This past weekend I crossed the 1-year mark living and working in San Francisco. I arrived with considerable hopes, dreams, and even a “plan” but I’d be lying if I were to say that I had it figured out.
In fact, I ultimately had very little idea of what I was doing, what I was supposed to be doing, and how the first year would inevitably turn out. It’s been one helluva ride.
We moved out here to SF because I wanted to fully experience the excitement of starting something new in the center of the technology world.
I wasn’t entirely sure what it was that I was building but I knew a few things about our situation:
- I wanted to fail in the place that I’d be proud to fail.
- I couldn’t start a new company immediately because my wife and I agreed that I needed a break from the “founder” lifestyle. It was never about “if” but rather “when”.
- I wanted to explore venture capital even more, perhaps as a career.
- I wanted to work with early stage startups.
- We wanted to ensure a healthy family dynamic and be in a place that allowed us to explore homeschool unencumbered.
What’s so neat is that we’ve been able to do all five of these things, in spades: I was able to experience early stage startups in a handful of opportunities, get to work closely with more than a few venture firms, and we’ve been able learn more about what our life and family is like with homeschool as a centerpiece.
But the way through and by which I was able to knock down this list was anything but planned. A good friend of mine qualified the last year of my life as one of “chaos”; my wife and I have agreed that we’ve found our “method in the madness” and that “it” is working.
Our lives have expanded, that’s for sure – whether it’s been based on our collective courage is still up for debate, but, as I wrote a year ago today I’m discovering that what I believed to be true then is still true today: We can attempt to predict what the future brings but it’ll all end up just as ambiguous as when we started.
Or, perhaps more positively, I’ve truly discovered where I’ve been headed the moment I arrived, or more specifically, the moment I made the decision to act, to go and to be open to be surprised by what I was there to find.
The year has been full of heartache, pain, disappointment as well as an even allotment of hope, joy, hardened and tested enthusiasm. It has been one of incredible personal growth. And, perhaps most importantly, the strength of our family has never been stronger.
The most exciting thing about all of this is simply the fact that my family and I have grown and accomplished so much in such a short amount of time.
The rate of our individual and collective learning has been accelerated to a velocity that we have never encountered nor experienced – it is truly exhilarating and it’s not something that I’d like to ever slow down.
We are happy and grateful to be in San Francisco, at this point in time and in this place in history. What a time to be alive. Words cannot express how thankful I am for the supportive family, friends, and even the internet (at times) for helping us survive the last 365 days.
I can’t wait to see what the next calendar year brings – I’m not ready but I’m able and very willing to give it a go.
I just want my life to count. You see, life is just too damn short to not go for it, to truly do something that’s a bit risky, scary even. What do you and I really have to lose?