LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (AKA I have a lot to learn from you)
Greg, replying to Figuring Out Where to Live: Nice man - love the detailed thoughts re: choosing cities and excited for you to be back out east. Those kind of calculations and moves are always so tough (at least for me), but obviously so influential. Your notes about the SoCal weather/environment reminded me of that Paul Graham essay about choosing cities [and basically how he found going from Cambridge MA to Berkeley to be ultimately unrewarding largely because Berkeley is such a nice place to live that it attracts all sorts (vs. you only live in Cambridge if you have a pretty particular type of ambition)].
That PG essay was definitely in the back of my mind, too. LA as a city / honing beacon just doesn't resonate with my core values, at least not as much as other cities, even if I can find individuals who buck the macro trends.
Jamie, replying to Figuring Out Where to Live: Thanks for being so open about your life and process. One thing you wrote below struck me though: "The work of our lives (well, my life at least ;D) is not about optimization." YES X100! Glad you have come to this realisation. This is what I was trying to say last time I replied, about your insane looking ideal daily schedule. Sometimes the old adages are the simplest and easiest to follow - friends and family are most important. Just follow your gut. IMHO constant optimisation is an indicator of inner discontent, often amongst high acheivers... I see it a lot with MBA / VC folks, constantly documenting their never ending travels to burning man, Africa burn, tech conf .... ad infinitum. Why do they document all this on Social Media? For external validation. Which, if they need it, suggests maybe they don't trust their own instincts.
I very much agree with your point about the need for external validation... The kernel of my on-going therapy is self-love, and I've been fortunate to make a lot of progress this year (especially with the lens of unconditional self-esteem vs. externally or internally validated self-esteem). And as that has progressed, I've noticed less of a desire for the hedonistic aspects of life, and more of a desire for simply being there with loved ones to do meaningful work. And so even with the move, the work of life continues... I now have the fortunate opportunity to do the hard work of re-cultivating significant relationships back home.
Aaron, replying to Figuring Out Where to Live: Good luck with the move! Do you know where you're going to live yet? And if you're inclined to bake an apple pie, I have just the recipe for you.
That looks entirely too foodgasmic :D Should have plugged The Hungry Hutch ages ago.