Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Tale of Two Zachs

Well it's official - Jen and I are moving to Portland at the end of August. We've been talking about moving for a couple years now but it's always been "in May" and when May rolls around we have a variety of reasons for sticking it out for another year, mainly the races we have coming up in the summer. When Jen was laid off a few weeks ago it got me thinking that this might be a good chance to take the plunge and move away from the Bay Area. We had been talking about moving to Boulder or to San Diego but when we thought about it neither of those really seemed to jump out at us. Boulder is getting expensive, it's a pretty small town, and we don't know anyone. San Diego is great for tri training, weather, and my Dad and Step-Mom live there; however, it's just as expensive as the Bay Area, there are tons of people, and really it's pretty much the same as living where we do now. A few weeks ago Jen went up to Portland to visit her best friend Deana and she mentioned that she thought Portland was cool. I was born there and have always liked it - the skiing is much closer than it is here (1 hour vs. 3.5 hours), it is a bike friendly city, it is a fit city, and the tri scene is just starting to develop which might offer some opportunities to get involved more than I have here. So when Jen lost her job I said "let's move" and here we are. I have to admit I'm a bit nervous, change is always a bit hard for me - I take a day or ten to get used to a new chair at work so a move like this is a big thing. This takes us to the story of the two Zachs:

Conservative Zach is worried that this move is going to be tough financially - he's known for saying things like "I need to get a job right away even if it's something I don't like" and "How are we going to afford to do X" and "I don't know if I can give up my current lifestyle". Conservative Zach is prone to keeping the status quo because that's the easiest thing to do. Living in California has been good for conservative Zach - he has a job that is a means to an end, aka pays well and lets him do things he wants to, he has his running and cycling routes, a masters team he enjoys swimming with, and a couple buddies he enjoys hanging out with from time to time. Conservative Zach knows that the move is going to happen but he can't help but look at everything in a worse case scenario view - what if the apartment in CA doesn't rent out right away and we have to pay for an extra month, what if we have to move into a smaller apartment and it isn't as nice as our current one, what if, what if, what if.

Fuck it, let's roll the dice Zach thinks things will work out and we might as well have fun while we can. He says things like "It would be cool to have a couple chill jobs that pay the bills but still let me do the things I want to do - aka ski, triathlon, backpack, and just enjoy life". He doesn't worry about things cause what the fuck is the point - we're young, don't have kids or a mortgage, and we can scrimp by for a few months if we need to. He is fond of saying "when you are lying on your deathbed you aren't going to look back and think - man I wish I had more money - NO! you're going to think, man I lived such an awesome life and did some awesome shit!" This Zach knows that if he follows his heart things will work out in the end. He knows he is responsible and when the time comes he will be sure he provides for his wife and kid(s) but right now is the time to enjoy life, not to live like some old fuddyduddy and not have any fun.

As we get closer to the move these two Zachs are finding some common ground - they are looking for jobs that are interesting and will pay pretty well. Accounting/Finance jobs are out for now - Investment management jobs are in. They know that if they have to get a job they can work in a bakery or at a bike shop but if they have to be somewhere everyday it might as well be something that pays well and offers the opportunity to move up. Conservative Zach learned something from FILRTD Zach and that was that they both like jobs that award ambition. They don't like working in an office that doesn't give a shit how hard you work and just thinks you are there to fill a cube. They want a job that is fulfilling and rewarding and conducive to ambition. They both agree that being able to drive an hour to ski is pretty awesome and that having numerous opportunities to backpack is pretty sweet as well. Both Zach's are excited about the emerging tri community in Portland and they are looking forward to being involved in it - maybe they will end up putting a race together in the next couple of years, who knows?

Four and a half weeks left in California, after that it's new running routes, new cycling routes, new swimming places, new everything - I'll end this post with some pictures.


Anonymous said...

It will be good for the two Zachs. Change always brings a new perspective to life.
Dragonfly on the Water...

Paul said...

No fair! You only posted the sunny pictures. We both know that only happens once a year up there! Portland should be nice though. Lot's of good beer up there. Good luck with the big change! And while SD may be expensive, it's actually a hell of a lot cheaper than the bay area.

Marathon Maritza said...

Angry Maritza says, "you guys suck for moving. Poo."

Understanding Maritza says, "It's a really good idea to try a new place and now I'll have a place to crash for Portland Marathon 2009!"

Angry Maritza says, "you must drive like my grandma if it takes you 3.5 hours to drive to Tahoe."

Understanding Maritza says, "don't listen to here, she is just projecting how much she will miss you guys."

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I don't know you and I was just reading a comment that your wife wrote on a friend's blog that resulted in my reading your recent story. We moved house less than one year ago and I had been very attached to the previous place. However, things are starting to fall into place at the new location and I am now very pleased I moved. We are in the city my wife grew up in, although I think I now like the place more than she does.
In view of your job situations, now is probably a good time to take the plunge and you guys are also young, meaning that it will be relatively easy for you to adjust and find new work, etc. It would then be good to settle down in the new place for quite a long time, have kids and whatever. Hopefully with time you can become increasingly self-employed which will enable you to get more out of what you put into your work. I am sorry to sound like some grumpy old fogey, but I guess that is what I have become now. I was going to make myself anonymous, but I don't see any need for that. You are welcome to look me up.

Tristram Wood said...

Dude, DO IT! DO IT NOW! The best thing my wife and I did was pull up stakes and move to Idaho for grad school. 2 years of great times, though we ate Ramen noodles and didn't have two pennies to run together. Still, it was a great experience. Just us, two dogs, and all of our gear- skiing, biking, hiking. DO IT! Portland ROCKS. Tell the conservative Zach to fasten his seatbelt and enjoy the ride!