Hacking Through

One week ago I left my job.

I am pouring coffee alone in my kitchen, barista nowhere to be seen, in awe of how gracefully life swivels as the rails of structure sink away and your wheels are allowed to carve left or right.

I am reminding myself that this is a choice and that having one is a privilege. Of selling my last startup. Of continuing on with the acquiring company for twenty-five months until liberty, waiting at the finish, is handing me this cup of coffee.

I am pondering a new idea, which is surprising because it has arisen from no specific intent. There has been no moment of clarity where I grokked the solution to a perplexing problem. It is just an idea, but it is latching on, free to recurse in a mind that — for the first time in years — may now allow it to do so.

I am recalling that a hackathon begins in only three hours. I am realizing that this is an opportunity for creation. And though it may be too late, I am filling out the application.

Finally, I am reading the welcome email. I am accepting that the fates sometimes deliver when tempted.

So I am rushing to shower. To pack. To focus. I am regaining traction on newly laid tracks guiding a train into the city. I am arriving at the registration desk. I am assigned to a table.

Like one week ago, I am again sitting down at a computer. Again on a schedule. Again on a project. Again surrounded by coders and designers. Again meeting people, some from afar.

I am reminded that this is what I was meant to do. That this is what I used to do. That this is what I desire to do.

I will spend the next forty-eight hours hacking on code, pushing pixels around, constructing a prototype from assembled bits. I will appreciate the catered food, the buzzing atmosphere, the energy of hundreds of people trying to breathe life into their ideas.

I will pace. I will pitch. I will ponder.

And I will — in what unfolds like a dream — pass the first round, and then the next. I will find myself selected with six other teams to pitch on the main stage at the event in front of a thousand people. And ultimately, I will win two prizes, two investments in a company that has yet to exist.

But most importantly, I will again find myself alone in my kitchen, coffee in hand, but phone in the other. Forming a company. Reaching out to investors. Assembling a team. Building a product. I will again be in awe of the power of freedom. The choice to leave one life for another. The opportunity to forge my own rails.

One week ago I left my job.

One week from now I will have a new one.

Founder @looksyvideo

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