Sam Seaborn leaves The West Wing

Today I announced my upcoming leave of absence from You tell everyone you're taking a leave, and they hear "I'm leaving." Maybe I should use the term sabbatical instead.
I haven't decided what to do when my leave ends. I'll come back to Amazon, see if there's a place for me, see if I can find something that interests me and adds some value to the company. It's easier to decide to take a break than to start it. The closer I got to pulling the trigger, the harder it was to actually follow through. And it's not just walking away from a steady paycheck in a lousy economy. I've worked here for five and a half years. That's the longest I've done anything in my life besides serving as a die hard Cubs fan. You don't work that long some place and not grow attached. I've met some amazing people in that time, made some great friends, and been part of something bigger than I could have ever imagined. I'll always remember my mother asking me when I told her of my plans to move away to this strange city where I knew one person: "You're taking a pay cut to go work for who? What do they do? What's the Internet?" God bless her, she had long since set me free and trusted me to do the right thing.
I haven't quite nailed what I'm going to do during my leave, either, but I've got a few ideas. Some of those things on my 30 things to do before I'm 30 list which some of you may have heard of. Places to see on my own. Friends to visit. Just pack a bag, grab a walking stick, and hike the world. There are certain things I believe about myself, and I've got to see if I'm right. And there are probably quite a few things I still have to learn about myself, and the only way to do that is to change the test conditions, blow my world. Amazon is the control, the shoes that fit me so well that I'd repair them a thousand times over before buying a new pair.
I've always loved learning new things, embracing new challenges. This will give me the chance to learn a few new tricks. I didn't realize it until just now, when I checked, but today (Dec. 11th) was the 2 year anniversary of my weblog. Is it a coincidence? The word itself denies its own meaning; the human mind does not believe in such a thing.
For all of you readers, my sabbatical changes nothing. I'll still be here, as always.