16 Oct The Frog in the Well
Hello, friends. It has been a while… Let’s get this thing back on track. Today, I’ll start with one of my favorite riddles: The Frog in the Well.
There once was a frog–we’ll name him Bart. One day, Bart was hopping through the forest and suddenly fell down, down, down into a dark and muddy well. However, Bart was determined to get out and instantly began climbing the muddy sides with his strong froggy legs. Each day, Bart would climb two feet up the thirty-foot-deep well until he was exhausted, then, as he rested, he would slide one foot down the muddy sides. The days progressed like this: two feet up, one foot down, until the glorious day that he managed to climb out of the well and hop freely across the mossy forest and back home to his pond. How many days did it take for Bart to make it out of the well? (leave answers in the comments!)
Much like our friend, Bart, I have found these past few months have often been two feet forward, one foot back. Some days, it feels like just the opposite. Needless-to-say, just like our pal Bart, I found myself clamoring out of the well slightly sooner than anticipated (hint hint).
Once we returned from our 9-month travels around the world in June, I left for Alaska to catch the 2016 fishing season, anticipating making enough money to spend the winter writing a ton and perhaps launching a startup I’ve been thinking about for a while. Alas, the best-laid plans of mice and men… Unfortunately, we had the worst season in 40 years. Yes, literally. We went from 1.8 million lbs of pink salmon last season to 220 thousand lbs this year. Without overwhelming you with a bunch of fishing jargon describing all the theories of why, in summary: unusually warm ocean waters, ultra-conservative and political fishery management, no fresh water at the onset of the season followed by an entire month of heavy rain during the prime time of the season, and a naturally weak even-year run sandwiched between two very strong runs (2015 and likely 2017). Needless-to-say, I made about 1/10th of what I made the previous season, which changed our plans a bit, but not necessarily for the worse.
Once I got back from Alaska, Jaimie and I took a long-overdue birthday/reconnecting road trip from New Orleans to Daytona Beach to visit family and friends. We chilled hard, enjoying multiple beach days, a boat ride, great conversations, and delicious meals. It was a wonderful trip, and we returned with happy hearts, despite the lobster-red sunburns we both sustained…
I had planned on beginning a job search in Denver once we returned, but a couple nights before we left for the trip, I found myself up late in my parent’s basement (still stuck on an Alaska sleep schedule) and on Craigslist searching for jobs. I typed in all of my “dream job” keywords and hit search, and to my amazement, I found exactly the type of listing I hoped to find in a perfect scenario. A few excerpts:
“Attention Accountants! Do you feel too entrepreneurial for a typical “accounting” role? Are you innovative in your thinking? Do you spend more time thinking about things like virtual reality and bitcoin than you do the latest FASB pronouncements? Would you rather break things than keep things the way they are? Do you spend free time exploring new ways of doing things? Are you a “hacker” stuck in an accountant’s body? We need you! We want an accounting professional who thinks the same way as we do: entrepreneurially and out of the box!
Question everything: Always question our approach to day-to-day and long-term tasks in search of more efficient, sustainable, cutting-edge solutions. Simplicity Minded: Less is often more. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Efficiency Minded: We want people who can automate themselves out of a job. Work smart and hard. Entrepreneurial Mindset: Entrepreneurial approach to problems and time management. We will not micro manage you. You need to be determined, eager and self-disciplined. Innovation: Desire to build and innovate beyond legacy thinking. Big thinkers should apply!”
As you can imagine, I was stoked and stayed up way late getting my resume submitted. The next morning while waiting to push off from the gate to fly to New Orleans, I got a phone call from them and began the long process of interviewing. Fast-forward a month later, I got the job with the startup and have hit the ground running! We certainly have a bunch of challenges ahead and a TON of learning to do, but I am really excited to have the opportunity to grow something so cool and meaningful. You can check out our website at opolis.co.
So, to get back into “home” mode here in Denver, Jaimie and I found a neat one-bedroom apartment in a historical building mere blocks from Downtown Denver. As opposed to our last time living here, we are being very intentional about our living choices and finances. We live close enough to my office space that I can bike or walk to work downtown, which allows us to only need one car. We also opted for an apartment with a much smaller square footage than our old house, as we have grown accustomed to a smaller space while traveling and found it would be a cheaper option, anyhow. And finally, we knew that being in this area of Denver would give us the city life experience we felt like we were missing living way out in Aurora last time. Needless-to-say, we still can’t quite believe how quickly things all came together and are simply thrilled with how things are settling in.
Our world trip has been put on pause for now, and while I doubt we cut ties to travel for another full year again, we both still have a lot of places we want to visit, namely Oceania, Africa, and South America. The funny thing is that the more we traveled, the more we were able to define our goals and desires and found Denver as a place that enabled these things to be realized in this season of life. Little did we know that setting these goals and working towards them would yield success in those areas as quickly as it has. However cliche it may sound, we learned from our trip that life is truly about the journey and not the destination. We have learned the value of setting goals and living intentionally towards them and have also found that there are often unexpected turns along the way that you must take in stride and learn to enjoy and appreciate. Thus, although we have an idea of where we’re heading, we’re learning to live in an intentional way, see the world around us with a fresh and open perspective, and embrace the ‘now’ moments en route to wherever we’re going.
As an aside note, I plan on continuing to blog and anticipate posting a new one each Sunday going forward! Thank you guys for all the love and gracious notes prodding me to continue to write over the past few months. I love and appreciate all of you that follow along!