Why I'm leavingMarch 20, 2012 -
You’re lying to yourself and everyone around you if you ever say you don’t want to go somewhere new. It’s ok, I lie to myself about all kinds of things. Exploration is a critical part of the human condition. A biological imperative to continue the species. Amsterdam is a very new place. A whole new country and continent as well. What I’ll be doing in Amsterdam will be a more difficult, more challenging, more terrifying version of what I have been doing. I thought the same about NYC before I arrived last year, but I’m here now and the fear is mostly gone. That tells me it is time to step it up a bit and scare myself.
I cannot count the number of times I have talked to someone and listened to them talk about how “one day” they’re going to go to a place or do something. I fear that some of these people will spend their entire lives and never once actually see that place or do that thing. Tomorrow is not guaranteed which means we should be doing the things we talk about. I don’t want a year to go by where I sat around wishing I had taken the opportunity to go live abroad and be part of something huge. Opportunities like this don’t come often and you must be ready to go when the bell rings. It is my time and I would be an asshole to sit around and ignore it.
When someone tells you you cannot do something, that is suddenly all you want to do. I spent a few months this year unable to walk after breaking all three bones in my ankle. Even though I had plenty to do from my couch, all I really wanted to do the whole time was walk outside and skate. This sort of frustration couldn’t be avoided with my broken ankle, but it can be avoided in my career.
This new freedom, of course, comes with more responsibility. On my own, it is much harder to blame my failures on anyone else but myself. No one will give me a paycheck if my ideas don’t work out. No one will pay for my health insurance (although, in Amsterdam, this is less of an issue). This is scary and will likely be difficult. I like to force myself to do scary things as often as I can.