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The last 12 or so months..
I haven't felt compelled to write in a long time but as I walked through Central Park today, I figured it's time to share a bit
Initially, I thought about just doing this as a diary entry for my eyes only but I felt like public sharing some more about these past 12 months. It’s been wildly transformative for me - without a doubt the most transformative year of my life. And normally, I write about music, tech, privacy and other topics… this isn’t that. It’s personal.
Around 12 months ago, I had just given my notice to my landlord informing them that I’m moving out. I had this gut feeling compounding for several months leading up to that moment.
I started my job at Pollen in January of 2022. I was making good money working remotely - things were pretty chill. I made a trip up to NYC in February and spent lots of time with my friend Isha and she introduced me to a few of her friends. I returned to DC and couldn’t stop thinking about New York.
I returned to New York in March and once again had the same feeling… New York was on my mind. Everything in my soul was telling me to pick up and move. The next day, my dear friend Will reached out asking me to get coffee with him ASAP. We got together the next morning and that’s when he informed me he’s sold his place and is traveling Europe for the summer with his then girlfriend, now wife.
That following weekend, I went for a 7 mile walk around the city. I soaked in all the landmarks, the places we used to go out before COVID, all the places we protested… It occurred to me that the city changed. Restaurants closed, neighborhoods transformed… it just didn’t feel like home anymore. DC is such a transient city too - people come for a few years to pursue their careers and move to the next thing. It isn’t “home” for many people and it was glaringly obvious that it wasn’t home for me any longer either. All my friends had left and it was frankly getting lonely.
As soon as I got home from that walk, I ended my lease with the intention of traveling Europe for the summer and then moving to New York in September or October!
Fast forward to July 4th - I’m moved out of my place in DC! All my things are in storage or my parents house. I’m off to Belgium to speak at a music tech conference - a really exciting start to my next chapter!
Within 24 hours of landing in Belgium, Pollen goes bankrupt - sort of. They stop paying employees and there’s absolute chaos in the music industry because of it. They owe me ~$48,000 to this day. They went bankrupt a few weeks later.
Anways… I got to travel Europe for 2 months without having to work. It was the experience of a lifetime. I visited Belgium, France, Netherlands, Greece, the Canary Islands and Palma. I moved slow and explored. No itinerary - just satiating my curiosity every day. I knew I’d never have this opportunity again. A blessing.
But all good things come to an end… It was time to come home both “homeless” and unemployed. I moved back to my parents place while I interviewed at Uber, Blackrock, Meta, Bloomberg and probably another half dozen companies. It was soul crushing to be in my childhood home and not working. I got rejected by so many companies.
I got so much perspective on what matters in life during this period. While it sucked to be unemployed, I reminded myself that I’m so damn lucky to have a family to return to. That I wasn’t “homeless” and that I wasn’t a failure. And most importantly - I’ll never have this kind of quality time with my family again. I’m 33 now, my parents are in their 50’s/60’s. To have been able to wake up and have coffee with them every single morning and dinner with them every evening while they are still young was such a blessing in my life. I’ll cherish that time for the rest of my life because I know I won’t get it back. Sure, I’ll have the occasional weekend visit but I won’t have several months. Another blessing.
Fast forward from August to December - I still had not landed a job yet. My dreams of moving to New York had been pushed from September to October to November to “I don’t know.” Life doesn’t go to plan.
I ended up getting a gig at Meta just before Christmas and quickly moved to New York on February 4th. I only had a few weeks to find a place and no time to come search. I had to take my chances on an apartment sight unseen. My friends stepped up to help me find a place in a good neighborhood - thank you Andrew and Sara. Isha stepped up and came all the way from Brooklyn (on a day the L train wasn’t even running!!) to do a Facetime walkthrough of the apartment I wanted My dad helped me move… Well the movers did the moving, but my dad joined me on the drive and helped me get settled. Another series of blessings.
I’ve been here almost four months now and every day still feels surreal. I still can’t believe I live here. I dreamed about this since I was a 20 year old sneaking into Cielo and Pacha with a fake ID. I walk around this city with a childish wonder every day. I’m moving different these days.
My people supported me during this transition… my people got me here. They saw me at one of my lowest points and helped me maneuver through it. My relationships are tighter than ever because of it.
My big takeaways… There’s nothing wrong with moving slow and soaking things in. There’s nothing wrong with not having a plan. Opportunities present themselves regularly.
This past year has me rooted in reality. It’s given me the perspective on life that I desperately needed. Perspective is everything.