(In)Decision 2011

Well, it's great to be back after what?  A three month vacation?  Oops :-)  Ok, let's see what have we missed?  Uh....not much lol, so let's just skip over all that.

I've been sitting on this blog entry for quite sometime trying to figure out how to talk about it, but today's little adventure helped me come up with a good analogy for my current situation.

Today was my first adventure biking to work in the rain and it was so much FUN.  Granted there was very little rain, but hey, it was still an experience.  My car was in the shop for repairs, so I actually ended up biking to the car dealer to pick up my car.  I stopped to think about how funny the situation was.  5 years ago, I had NO idea how I'd even get around without a car.

Within the first week of getting my car at Poly I got hit my first friggin week in the student lot.  I had to take in my car to get the dents removed from the bumper for 3 days and I lived 5 miles from campus.  Of course I loved biking back then, but the concept of commuting to school was just not in my dictionary.  Now, thanks to Professor Braun pounding the idea of sustainability into my head, I find my self biking 30 miles to/from work 3 times a week.  I've gone from driving to pick up my bike, which used to break down every other day on the way home from campus to riding my bike to pick up my car which had broken down.  Funny how that works.

Man how times change...

I'm all about change.  I don't know why, but I just seem to thrive off of it, like stress :-)  I guess I need lots of changes to keep busy haha.  For example, if I've been home for more than 2 weekends in a row I absolutely have to take a trip somewhere.  Or if I'm sitting in my room and I'm bored, I'll rearrange everything.  It's just the way I am...or at least have become.

Before college, you would never find me leaving the security of the Grosse Pointe bubble.  I wasn't much for adventure, I just stayed in my 5 square mile patch of metro Detroit and messed with computers.  I never liked going on trips, I stressed out about traffic and I was scared to fly over oceans.

Then something changed.  Dunno what made me do it, but for the first time ever, I made a decision without much sound planning at all.  Going to college in California was probably the first major spontaneous choice I've ever made.  Of course my parents and I did the research, but in the end, my decision was based on a very random feeling: I just wanted to get away.  And so I did.  I drove west for 4 days with my parents to my new home in San Luis Obispo, and I've been in California ever since, enjoying the weather, the outdoors, and all the other great things that make this state great.  And I don't regret it one bit :-)

It truly was a turning point in my life.  I forced myself to socialize and try new things, and I'm so glad I made this choice.  I've become a much more open person whose willing to travel pretty much anywhere.  Hell, I went to Europe on my own for a month.  The old Matt wouldn't be caught dead crossing the Atlantic lol.  I actually socialize with people now, it's kinda scary.  I don't think anybody back at North would recognize me (and I didn't skip the reunion because I'm too cool, I was just jetlagged lol).  I've slowly become less stressed and OCD, especially by the end of college.  I do my best to get away from the computer as much as possible and get outdoors.  I'm just a different person, at least on the outside.  I like to think I still have the midwest charm, although sadly I've lost my accent. :-/  I guess being a nice guy is something that sticks with you lol, and I'm glad it has.

Of course, big decisions come at a price.  I do miss a lot of things about MI (which I've covered before).  The snow, Coney Island, hanging out at our cottage on a humid summer night, tornadoes, fish flies...well maybe not fish flies.  Not to mention my family and friends!  I know we all move on after high school, but I really wished I stayed in contact with you guys back in GP.  To Brenna, Carmine, Alex, Caitlin, Janelle, Ashley, Nathan, Danny, Johnny and everyone else, I still miss you guys and hope all is well.  I do someday hope to return and maybe start a greentech startup in Detroit where there are so many bright people and opportunities to start a business.  I just need to come up with a good idea :-)  Of course, reason tells me this is a hard goal to achieve, but hey, after doing all the things I've done in the past few years, why not right?

So why the trip down memory lane?  Well, after college I moved up here to the Bay Area and had a similar feeling.  Many of my friends from college moved to other cities and I was left in a new place again on my own.  Kristen, I'm so glad you were around, otherwise I would've been so lonely!  Of course I was excited, it was a change right?  A new place to live, a new job, many places to explore, the list continues.  I was a little hesitant about meeting people; even though I had become more social, it still was hard for me to meet people.

It took a good year, but I finally established myself and am finally comfortable saying that I don't mind San Jose.  For the longest time I was obsessed with moving to SF, but I realized that I really do like the various towns that surround the valley, not to mention all the great hiking and biking around here.  Oh, and of course I have to mention my volunteer friends.  What started as just a thought has turned into the best decision I ever made.

One night when I was feeling a little lonely, I was reading a book, and it stated that the best way to get to know people is to "focus more on things that interest you than meeting people."  I thought about it and figured, "Hmm, well I like to help people, what could I do with that?"  I decided I should do volunteer work, which I had hardly ever done up until this point.  And now?  I help lead a group of volunteers in San Jose with some of the greatest people I've ever met.  You guys are all so awesome and I'm so happy I've met all of you!  To Avni, Michelle, Lesley, Aravind, Denise, Melisa, Shailendra and Jose, you guys all rock!

Ok, ok, so why mention all this?  Well I have that itching feeling again that it's time for a change.  And if there's something I want to do, I will get it done.  And so, I've started looking to new opportunities in terms of places to live and grad schools.  But I'm stuck.  On the one hand, I'm excited to move somewhere new, try different things, maybe go back to school.  That's never an issue anymore, I'm always up for a trip!

The problem is leaving what I have behind.  It seems so stupid; I feel like I get settled well enough just to sever all ties and move on to a new life.  Well maybe not sever, but it's hard to keep in touch at a distance.  Why do I do that?  Sure, the experiences are priceless and I'm young so I should do this now and "get it out of my system", but I just have to stop and look around and wonder, "Why?"  I mean I have a great life with awesome friends in a nice, cozy little slice of the world.  Why mess with that?  Unfortunately, those of us who like change like to poke and prod at our lives quite often, don't ask me why.

What should I do?  I'm really in a pickle.  Stay here or move on.  It's always a tough choice, but I'm all about tough choices.  I've turned down studying abroad, I skipped over Italy on my Eurotrip, I moved 3000 miles west, so why not move again?  Ugh, this is so hard!  I know people think I'm "Stan the Man with the Master Plan", I must say, I don't have a plan for this.  What to do?

All I can say is this: something's gonna change this year, but I don't know what yet.  That's just vague enough to work right?  Well, I guess more specifically I mean that I'm not sure if I wanna leave the Bay Area just yet. The people, the opportunities, the sourdough bread...ok well maybe the bread I can find in other places, but the first two are irreplaceable.

I'm hopeful and excited that something big is on the horizon for 2011, I just can't wait to see what it is :-)

Later everyone!


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