Goodbye Life. Hello Self?
Hello! My name is Anhton. I guess the typical way to start things off is to tell you what my writing will be about. I hope that this will be one of the few conventional posts I make as I embark on what is to hopefully be a watershed personal journey.
You see, I just left the States for a year to travel the world through this program called Remote Year. 70 people — plus me! — will travel the world inhabiting 12 different cities each month working remotely and essentially living — apprehending each piece of life and wonder this world has to offer on our adventure. Goodbye life, goodbye job, good bye pretty much everything I’ve built up so far since I literally got rid of 90% of what I own.
When I told people that this is what I would be doing a lot of people said, “Oh, of course you are!” or “I can totally see you doing that; it’s so you.” And maybe they’re right. The irony in all of this though is that they all seem to have some sense of who I am to determine that a crazy adventure like this would totally be up my alley. However, the truth is the whole reason I’m doing this is to be in search of myself.
I’ve spent my post undergrad years learning from the ground up on what it takes to create a start-up. I’ve been a Venture for America fellow this entire time and have worked in a number of growth companies, poising myself to ultimately start something of my own. I’ve learned the mechanics of running a tech company from multiple perspectives thanks to this program, and I’ve been able to see what an impact these entities can make in local economies.
Somewhere in the mix of this amazing learning experience though I came upon the realization that the person I know as myself has really felt like it’s just been the tip of the iceberg. Underneath the experiences, college, friends, there’s something else buried inside that has never surfaced, and because of that I’m not sure if I fully understand who I am really.
My fellowship concluded this summer and I still felt like I was so far away from creating a business despite my knowledge base. So many people start things without knowing as much as I have and they do it well. What was holding me back? Had I not found the right idea? Was there another skill I needed to learn?
All of these questions that I brought up to myself were just symptoms of something else. Throughout my life I’ve always been defined by something: Anhton, the VFA Fellow, Anhton the Notre Dame Student, Anhton the Designer, Anhton that weird guy that binges reality tv. Who is Anhton by himself though? Of course all of these things are pieces of my identity that I hold dear — except perhaps my affinity for trash tv — but if you stripped away all these identity pieces I’ve gained, what’s left?
Well that’s what I want to figure out. Instead of burying myself into my career or what my next step should be, I’m going to bury myself into well, myself. What better way to search for yourself than to journey the planet to do so? The hypothesis is, if I force myself out of my comfort zone constantly, it’ll truly force me to examine myself.
Which brings me to where I am now, sitting in the co-working space provided to us in beautiful Cordoba, Argentina. My next post will probably be sometime around the conclusion of my first city on this journey. I’ll be writing about thoughts, discoveries, anecdotes as a way to better help me third eye myself. For now I’m a just wanderer, lost. Soon though, I hope to be found.