we got rid of most of our belongings and sold the house (The Crossing of the First Threshold). Then we scattered to the winds, my wife in Texas working as an extra and my son and I kicking it in Costa Rica (Belly of the Whale). 

It was weird to be in Costa Rica for three months. A long time without my wife and for my son to not have his mother and also a little tough to see my Grandpa going through health problems (The Road of Trials). Eventually, we met up in Colorado and then went to the island of Kaua’i.

We had no idea where we would stay, but had faith we would find something. Months previously we had applied at an apartment complex perfect for us. It was next to the beach and some farmer’s markets. They had no vacancies and we were told just keep checking. Wouldn’t you know it, but a place opened up a month after we arrived (The Meeting with the Goddess). During this time, I was still taking calls and projects from Home Zone and I realized how much I loved the work even though this was a point of my life where I was supposed to be relaxing and taking time off (Woman as the Temptress). 

At this point, my cousin calls me to tell me his marriage is falling apart and I talked him through some things and gave him what advice I could. Doing this, I realized how much I love being with people. Having gotten rid of many of my worldly possessions, I concluded that what we really have is our relationships and experiences (Atonement with the Father/Abyss).

Along with talking to my cousin, I made friends with people in our apartment complex and around the island. I also started to experience more, getting back into scuba diving and traveling to other islands to swim with sharks, and scuba with mantas, and other sea life. Back in Kaua’i, I would go on electric bike tours, kayaking on rivers and the ocean, and many hikes (Apotheosis).

Having lived on Kaua’i for 8 months and seen so much of the island and many of the beaches, and sporting a tan deeper than any I had previously, I felt like I had a piece of what I was looking for (The Ultimate Boon). With our lease about to end, we knew that we would be returning to Texas. I was getting increasingly distraught over the fact and planned to hang out with my cousin in Costa Rica (Refusal of the Return). But eventually, that fell through, so I resigned myself to going to Texas and with no clear goal, would be hanging out at my mother-in-law’s house (The Magic Flight).

Returning to Texas I saw a beauty that I had not seen before (Rescue from Without) and when I went back to the office remembered how much I loved it (The Crossing of the Return Threshold). In fact, I had gained such a calm demeanor that working on a few projects, I realized I had changed. There was low-level anxiety before that I had always carried that had evaporated (Master of the Two Worlds).

After spending a few weeks at the office, I headed to Europe for a month, came back, and knew my place was to get back to the work which gave me purpose, knowing I could always hightail it out in a few years once my son was older and go see the world again. Having done it once, anything felt possible and well within my grasp (Freedom to Live).

By Sam Watson

I'm pretty good at Microsoft Excel but a freak in Google Sheets.

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Lisa Erb
Lisa Erb
1 year ago

Loved reading this, good to know you are back and with your head in the right place. Its amazing what a trip around the world can do for your mind, body, and soul!

1 year ago

Such a great read as always Sam, glad to have you back (Sven 🦁) 🤣👍

Erika Lee
Erika Lee
1 year ago

Such an inspirational read Sam! I am so impressed with you and your family’s ability to take risks and find meaning in so many people and adventures. I hope one day I’ll be well enough to make half the journey’s you’ve taken this past year! Thanks for the super cool & exciting stories.

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