In less than 2 weeks, I’ll be leaving the west coast.
Of course I’ll be back for work as this particular coast is my business playground, but my family and I are relocating our home to Denver, Colorado.
We’ve lived in California just shy of a decade, and as I look back on our time here it seems the adage, “The days are long; the years are short” rings very true. The last ten years feels like both an eternity and a blink, and there’s something about L.A. that will always be very special to me.
You see, I may not have been raised here, but this, in so many ways, is where I grew up.
It was here in L.A. that my wife and I were both more flat-out broke than we’ve ever been and as rich as we’ve ever been (so far). It was here that provided the airplanes that turned us into true global travelers. It was here that we found careers we enjoy. It was here that I finished my MBA. It was here that we lost a dear friend to a terrible a-hole of a disease. It was here that we became Disneyland experts (seriously). It was here that I wrote and published my first book, became a speaker, and launched my consulting practice. It was here that we had both of our babies.*
When we arrived here ten years ago, I mostly felt like a clueless kid, chasing a music career and searching for a way to pay the bills, too (note to younger self: these things are almost always mutually exclusive). It didn’t take very long for the brutal realities of the “music business” to push me towards other endeavors, and I was unbelievably fortunate to almost immediately stumble into the world of positive psychology and from there into coaching, organizational development, consulting, and writing/speaking.
Looking back, the journey makes (almost) perfect sense, but the rear-view takes for granted how absurdly confusing and bewildering it all felt… for years. I knew I would NOT be doing music far before I knew what would replace it. So my search began, as it does for so many in life, with a one-way ticket and no discernible destination point on the map. But I set out anyway, just knowing I needed to keep looking.
Along the road, I was the recipient of many lucky breaks. People adopted me as their apprentice, kindly showed me the ropes of the mysterious business I wanted to be in, granted me their extremely valuable time for coffee chats, gave me opportunities to try speaking for their professional organizations, and helped me understand how to set prices and value my services. There are so many facets and angles to the work I do; I have no doubt I’d still be wandering in the proverbial desert if not for these spectacular human beings.
(My friends—if you are reading this, you know who you are, and I am unspeakably grateful to you.)
Of course, the other side to this luck is the difficult, persistent, never-give-up WORK part. I’ve heard it said, “The harder you work, the luckier you are” and at least for me, this seems mostly true. I feel pretty comfortable telling you I worked my ever-loving ass off for about five straight years.
Somewhere along the way the luck and the work converged, and I will forever be grateful to Los Angeles for being the crucible that helped me figure out who I am and who I want to be.
See you soon, L.A.
*Yes, you heard that right. Baby #2 arrived on Aug 27! Here’s me and my other new favorite person:
The Truths Of The World Lie In Paradox by Josh Allan Dykstra on January 30th, 2012
How To Navigate Life After College by Josh Allan Dykstra on March 28th, 2011
A Response To "Generation Flux" (from Fast Company) by Josh Allan Dykstra on September 23rd, 2012