In this letter to my sons, I remind them that their mom is a badass and talk about why we’re moving across the country.
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“Letters to my sons” is a series of posts where I write to my two young sons, with the hopes that they’ll be reading these letters in about a decade.
This letter tells my boys a little more about why we’re picking up and moving across the country, and why their mom is a badass.
Yesterday we celebrated Theo’s eight birthday. You both probably don’t remember it, but it was a banger of a pool party. Screaming kids were tearing around our backyard shooting water guns, jumping into the pool, and eating candy. The parents sat under the pergola and sipped beer and rosé, wearily complaining about traffic and school tuition. Kate Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill” played on the speakers in the background.
It looked like you both had an amazing time, but it was a bittersweet event for your mom and I. It’s probably going to be the last birthday party we host in our backyard, because as we told you this morning, we’re moving.
Have the courage to change your life
In my last letter, I wrote that I hope you have the courage to change your life. When you’re older, you’ll occasionally be faced with a hard choice. One option will be to continue the status quo. The other option will be riskier, but it’ll possibly bring you closer to your life goals. When you reach this fork in the road, just remember that sometimes it takes a bit of turmoil and stress to live the life you truly desire.
Your mom and I are going for the riskier but potentially more rewarding option right now. For our family, this means uprooting our lives here in Los Angeles and moving across the country.
When we told you both about the move this morning, you seemed to take it surprisingly well. Perhaps you were distracted by the chocolate chip waffles, or maybe the news just hasn’t sunk in just yet. But I bet sometime over the next ten years, you’ll look around and wonder why we gave up the sun and sand of southern California.
Here are the two reasons:
- We think this move will get us closer to a life of purpose and meaning.
- Your mom is pretty awesome, and awesome people get offered cool opportunities.
Your mom is a badass
I’ve purposefully kept details about your mom out of my blog to protect her privacy. But she’s grown more comfortable with being in the public eye lately. I suppose it’s inevitable, since I blab about our personal finances all over the internet now.
For many years, she’s been one of the top leaders at a big museum here in Los Angeles, running logistics and artistic direction. This year she realized that she’s outgrown her role and is ready to lead a museum of her own.
As luck would have it, there’s a museum across the country that can use her expertise. This museum is on the brink of a huge transition, and they’re looking for someone to lead it into a new phase of growth and relevance. It looks increasingly certain that your mom will be that leader. I’m really proud of her.
It turns out that when you have talent, competence, and determination, you just have to make it known to the universe that you’re ready for a new challenge. In short order, opportunity will fall into your lap.
It’s time for me to put up or shut up
On my end, there are basically two options open to me. I can dig in my heels and try to preserve the status quo, where for the past few years I’ve juggled a busy urology practice, administrative duties, and a second life as a blogger, investor, and educator. I can keep commuting two hours a day in punishing traffic, dreaming of a life where I could put all that wasted time to better use. Or I can support my wife and take advantage of this opportunity to redefine my life.
Honestly, I’m tired of hearing myself complain about being burnt out, unhealthy, and stretched too thin. I don’t want to have to explain to my readers yet again how I’ve been destroyed by another punishing overnight call and therefore haven’t had a chance to write up the exciting developments in my life or real estate portfolio. I also don’t want to rehash the same tired excuses why I can’t optimize my health or take my various businesses to the next level.
So I’m choosing door number two. I’m finally going to practice what I preach and prioritize the three things that comprise “my why:” family, friends, and freedom. This move feels like the best way to do that.
So we’re all going to support your mom’s career and move onto a new and exciting phase of life. For me, this next phase will be about conscientiously crafting a life where my time is allocated appropriately to my passions. It’s going to be all about growth, financial freedom, and impact.
For you both, it’s going to mean a new city, a new school, and a new house. (We still haven’t decided if we’re going to rent or buy.) But don’t worry, the family will stay the same, and yes, your grandparents are coming!
Don’t wallow in guilt for too long
I think it’s important to admit that I have a lot of guilt around this move. I’m walking away from a rewarding practice and a bright future in my hospital. I have a lot of patients and many colleagues who I’m going to miss. It’s also going to put my colleagues temporarily in a stressful situation as they redistribute my patients and workload.
When you face these decisions, it’s okay to feel guilty. It’s natural, to an extent. But don’t let that guilt hold you back from what you know is the right decision for your life. And don’t torture yourself too long either. Life is too short to spend your days worrying about the past. Instead, look to the future.
To sum it all up
- Your mom is a badass
- We’re moving across the country
- Life is about to get more interesting
Do you have badass people in your life that are catalyzing changes in your life too? I want to hear about it. Comment below and subscribe below so you don’t miss another post!
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