Yesterday was different, a milestone that I’ve never felt before in my entire life. I started this journey, at least mentally, around September 2014, to seek a professional path that fed my soul. The goal was to love what I did 9–5 as much as what I’m passionate about when I clock out and go home, narrowed down to 4 industries, in any combination: craft beer, writing, travel, and music.
Memorable food and drink moment, Butchertown Hall, Nashville, TN
Ideally, the light at the end of the tunnel was the hope that my days wouldn’t feel burdened anymore by waking up to go to a job that was only a means to pay the bills. I refused to endure that version of a false American Dream where we sacrifice true happiness to salvage a few days of vacation a year when I’d try to escape from everything I hated about where I was, only to realize I continued to fail when I had to come to terms with going back to the same unfulfilling job that was nothing ever more than that.
“In some form or another, yes,” I told him. Quietly, I checked myself because I wished a higher percentage of my answer had been tackling more of what I loved, and less of what I had to do because I backed myself into a corner.
Cam asked me if I’d consider documenting my journey, sharing my stories about how I wound up here as the CEO of Better Drinking Culture, and how that plays into everything else I’ve got my hands in. So, here’s where my “aha! moment” starts to reveal itself.
I told Cam that I needed a minute to reflect before I could respond because I felt overcome with a feeling that compelled me to process it right then and there.
It boils down to this: For the first time in my professional career, I knew that the role I’m in now at BDC has completely eliminated the dividing line between a 9–5 job and the rest of my life I look forward to, and have only ever been able to experience after office hours. I felt all the hustle, hard work, early mornings, late nights, and risk to change the trajectory of my life intersect with where I’ve always wanted to be: here, present, moved — all with purpose.
Aaron, the Director of Expansion for Next Door Photos (and office mates to BDC), sits across from me. He was listening to my conversation with Cam. I felt he sincerely cared about witnessing my gears turn. He chimed in, “Dude, you’re living in your sweet spot right now.” He was right.
The epiphany was that I realized that my days are now a series of rolling 24-hour chapters with no distinct beginning or end. From the moment my alarm goes off in the morning until I ease into bed at night, what I’m responsible for at BDC complements everything I’ve worked diligently to seek out since September 2014. They’re both one in the same now. I don’t have a job anymore. Finally, I have clarity. Finally, I have my life.
Please, stay tuned to me here at Medium and on our blog at BDC… I intend to continue documenting this journey, [Challenge accepted, Cam] and would love to continue the conversation with anyone out there who wants to share theirs, too.
Originally written 1.19.17, and posted on Medium.