Hello everyone, and welcome! This will, I hope, be the first entry in a long and memorable relationship. If you’re new to this blog, great!—we have something in common—this is a fine place to begin. To kick things off, this post is going to be the first in a three part series:
- Part I- Crossing the Rubicon: Your basic meet and greet and how I got here;
- Part II- The Snapshot: The Goal, and where I stand today;
- Part III- The Journey: What I envision this blog to be
Part I: Crossing the Rubicon
I’m what you could call a hopeless optimist. Part of that is assuredly due to the great fortune I’ve been bestowed in my life: I’m reasonably healthy, I have a gorgeous 7-month old baby girl, and I found the love of my life (and still my beautiful and loving wife) at 24 years old. There’s much more than that I’m also grateful for (solid upbringing, devilishly handsome, a knack for mathematics), but those are the biggies—the rest is just gravy.
Despite all of these blessings, I find myself a bit desirous for something more. “More?” you ask. – Yes, more. And this desire started at roughly 1 p.m., May 6th, 2014. Let me take you there…
I woke up May 6th (it was a Tuesday) to a pretty freakin’ fantastic life. I worked a good job with a solid salary. We owned our own large, beautiful new home in DC’s Virginia suburbs. I drove a Mercedes, the wife had a Corvette (my birthday gift to her). We ate well, drank well. The new baby girl was gorgeous, happy and healthy. At 29 years old I had scratched together a reasonably substantial nestegg for retirement. And, lastly, I had just been extended an internship to work on Wall Street (forever a dream of mine) for the world’s preeminent investment bank. Yes, life was (and still is, for that matter) good. On that Tuesday I was headed north on a bus to get fingerprints taken to cement my employment at the new job—which was set to start a week later. The trip up and the events that transpired thereafter were ordinary, but the trip back was set to be more important than I’d ever know.
Riding through Maryland, at about 1 p.m. and about one-third through the bus ride back from fingerprints in Delaware, Interstate-95 crosses over the Susquehanna River on the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge. I sat on the right side of the bus as we crossed the bridge when I looked down at the water and I saw it: a man, alone, lounging in a rowboat with a fishing line in the water.
Unremarkable? Maybe so. But I saw something different, something more than just a guy in a boat. And it hit me like a punch in a dark room. Here I am, heading back to work to close out things with my last employer and looking ahead to a career in Wall Street—confident in myself and certain in my future. And here’s this guy, fishing in the middle of the afternoon under a cloudless sky in the warm May sunshine—all on a Tuesday, no less. And I asked myself, “which one of us really has it ‘all figured out?’”
It may not have been Caesar’s Rubicon, but the Susquehanna became my point of no return. I started to ask what this (this job, this career, this money, this life) was all for. I realized, after much searching, that my happiness was resting in that boat. At the ripe young age of 29 (hence the blog moniker), I knew that the one life God gave to me was not meant to be spent at a desk waiting for weekends and vacation days. My best day is today, and I’ve spent enough time preparing for tomorrow.
It was time to retire.…or, at least start moving quickly in that direction.
So there I stood, at the precipice of a new life. Young(ish), vibrant, and with a family in tow, we hurriedly packed our bags and left our house unoccupied while we drove north to New York City. But, despite our excitement, my life’s priorities were drastically changing behind the veil. Knowing my penchant for big ideas but little action, I’ve finally decided to turn this idea out in a public forum (hello blogosphere) to better hold myself accountable for my progress (or lack thereof) toward my goal.
What is the goal exactly? Well, that will be covered in Part II of this entry series. So, welcome again! And please read on.