A few days ago I wrote what might be my most revealing post yet. If you haven’t read it, feel free to click here and do so. If you prefer the tl;dr version, I’ll give you the gist: Just when I thought I had everything together it all fell apart. Within a matter of weeks my cruising-along-just-fine life turned into catastrophe.

Not “I lost my health or a loved one” catastrophe, but the regular kind you can’t really admit to because it’s so normal. I struggled before pressing publish, but ultimately decided to share. I don’t think enough people talk about the hard parts of being a thirty-ish year old tech person who lives in a big city and wants to do things like find love and have a family (whatever that might look like).

So here I sit today, writing my way out of the rubble. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Growing up isn’t a prison of fulfilling expectations. You don’t need the big house (no pun intended.)
  2. Nothing is set in stone (or if it is, remember stone can crumble too).
  3. Your values should always be set by you. Let those values grow and evolve, but never let someone else take a hold of those things and change them on you. You are valuable because of you, not the people who say they love you.
  4. It’s never too late to shed your weaknesses and change your conceptions. Recognize how they’ve served you in the past and focus on reprogramming yourself for improvement. Old habits die hard, but when they die you will be more free. Freedom begets great things.
  5. Don’t waste your time on people who continuously make you feel terrible for how you feel. You deserve to be surrounded by people who are not only capable of hearing you out, but also caring enough to help you see more clearly.
  6. Love with everything you have while you can, but also understand sometimes it’s best to let go. Some people are incapable of finding closeness and will always feel threatened by your attempts at love. This will break your heart (and it’s okay to let that happen), but in the end people like that want to be alone. Find the logic to leave and let them be broken. Let them be alone. Then move on so you can find life again.
  7. No matter how bad it looks or how deep you’ve gone, you can always reset and rebuild everything. When you hit the reset button you don’t have to start from scratch. The assets you have, as long as they are yours, are still of use.

When life forced me to hit reset I reevaluated everything and started working on rebuilding with experimentation in mind. I won’t always make the right moves in life but if there’s one thing I’ve learned it is this: I will never make another move that makes me feel stuck.

I want to remember that every day is full of opportunities. Everything we do is a choice and I want to choose with my heart and my logical interests aligned.

Today my ambitious/logical and emotional selves creak along one at a time like an early robot, but for the first time I am starting to understand that both sides exist and they don’t have to fight. Already I feel more succinct. Less of the imprisoned-by-expectations self and more like a person that feels inner (instead of outer) peace.

I couldn’t be more delighted with the new work I’ve found. I picked up some consistent consulting gigs with great companies. I’m starting a SaaS startup. I’m also working on another early startup idea. Opportunities are coming to me and I feel that I’m getting closer and closer to something big.

Part of what’s great about being in tech is that you can literally be anywhere. I’ve always valued the world and so in the spirit of experimentation, I leased out my New York City apartment for 55 days between August and October. Come late Summer I will be a temporary digital nomad.

It’s a time for learning and I am resolute. Now all I have to decide is where I want to go.