Beyond the Horizon

Misty Mountaintops

This is my first blog post from my new home in California. I really haven’t had time to sit down and manifest my thoughts into words until tonight. Sharing the couch with two dogs, (Roommate’s not mine) glass of whiskey at my side, neat, I finally feel the calming of the fast paced change that happened at the end of December. I went from Pittsburgh to Chicago, down through Texas to Corpus Christi, then to Houston, then off to Washington D.C., then to Sacramento then to finally here in Berkeley. Just a little under 7000 miles traveled in two weeks, temporary rooms, bouncing with my luggage from place to place. Exploring the dive bars in almost each city has been a beautiful cultural adventure by itself.

The first thing people ask me about moving to the bay area was the typical, “how is it?”. To be honest, it feels like I time traveled like 1-2 years into the future. Things out here feel a little “further along” than in Pittsburgh. Perhaps that’s a very lazy attempt to describe it, but that’s the best I can do for now. I’m not going to dive off into the deep like I normally do, I just want to relax, let this comfy couch attempt to absorb me and reflect. In my interview for the position I have now, one of the personal questions asked to me, a guy from Pittsburgh was, “Why California?”. Now that I ponder it, why anywhere? Why would someone suddenly sell everything they have, and move over 2000 miles away? Well, to answer that I have to backup and explain something.

One of the best feelings that I’ve had is looking at yourself in the mirror and feel a sense of pride in who you have become, that doesn’t mean you have no regrets, that doesn’t mean you have no insecurities, but your current state is one to be proud of. It’s not arrogant, you don’t feel superior to others, you just feel comfortable with yourself. Its very similar to the feeling of finishing a creation. A car mechanic finally finishes his restoration on a classic car. A painter finally finishes a painting. A young nerd finally finishing a custom built PC (me 10 years ago).

Some people are “doers” they don’t hide from work and they have no problem going the extra mile, or extra 10 miles in order to accomplish something. Some people are perfectionists, they will continually throw themselves at something until it’s perfect. Something needs to be done? They’ll do it. Is something broken? One of them will fix it. Some people don’t shy away from the work that comes with life, in fact they revel in it. When people say, “You can make you dreams come true” These are the people who can actually see it, beyond a mountain of hard work. I want to be one of those people.

I feel like the opportunity in the bay area is a chance for me to grab life by the horns. An yes, it’s very true that the nature of the bay area is much more competitive with silicon valley being just south a bit. There is a natural fear of the unknown here.

So my response to the ‘Why California?” was comparison to Bilbo Baggins as humorous as that is. I love Pittsburgh, I have no qualms in raising a family there, but for now, have the urge to see mountains, to wander beyond the horizon and take every single opportunity that is presented to me.

Whats down the street and around the corner? I don’t know, but I will know eventually.

Jumping from software development to information security I feel a couple years behind, with certs and experience, so right now I’m trying my hardest to consume anything in front of me. When you’re presented with a challenge, you do not say no. That’s not a question, that’s a way of living, or else you will look back later in life and feel a pulling feeling of regret.

I saw an Elite Daily post a few months ago about moving to a random city. Now I’m not gonna list the buzzfeed list to ‘Why you should move away’, but I will emphasize, for me at least, that moving out of my comfort zone was probable the best decision I’ve ever made (so far, at least). If you have the opportunity, or even the ability, let go of everything you have, and cast yourself off into the void and see what becomes of yourself.

Similar to the car restorer, or the computer builder, I have a sense of pride in actively choosing where to go when I hit a crossroads, but one thing is for sure, I’m not done yet.