I don't owe that to you


Just had a total anxiety attack walking through central London. I was supposed to walk 16 minutes down the road and it took me 50 and I can't really tell you why.

I felt like I was getting swallowed whole. Like everyone else was in proportion, and I was only four inches tall. Like I was exploring a foreign land and I couldn't figure out where to take cover.

It was exhausting.

If you've ever met me--heck, if you've read more than one of my emails--you'll know this is a bit bizarre for me. I usually putter around with immense, unadulterated swagger. It's kinda my thing.

This move to London is making me examine a lot of stuff, though.

I can't really put it all into words yet, but one thought in particular keeps coming up for me.

And that's to say this: You don't have to do the most prestigious-sounding thing. You don't owe that to anybody.

If London is calling to you, go do you. If San Francisco is calling to you, go do you.

But if Topeka is your city? You can stay. If Bournemouth is your home? You can stay. I give you permission.

You can build a life--a really, really, really full life--in whichever way you see fit.

And when I say 'life,' I obviously include 'career' under that umbrella. There is so much more opportunity than you realize in the smaller cities. There is opportunity to be created, too. Austin Kleon wrote a really great piece on this last year--especially if you want to do something a little weird.

See, place has always been really important to me. I needed to be in Europe. I needed to go to Notre Dame. I needed to be at this party and not that one. It's not an issue for everybody, by I've always been hyper-affected by location.

And what I'm realizing now is: No place is perfect--but if it feels like home, you've already kinda won.

Someone asked me the other day if I help people find their dream jobs.

I said I didn't like the term 'dream job' because it felt foreign. Far away from reality. And besides, not everybody can even name a dream job they want. Yet, or ever.

What I'm interested in is best fit. That low-level buzz you get through your body when you're in sync with what you're doing, and where you're doing it.

You don't have to pick the big city. Or the big job. You don't owe that to anybody.

Sending hugs, as always.