“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day”
A year after college, me and 2 friends loaded up a Uhaul and moved across country. No job prospects. No clue what the place was like. But our buddy told us to and we had nothing better to do so, what the hell.
The next two years, life was basically a continuation of college. Except with more themed parties.
2012 — Still couldn’t grow a beard
It was quite fun. Then my quarter-life crisis set in.
How to survive a quarter-life-crises
I’d spent ~25 years following this vague notion: “I just need to work hard, get good grades, be a good person and do what I love (instead of chasing money) and things will work out.”
I did all that. But slowly realized things weren’t working out. Here’s a peek inside my brain around that time:
“I hate my job, have no clue what I want to do, can barely afford groceries, and celibate monks have a more exciting dating life than I do…wtf!?”
Little by little, I started to turn things around.
I torched through the library’s self-help section. Reading everything from The Game to Think and Grow Rich to Real Happiness and tons more.
I traded in the Adam Carolla podcast for ones focused on personal/professional growth, like the Art of Charm, The New Man, and eventually I Love Marketing.
I took half a dozen meditation workshops. Went to improv classes. Paid thousands for various workshops so I could learn to be confident and connect with women (among other things). Did 2-3 years of fucking yoga.
22-year-old Brian would have looked at all that stuff and gone “Why the hell are you wasting your money on that crap? And when did you turn into a God damn hippie?”
But it worked.
I went from not having a clue what the hell I wanted to do with my life to stumbling into a career I love. (There are Friday nights where I’d rather sit and study/write copy than go out.) In 2 years, my yearly income doubled.
I went from being terrified at the thought of approaching a woman to getting dates in coffee shops. From feeling super awkward around people I’d just met to being the guy who brought people together on a cruise ship.
I went from being emotionally closed off to breaking down in tears in front of big groups of people, multiple times. From someone who wouldn’t handle intense emotions (“Oh you’re sad? Let me make a joke!”) to someone who enjoys being in that space with people or myself.
So, shout out to my quarter-life-crisis for helping me get my ass in gear. And thanks to my family for their support and dealing with my stressed-out phone calls.
What happens when you don’t quite fit in?
Back in college, I played 2 weeks of lacrosse and a year of soccer. But quit both in part because even though the guys seemed cool I didn’t feel like I fit in.
Sophomore year I joined rugby and clicked with the guys there. That team was one of the best parts of college and that’s where I made most of my good friends.
Boulder now is starting to feel like that soccer team. It was the right for me at 24-29. But now, my friends are in committed relationships, either with people or the mountains. Others moved away. I’ve been a part of some wonderful communities with great people but felt like a bit of an outsider.
After 5-6 years, I look around and realize there’s nothing holding me here. To me, that’s a sign it’s time to go.
One thing I’ve learned through my time here is I need new challenges. I’ve got to feel like I’m growing. I’ve done the Boulder thing. Now I need new mountains to climb (figuratively speaking.)
So like the elves at the end of Lord of the Rings, I’m peacing out. Not to go anywhere in particular. I’ve just been feeling an intense urge to hoist anchor, set sail, and see what happens. So that’s what I’m doing.
Frodo gets it — Sometimes you just gotta go
People keep asking about my trip, so here’s what’s up:
My upcoming trip with Remote Year
Me and ~75 other remote workers are traveling together for a year. We’ll be working full-time the entire trip. Everyone already has a job working for themselves or some company.
We can do side trips whenever we want. And we pay the lovely people at Remote Year to handle all the travel/lodging logistics. (Word is they throw welcoming/networking parties in every city we go to. So that’s cool)
Here’s a look at where I’ll be:
I’ll now take questions from the audience
“Are you excited?”
Not yet. Too busy stressing over all the stuff I got to take care of before going. Once I’m on the plane I’ll be excited.
“Are you going back to Boulder after?”
Doubt it. My work here is done. As for where I’ll live after, I haven’t planned that far ahead.
“Are you coming back to the US at all during it?”
Nope. Try not to burn the place down while I’m gone.
“How’d you find out about this?”
I was looking into traveling solo and saw this ad on my FB newsfeed. At first I thought “that’s waaaay to expensive”. But I didn’t want to travel only to turn into a hermit in a hut in Costa Rica. Having cool people to kick it with, plus having all the lodging/travel taken care of for me made me realize it was worth it.
“Are you sure the company’s legit?”
“Will you blog about it?”
Yup. Every 2 weeks or so. If there’s anything you want to hear about let me know.
“Aren’t you going to miss me?”
Obviously. Keep in touch, homie.
“Can I come?”
Sure. Let me know where ya want to meet up.