[Father’s Day, 2015. I added a few thoughts at the end.] Father’s Day. A time to reflect on my Dad and the three years since he passed. You can read about that here.
About a year ago, I relocated from Prague to Silicon Valley. One warm sunny afternoon, I was in the backyard chipping some golfs balls around with my son, and I had a powerful memory of my Dad. One that has re-occurred many times since.
Many years ago, he told me how he almost moved our family to Silicon Valley in the early 1970’s. Following his naval career, he was an executive in the aerospace & defense industry. That industry was a huge part of Silicon Valley’s growth at the time.
Standing in my back yard, I imagined how happy he would have been here. He loved golf; here you can play year round. He loved sunny weather, probably because it was golf weather. Plenty of that here. He loved his industry; lots of innovation was happening here.
So what kept him from coming? Probably what keeps many of us from pursuing our desires. Other priorities. The preferences of our spouses and partners. In his case, he had strong family ties to New England and Eastern Canada. His wife (aka my Mom) was even more rooted in the East.
But the essential question remains: how can you know what makes you happy without change, experimentation, or exploration?
I’ve been fortunate to somehow do what my Dad didn’t (or wouldn’t) do. My wife has been a willing partner in the adventure that led us from Boston to Prague. And Prague to San Francisco. I’d like to think we’ve been rewarded for the risk we took.
Maybe my Dad planted the seed for my eventual move here. That would be cool.
UPDATE: it’s Father’s Day 2015. Two years since I wrote this. I’ve been working on my start-up for the last 2 years, in dogged pursuit of the Silicon Valley opportunity that’s a Siren Song for so many. Including my Dad, who didn’t end up doing so. One additional thought: without my wife’s support, none of my journey would be possible. Even as we celebrate Father’s Day, we’re really celebrating the spouses behind the man.