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This is it folks, I’m quitting the rat race! After working my butt off for the last 2 years as a contractor, I got tired of the long commutes to/from work/home, missing my daughter grow into this almost five-year-old beautiful girl, not having enough time or energy to properly enjoy time with my family, and always being worried if my contract would be renewed. About 2 weeks ago I was informed my project had gotten canceled and with it, my position. The news came to my via an email, late at night without much explanation.

For the last 10 days or so, I have gone through the “exercise” of filling for unemployment, cutting down costs, and forecasting how much longer I can afford to live where I currently reside. This isn’t the second time I’m faced with this challenge but it doesn’t make it any less difficult.

You see, the truth is that I am very much in love with my profession. I just love coding too much and was not able to do it at my ex-job. Ex-job… hehehe funny how that sounds. My involvement with the Open Source community too was being affected by my crazy hours and lack of freedom to pursue alternatives at work. It was pretty much “do as you’re told, and only what you’ve been told to do or else.” How can you set boundaries to a creative mind like that of a programmer? Sure the money was great, but my spirit, for better or worse, hasn’t been tamed yet.

It is because of this untamed spirit and my firm belief that you cannot buy someone else’s freedom that I am packing my things and driving off to North Carolina! Granted my “material possessions” can fit into a small U-Haul truck, and that I have enough money to get by for only 2 months, I’m once again walking the walk and not just talking the talk. I don’t want to be yet another programmer who sells himself for money! I care about what I do… a lot! Once you remove my freedom and my creativity, there is nothing left of me!

This Saturday, I’m driving off with my daughter to my sister’s small apartment in Chapel Hill, NC. My wife will stay behind for a while since she is employed and is also providing for our health care insurance. The goal is to sell off a few things, such as my server and HDTV and hopefully be all together soon. Since I have a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and have spent most of my professional career as a software developer for pharmaceutical companies, I figure I could go back to doing research at the academic level. Maybe Duke or UNC can use someone like me… who knows?

My involvement with the community will remain the same as far as I can tell, though I may not be as available as I am now. I’m bringing my loyal laptop and have already made provisions to have wi-fi access at my sister’s.

This all may sound like the end of the line for me, but that is not how I perceive it. Saturday, September 9th 2006, will be forever remembered as the day I shed my human shackles and became a free man!


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