run with the hunted.

like a fox
I run with the hunted and
if I’m not the happiest
man on earth I’m surely
the luckiest man
alive

I often feel like I am on some important mission in my life, and that if I wait long enough, eventually all will become clear and reveal itself to be part of some great plan.  This has always been a problem in my life, not especially for me, but for people that I am close to because I live with a continuous urge to run off into the world for adventure.  Try as they might, they just cannot understand what it is that moves me and makes me feel like a whole person, and some days I cannot summon the energy to explain it again. These last few months have specifically highlighted the fact that I do not enjoy explaining myself any longer and feeling like I need to prove that what I want for my life is valid, as much as I realize that other people might need it, I cannot do it any more. This will be the last time. We do what we have to do to be free.

Living in Seattle has been a great adventure. It is a gorgeous city with a lot to offer, and I definitely made the right choice to ‘strike out on my own’ here a week after my twenty first birthday. I have spent almost the whole of my twenties here, growing up, making friends, learning to feel comfortable in my own skin. I have never bemoaned the rain, never owned an umbrella, and never felt like I did not belong here because everyone belongs here. Two years ago I finally landed a job doing something I really enjoy with a company I really enjoy, and life has really been a pleasure to take part in. I have become someone new in the past two years, starting down a path that is not easily reversed, and I have been so happy. To say that I do not like this city anymore would hardly be fair, because I chose it so many years ago, but deep down I know there is more out there and my heart wants it. I feel ready for something new, for the next chapter of my life and career, in every significant way.

And here is where I break down for a minute, because I have decided to leave Seattle.

Starting next month, I will be a resident of Los Angeles. My decision was obviously not easy, and it was filled with a lot of pain and sadness over what I will leave behind, but deep down I know that I need this. I knew this day would come eventually, when I would need to get out for awhile to see something new, and the truth of the matter is, I want to experience it all. It’s as simple as that, and it does not mean that I am “trying to find myself”, because I know exactly who I am and I want to experience it all. ‘Restless’ is often a word I use to describe how I feel, but it is so much more than that and the idea that the world is out there for me to grab and experience is too great of a temptation, too great of a tease.

“And they say there is no fate, but there is: it’s what you create. And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but it doesn’t really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along.”

I have revisited this quote many times over the years, as it has stuck in my head and forced me to admit some hard truths to myself. I refuse to simply exist, I refuse to simply settle into what is comfortable, because that is not what I want my life to be about. Hearing this quote so many years ago made me finally feel understood in some weird and desperate way; I do not want to go down that rabbit hole of ‘vague regret’ and it took a long time before I realized wanting more out of my life didn’t mean I disliked what I already had, but the idea of adding more to it has always set my soul alight. Like some amazing meal I’ve created that is nearly perfect, but then the idea of adding cilantro to the side dish and avocado to the salad starts to creep into my head. Will it taste good? Will people still like it? Maybe that is a terrible analogy but it is the only way I can describe what it is like to be in my head, to make the (very important) point that this mindset has never been about not liking what is already in front of me, only that the possibilities of what I can add to the mix make me feel very…excited. Swimming alone is such a scary and solitary action, but every part of my body longs to see what is on the other side of the ocean and my mind will not be quiet until it knows.

This is not a final farewell to anyone, and though I am intensely scared to be leaving this shoreline of comfort and love…there is also a thrill that runs the length of my body, willing me to congratulate myself. Not graduating from college has always been my biggest embarrassment, and I have always felt like I needed to prove myself to those around me. It seems crazy that a Bachelors Degree somehow proves your worth to others, but I have found that so many people (potential friends and employers alike) feel like it is essential in determining whether they would want to know or hire me. A few months ago I went out on the shakiest and thinnest limb and applied for a job at a company that embodies so much of what I love about the game industry, and to a lot of people it might seem selfish but to me it felt like something I had to try for.  Aiming high because I really just wanted to see what would happen, that ‘tempting fate’ side of my personality curious to know which way the universal pendulum would swing, but also because this is what I want my life to be about. Reaching out for opportunities, becoming better by actually wanting better for myself. Getting the call saying they wanted me has been the most gratifying professional moment to date, followed by a real sense of terror, but it didn’t matter because they wanted me. Somewhere deep down in my sadness to leave this city and my favorite people on the planet is a mini Cassie thrilled to be picked first, chosen for her talent, personality and passion, and I am trying desperately not to forget her.

I have so many goodbyes to say and bodies to hug tightly. I have so many precious words for the people closest to me, those who will feel my absence and take it personally. I will feel your absence as well, your warmth and love for me will now be two states away, but as most adventures go-this is not permanent. Nothing will ever been permanent in my life until my heart says it’s time, and when I look back on this time later I want to really be able to say I took every opportunity I was given and attempted to make something of it.

I want to make myself proud.

 

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