This is all so surreal!
The last five days have been very nostalgic for me, the mind constantly cycling through feelings of excitement, gratitude, contentment and sadness as if flipping through cable-less television to avoid the four AM infomercials.
Over the past 4.5 years I have built an incredible life in Austin. A life full of amazing friends, a great career with a company I love, a comfortable environment to live how I want within the social construct, overall happiness… but suddenly it’s all in my rearview mirror.
My playbook to replace the constant stimulation of modern American life with spontaneous adventuring across the globe has been in the works for a couple years. I’ve prepared for it. I’ve lost months of sleep thinking about it. I’ve waited for the right moment to do it. However, the one thing I was not ready for was how I feel today, as I sit on a rock in Colorado staring down a waterfall 900 miles away from my love. The love that I call home. The place where I learned who I am as a man, closed my first deal as a high-tech Sales Director, and liked enough to buy a house despite my extreme commitment phobia.
As I sit here 7,000 feet above sea level it occurs to me there will be no more date nights ending with a spontaneous chilling dip into Barton Springs. No more Thursday night social rides with weird strangers that I discover I have far too much in common with. No more brunches at Moonshine, blind draw volleyball tournaments at the local saloons, or adult skate nights at Austin Roller Rink (don’t knock it ‘til you tried it, just look out for ‘The Roller Rats,’ they are an intimidating bunch!) And no more “chill” nights on the town that lead to 3am dance parties at Barbarella. CRAZY!
My initial plan was to hit the road from Austin and head west immediately upon turning my laptop in at Spredfast, ooh how my plan was derailed! Instead I would eventually make my way home to indulge in a multi-hour emotion paralysis.
As I made my rounds around the ever growing office filled with new faces, friends, and the ghosts of company past, I was blown away by what I experienced. In the process of offering handshakes and hugs to those who have felt like family in the Austin office I was reminded of how many fascinating people I’ve met within these confines. So many people thanked me for what we accomplished together, re-lived past memories as if flipping through a family photo album, and shared their admiration for the journey ahead I’ve willfully accepted. What surprised me more were the people I may have crossed paths with once or twice ever who came up and shared how I’ve inspired them to pursue things they’ve been putting off, building a castle of excuses around for years. Fuck, if I had this much of an impact on these people how many others have I influenced in the community? Sure, some of them may have been blowing smoke up my ass but a healthy portion of these people seemed genuinely sincere. What I thought would be a quick 30 minute office pop-in and exit turned into a 77 minute eye opening experience. At this point it became clear to me, there is more work to be done here, both via teaching through this blog and after my future return to the city.
The journey ahead is something I have been wanting for quite some time. Nearly every major decision I’ve made since college graduation has been done intentionally with this moment in mind, but it does not make the transition much easier. I have made several hard and uncomfortable decisions along the way. I’ve upset and hurt people I love and motivated others. I know this is the truest decision to myself and it could not be more indubitable for me.
My promise to all of my Austin folks is this is not a final farewell, more so a ‘goodbye for now.’ I am extremely gracious for each of you whom I crossed paths with and am stoked to have the opportunity to share my (mostly half-baked) wisdom and experiences with you.
Although I could not be more certain this opportunity is in its prime, it feels very weird leaving the love of my life during the honeymoon…