Why I moved back to New York City

Back to the grind.

I‘m slowly wiggling my way back into the ebb and flow of the 8 1/2 million people all trying to get theirs. I took my first ‘real job’ out here 2 years ago and started getting some chops in the world of web development working at a tiny digital agency in SoHo. We churned out eCommerce & editorial sites while often biting off more than our modest team could chew.. After nearly a year and a stream of weekend wake up calls dealing with angry clients, crashed servers, and browser compatibility issues on launch days.. I felt I had learned as much as I could from the shop and started looking for the next opportunity.

Part of me wished I stuck it out, but in the end it was a decision I made and that’s that. I had a few weeks in the city before my craigslist / chinatown / 2 month sub-lease ran out and I desperately started searching for job where I could grow my skills & also feel good about my work. I went hard on the chrome dev inspector (cmd + shift + c) digging for a csrf_token or some other Ruby on Rails identifier to find an NGO or non-profit website I could send in my resume to with the skills I had. A few weeks of interviewing later I was contacted by a friend who told me about 2 guys starting an adventure travel startup back in Denver — my hometown. A long story short that may deserve its own medium rendition one day ( too soon.. ), I spent a year creating an application and trying to build a business from the ground up.

Well, after the startup dust settled I found myself back in Denver living with my folks, pondering my next move. I rekindled an old flame, I fell back into old habits, I tried my hardest to make the best of what I could only feel was the worst situation. Throwing some sugar on top of the fire I was reeling from a fractured leg, which culminated in a mental lull that created a quite the self-angst. Why did I leave a well paying job? Why did I think I was good enough to start my own company? Why did I bail on a career path in the most vibrant metropolis on planet earth?

Breathe…

I turned 25 that week, and even through all my self-deprecation and depression I had no regrets. I went for a dream and was proud of myself for it, albeit broke. I’ll never forget the months of whiteboard walls & air mattresses, pitching investors, and coding till the sun came up.. I was back home and had good friends, parents who loved me, and no serious debt. I was in a good place, in a great town, and I realized there was zero to complain about. Life was good.

So why did I decide to move back to New York City?

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I want to write a good story for my life and over the past 5 ~ years I have learned few basic tenants that I attempt to stick to when making important decisions.

  • Don’t dwell in the past, but do not forget it.
  • Listen to peoples opinions, but make your own decisions.
  • Occasionally leave your comfort zone, as comfort is overrated.

My decision to move back to New York was a hard one. Anyone who knows me can vouch that commitment is not necessarily my strong suit. Ultimately, I could say that I moved back because I got a great job offer that I couldn’t pass up, but in actuality I moved back to New York City because I felt it is a place where I can accelerate myself quicker than anywhere else.

Each year my dreams change and my values evolve, but ever since I was 19 I’ve had a single constant; a glimmer of attainable hope that one day I’d be a man who was content in all facets of life. Someone who didn’t compartmentalize work life / social life / family life but a human who could be calm, cool, and collected while solving any problem in any venue.

Re-reading this I sound naive & I know I’ll probably never look at myself and say, “Yup — I’ve made it. I’m completely content in all facets of life..” However I personally believe we all get one go-around, so I might as well hurry up and try to accomplish all I can with the short time I’ve got left. Plus.. I fucking love biking in New York City. There’s nothing quite like shredding through 30 blocks of gridlock traffic at 20 mph at the beginning of what might be an awesome night on the town.

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So I sit here once again, in a 7th floor walkup / chinatown / craigslist apartment eating pork & noodles while looking over downtown manhattan, pondering the interesting choices I’ve made but anchored by something my father told me in my days of stressful decision making.

‘There are no wrong choices. Just the next choice.’

Maybe I just got tired of living out of a backpack and moving every few months — but I am stoked to get some stability back in my life. I’m wringing out the value from what many people perceive as failure and I’m gearing up for my second bout with the Big Apple.

So wish me luck on the next endeavor at Scratch.com & look me up if your in New York City☺We can drink beer and talk all about our life’s w̶r̶o̶n̶g̶ ̶d̶e̶c̶i̶s̶i̶o̶n̶s interesting choices…