For any of you who are Pete Yorn fans, I salute you. I love Pete Yorn. His music and writing just makes you feel; it forces moments once forgotten to come flooding back into view and you can really get lost if you listen for too long. Years ago my friend won two VIP tickets to see Pete Yorn in New Orleans. We would hang out backstage, meet the man himself, and have awesome seats while he played his set. I was pretty young at the time and lived with my parents so I had to ask their permission to go.
The answer was no. Of course it was no. I was 17 and kind of irresponsible. I was pretty upset and while listening to my parents may have been the better option, I still wonder what might’ve happened had I jumped headfirst and asked for forgiveness later. This moment forged within me the desire to take risks and just go.
I’m willing to take the risk even at the cost of failure. Don’t confuse taking risks with acts of stupidity, however, stupidity can sometimes be subjective and failure isn’t always a bad thing. Failure can shape us; it can amplify our faults, and bring to light what needs to be corrected. If we let the fear of failure keep us from trying new things, we won’t experience the full capacity of a life well lived. This life is brief and who we are isn’t defined by what we have done, it’s defined by what we are going to do. Life often drops opportunities to our doorstep, and often it’s with a bang. It’s new, unexpected, and can sometimes be scary as hell.
From the very first time I visited California as a 7 year old kid, and every time thereafter, I dreamt of living on the California coast. We would stay in Newport Beach at my grandma’s house. I remember when my lungs first filled with the salty ocean air and the cool wind blew around me. It was one of best things I’ve ever felt; a stark difference from the heat and humidity of Texas. We would share warm meals together on chilly evenings after a long day playing on the beach. Those were life’s best moments and I never wanted to leave.
One year ago Kristin and I decided to pack up our car with our two kids, sell what didn’t fit, and move out to California. It was one of the most precarious decisions we’ve ever made. Many said we shouldn’t go; some were excited for us. Despite what others say, sometimes there’s a pull on your heart; an innate feeling that you’re supposed to be somewhere. I’ve always had this pull to the pacific and I’m lucky enough to have married a California girl who loves the ocean as much as I do.
Currently, Kristin and I are in the most financially challenging situation we have ever been in. Having moved to one of the most expensive cities in the country, it’s difficult to not perceive this as failure. However, it is bringing to light things that need to be addressed and I firmly believe it will make our bond stronger and bring our family closer together. It’s circumstances such as this where we find out where our true hope lies and how solid our foundation is.
As I sit and write these words I am less than a mile from the beach; chilly ocean air is coming in through the windows and my youngest son is snuggled next to me. He’s almost 3 months old and has more hair than I do! There are few words to describe how thankful I am to have created this little titan and how fortunate I am to be able to live here, however long that may be. I always wonder, if we never moved out here, would we have had Hyperion?
For those out there struggling with decisions like this, I applaud you. Struggling means you haven’t said no and ignored something that could have the potential to propel you forward in your own adventures. Even if it makes your palms sweat, even if it makes your chest so tight you can barely breathe, and even if fear takes hold and it’s grip is cold and deathly tight, I encourage you to be steadfast. Don’t run from fear, let yourself feel it; for it is only when you are staring fear in the face can you overcome it.