After ten years in San Francisco, I gave up my apartment to go on the road, indefinitely.
One morning a few months back, I was sitting on my rooftop writing about the importance of paying attention to what sits beneath our fears and limiting beliefs.
I was explaining how each of us intrinsically knows what we need to grow, but how our limiting beliefs can mute and mask opportunities for growth that are right in front of us, in an effort to keep us safe.
As I reviewed what I wrote, I realized that I wasn’t following my own advice.
For months I had been getting signals that it was time to leave San Francisco and set a new experience in motion: I hadn’t been functioning at the high level of energy I’m used to. Working in a five-by-five-foot workspace was leading to lethargy. It was harder for me to access the level of enthusiasm and creativity I feel through my work.
Something about my current experience just wasn’t suiting me. And I realized that instead of paying attention to these signals, I’d been clinging tightly to a safer set of circumstances. I sat with this new information and tried to see it for what it was.
Even though I could envision my future self exploring new places, there was a part of me that still wanted to hold on tightly to my present reality—my routines, the familiar patterns, the habits I’d established over a decade of being stationary.
I realized I’d been dismissing signals and made up some very convincing stories about why it was irresponsible to be mobile right now: You own your own business, you should have a stable home base. People will question your judgment. That’s something someone in their twenties would do.
It became clear that the stories and beliefs I was clinging to were a version of me that wanted to hold onto the mindset, lifestyle, and routines that had gotten me this far. It was a version of me that wanted to remain in a well-defined band of growth where I could anticipate everything. It was a version of me that wanted to stay mediocre—because mediocre is safe.
By staying mediocre, that meant I didn’t have to engage with the part of me that desired expansiveness, explosive growth, and new opportunities—because that meant confronting the unknown that comes with pursuing a different reality.
I realized that in order to transcend the current version of me, I had to start by letting go. There’s only so much space we can hold at once—and the space I was holding wasn’t allowing me room for anything new.
I went back to some journaling I had done a few years before, right around the time I decided to leave my corporate job and start my first business.
Remembering back, I started that business to experience freedom, mobility, adventure, creativity, opportunity, and the excitement that comes along with blazing a new and unique path. I had forgotten some of those core beliefs. It was time to get them back.
So I made the decision to give up my apartment, put my things in storage, and go on the road, for as long as I want. I wondered how I’d feel the day I moved, whether I’d have any regret about giving it all up. But as I drove away from my apartment, heading down Franklin Street for the last time, a sense of relief, excitement, and freedom raced through me. It’s a feeling I think we all should have the chance to experience.
I also was overwhelmed with gratitude—for the incredible people I met, the beautiful neighborhood I lived in, and the opportunities the city offered me.
Now, I’m traveling with what I can fit in my trunk and towing my motorcycle along for the ride. I put no boundaries on how long I’ll be on this path or where I’ll go. I want to see how it feels to let go of what I think I should do and focus on following my intuition instead. I want to be quiet, listen, and be spontaneously pulled in a direction. I want to show myself that not everything has to be planned.
As I sit here now, I can only call to mind five things that are in my storage unit. The rest I can’t even remember.
That reaffirms for me something that I’ve always known to be true: the things I own mean very little to me. And they immediately become insignificant the moment I take them out of my line of sight.
I’m sure when I go back for them almost everything will be obsolete to me. I know I’ll be a different person then.
I’m using this time to both dive deep into growing my business and remember what it means to play and have fun—they both bring me joy and amplify one another. I’m living something that I want to reinforce for myself and share with others: my belief that there’s an incredible amount of opportunity on the other side of being uncomfortable.
If we can be courageous enough to willingly sit inside of our uncomfortableness, there’s wisdom and growth and expansiveness waiting for us on the other end. I want to continue to learn how to run towards the uncomfortable, not hide from it.
There’s a spiritual teacher named Ram Dass who says that we each can learn how to experience life as adventurers living on the edge of “The Mystery.” For me, this means living each day straddling the line between being an active participant in the things we can influence while having the wisdom to listen for and move toward things that we can’t understand but believe are calling us—and treating it all like one big adventure.
I’m living mine. And I hope through my work I can help you live yours.
About the Author:
Drew Amoroso is an attorney, public speaker and founder of DueCourse, a mobile application that helps professionals strengthen their workday mindset and show up at their best at work. He’s the host of the Workday Mindset Podcast and “11 at 11,” a live webinar series at 11 am every Monday where you can learn one thing each week to improve your workday.