Nine years ago I sent the following letter to my friends, telling them about how I was moving to the Bay Area to “follow my bliss”. I hadn’t thought about the letter since I wrote it. Last year my friend Vickie wrote to me, opening with, “This letter still inspires me”. I thought it would be worth revisiting…
At the beginning of June, I’ll be moving to California, the San Francisco
East Bay to be exact!
Why am I moving? I’m moving to follow my bliss.
Last summer I went to the Burning Man festival in Nevada, an event with a
large population from the Bay Area. The event opened my eyes and convinced
me to more actively seek out my happiness. I found that I really took well
to the attitudes espoused by the people at the event and that I wanted to
experience it more.
For the last couple years, I’ve been living in Hackettstown, NJ, a tiny
far-suburb of New York City. I’ve become a well-known person in the town,
running my own business and becoming a member of Rotary International.
People say “Hello” to me on the street. It’s a lovely place, but it’s a bit
too low-key for me. Unfortunately, it’s a little too far from NYC for me to
go to evening events comfortably. Moreover, the life perspective of the
average New Yorker or New Jerseyan is different from a San Franciscan. I’m
hoping that have more in common with locals there in that department.
The business I’ve created, “Computer Guy” is very geographically based so
moving 50 miles would be the same as 3,000. I’d done the New York thing and
Boston. Now it’s time for another move.
So I’m packing my things, selling off detritus, and getting ready to leap!
I’ve been thinking about some of the more specific reasons I’m making this
move. If you think you might be able to help with any of the following
things, gimme a buzz!
I’d like to live “in the middle of things”. I want roommates to be around
and, initially at least, a furnished short term rental. I want to walk out
my door and be there already. I’ve spent many years being on the quiet
outskirts, -near- things. But I’ve come to realize that if a life is out of
sight, it is out of mind. If people and community are “just a short drive
away”, they are still too far away. I want to be able to trip over people.
Creatively, I’d like to find a subject I think I might be interested in and
find someone to study under. I’m not sure what that will be but I’m hoping
I’ll know it when I see it. Maybe it will be experimental aviation, or
improbable art. I’d kind of like to become a musician. There are a bunch of
things I’d like to do but haven’t found critical mass for them where I live
right now. I’m crossing my fingers, and forging ahead.
For employment, I don’t know where in going to land. I’ve been doing
Software Quality Assurance for 15 years and I’m pretty good at it but the
software industry is a constantly changing entity. Maybe I’ll find a place
there, maybe I won’t. I’ve thought, perhaps wistfully, about becoming a
continuity editor for films or such (I suppose I’m moving about 400 miles to
far north for that). I’m just a bit tired of not actually making a “thing”.
QA is just a kind of proofreading… and very little of my dot com
employment actually produced anything that is widely used. I suppose I’d
scratch that itch if I built a bridge or something, but that really isn’t in
my skill set. ;-) It would be wonderful if my job was my passion.
Craigslist has 100 new job openings every day. We’ll see what happens!
I posted this on my blog first on April 28th, 2005.
Here is the followup to that letter:
Burning Man and the culture around it certainly has had an effect on my life! I’ve been so involved in arts like flame effects and machine art that I’ve taught it for years now. I lived in the middle of everything, on the corner of 24th and Valencia in San Francisco for 8 years. I started a few more businesses (and closed just as many, poop). I’ve built giant steel and fire art with a massively collaborative art group and helped run a relatively smaller art project that took me to India among other places. The actual “follow my bliss” letter had an effect on my life… I had sent it to a former employer and friend; his response was, “We’d love to have you work in Cupertino as soon as you arrive!”. It was a great way to get my feet on the ground. I found love more than once, more importantly I found the love of my life and put a ring on it.
The letter offered considerable premonitions into my life over the last 9 years. It’s funny that I didn’t end up in “The San Francisco East Bay” as promised until 8 years later. But all things come to pass. I’m now writing this on the verge of starting grad school and fatherhood. I have no concluding remarks for this post, no conclusion because, as Vickie reminded me recently, “It’s all about the Journey!”