In life you rarely see turning points coming. There are no cautionary yellow signs with bold markers alerting you to what lies ahead. The signs are subtle and chances are you’ll be oblivious to them until you take the unmarked exit off the freeway of status quo, changing direction forever.
Taking the turn feels different for everyone. Some of us cruise through life at a moderate pace, easily decelerating to calibrate for the exit’s change in direction, then accelerating quickly on the path forward. Some of us live in the fast lane, barreling forward until we notice the exit, sliding over 4 lanes to make it, and then jacking on the brakes to avoid smashing into the guard rail.
The last two years have been the longest off ramp of my life. A relationship, five moves, three hairstyles, a new job, two bad habits, and four pant sizes later, I’m finally starting to reach for the gas pedal again. Sure, I’m a bit scratched up from the guard rail, but the engine still runs, the paint looks decent, and the merge hasn’t been as big of a bitch as the turn.
After spending a couple of months in Central Florida with my dad this summer, I relocated to Milwaukee in August. Why Milwaukee? It’s affordable, most of my family lives here, flights to the Coasts for work aren’t unbearably long, it’s on a lake, and the people are nice. An unexpected perk — the people watching. Just ask me about the time I saw a drunk volleyball girl eat it on the bike rack outside McDonalds.
Team 10up has doubled in size again this year. I’m on my way to our second annual meeting in Las Vegas and I can hardly wait to see this team for the first time in person. We’re no longer a mostly homogeneous group of engineers, but a diverse, multidisciplined team of strategists, creatives, systems engineers, monetization specialists, and storytellers. I have what many would (and do) consider a dream job.
I’ve been single for four months. Which seems unremarkable until you consider that my longest streak prior to this was two months, crammed in between a series of relationships that spanned seven years. Unsurprisingly, people, things, and places look entirely different when you view them through your own lens, unclouded by another’s perspective. For me, they’re clearer, prettier, freer.
The left lane is always tempting, but the pursuit of balance is more compelling and sustainable, so I’ve found a nice pocket in the middle lane to cruise in. Don’t get me wrong, I fully intend to use the fast lane for its intended purpose — sometimes you just gotta get shit done, but for now I’m happy just to be enjoying the drive again.