I’ve got the seemingly perfect set up: running team, apartment in NYC, recent salary increase with plenty of opportunities for overtime pay, even an incredible woman nearby who I’ve had so many wonderful moments with.
So why in the HECK am I moving to China in mid-August?!
Wow. Is this really happening?
Yes. Yes, it is.
I am choosing to leave the comfortable for the unknown.
Right now it’s all so seemless. Direct deposits come in, automatic bill payments go out. Charlie, my son the cat, is comfortable in our well appointed 680 square foot home of nearly eight years. My family is 792 miles away, but it’s a comfortable drive I know well.
And yet, the yearning to be free urges me forward. It’s been percolating for a couple years, but became fully brewed in the course of my solo expedition through East Asia last summer.
Of course, I’ve been free; if not fully formed. Ever since I was offered this job in Shanghai on Sunday, April 30th, I have felt liberated.
It hurts every time I read a recent text from the incredible woman nearby. She posted a screenshot of Sara Bareilles’s “Manhattan.” I read the lyrics and was hit with a wave of sadness. I cannot imagine not seeing her again across the river in a park in New Jersey. Eating with her at John’s on 12th.
And yet, I am compelled at this point in my 39th year to finally–finally–commit myself to truly learning a foreign language. To finally race in other countries. To travel broadly, regularly, and post photographs and stories for posterity. To complete my memoir project while on the road–a stranger in a strange land.
I must absolutely move forward.
I will forsake so many things of my pack rat existence, things which in some ways have held me down. Finally, I comprehend what Tyler Durdin said. And I refuse to allow the things I own to own me.
Never will I forget from whence I came. Always will I carry with me the air of my personal and family history. May my family and friends breathe in turn the experiences of my vagabond existence….for without them all, I only toil in solitude. Ultimately, I am still a human. A social creature.
Yet, off I go…to distant lands.
I promise everyone this: we will remain connected. You are with me as I am with you.