Probably around January of 2010, a few months before I left my desk job in San Antonio, I started having these daydreams. I’d be driving along I-35 to a Spurs game, and I’d start fantasizing about just driving beyond, past the city limits, past Austin, past Dallas. I’d started to think that I wasn’t ever going to leave Texas, and then I’d be driving up I-35, and I’d think: Why not now? Why not just leave? What’s stopping you?
And then I’d remember what was stopping me: I had a life in Texas. I had a job. I had an apartment. I had stuff.
I wasn’t just going to bail.
But the fantasies never stopped. They kept nagging at me. I couldn’t shake the truth: I wanted to do something more. I wanted to define my greatness and then go out and make it so.
I’ve learned since that what I felt is common among the American worker. People are unhappy with their jobs. People want more with their lives.
People are also scared to do. The fear of failure is often stronger than the desire to break away from a job that makes you unhappy.
Sometimes, it’s only when the dream keeps coming back that we actually admit that it’s time to do something big. When that dream nags at you, you have to explore it. Maybe it’s just about making time for a side project. Maybe it’s about going wild, quitting your job and chasing a career or a business or a lifestyle that makes you happy.
I had this dream of getting out of Texas. I wanted to do something big: I wanted to start Stry and get into the larger conversation about the future of journalism. But it wasn’t until the twentieth or fiftieth time that I had that day dream — I-35, heading north, just going without looking back — that I admitted that it might actually be time to think about taking action.
I did eventually leave that job in Texas. I did chase the dream I had for Stry.
But when I left, I drove right past the exit for I-35 North.
Turned out that the road I needed to take out of Texas was I-10 East.