So I ended up choosing New York for college. And, for a short while, after college, too. But I realized life under the protective umbrella of education, and life outside it, is rather different. So what happened after?
I decided to put it all behind me, and take to the road for a bit. I flew out to Los Angeles, my first visit to the city in over 8 years. This visit, and, to a lesser extent, my subsequent visits thereafter, were the inspiration behind the first piece I wrote for this blog. In it, I mentioned how the city was filled with people chasing after impractical dreams of fame and riches. This wasn’t just a shoddy jab at the overall image of the city either. It was based on events that I had experienced during all my visits to the area.
And, to be honest, I loved it.
The fact that these people all thought they were better than others; the simple ludicrous idea that they were all, somehow, the top 1%; the sheer confidence that the lives they were all leading were sustainable to any extent; all this made me rather giddy. Never have I ever been surrounded by people who were all so driven about something, and simultaneously so naive about the realities about their situation. This was the place that made me want to do something crazy, too. And crazy I went and did.
I had returned home, to Toronto, shortly after my voyage to Los Angeles. And, for 2 months, I tried to trick myself into believing this was where I belonged. But, my mind, and my heart, were all in a different place. I had fallen in love with the city I visited. I felt no motivation for my life in Toronto. Soon, I started to grow complacent.
A word of disclaimer before I move on, however. Complacency, to me, is not being content with a given situation. Rather, it’s the feeling one gets when there is no hope remaining. It’s the feeling of begrudging acceptance, rather than an open embrace. And it’s, based on experience, the worst feeling in the entire world. As my stay in Toronto grew longer by the day, I grew ever more complacent. I began to die a little inside. I knew something was wrong, as both my mind, and my body, were reacting negatively to the situation I was bound to. But, I felt little need to change.
But, in what seemed like a miracle, I found an opportunity to get out. It was an opportunity to go to California — to Silicon Valley.
Now, I was naive back then (which isn’t to say I’m not today), and knew little about Californian geography. It was when I got on the airport monorail at SFO I knew something was awry. I knew I had made, perhaps, the biggest mistake of my life. Little did I know that this “mistake” would be the first step towards rectifying my life’s trajectory. Which is why its difficult for me to say definitively whether or not I like Silicon Valley, even to this day.
Do I still regret going to Silicon Valley last summer? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Without a doubt, 1000 times over.