I believe we all share that urge, it just manifests uniquely in each of us. For some it may aim towards family; for others it may target riches; and for others still it may seek out service to others - no matter what that vision seeks out, it creates an insatiable, internal drive to create.
In centuries gone by, in the infant and adolescent years of our Republic, they called it manifest destiny. It began with Columbus in the West Indies, then extended to America's eastern shore in places like Plymouth Rock and Jamestown, then sprawled into 13 colonies who took the ground beneath their feet, and through a revolution, made it a Country. Then, in the mid 1800's, once those eastern states started to stifle the very same adventurous spirit that built them, the wilderness beckoned once again. It was at this time, amongst the opportunities to create a homestead in the Midwest or pan for gold in the Sierra Nevada's, that an American author named Horace Greely told a young friend,
|“||Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.|
I've lived these past 8 years in Washington, DC. And while I agree that the rents are too damn high, I have found our Nation's Capital to be a place of all morals, all peoples, all ambitions, and all intentions - and I have loved it. Where else in this world can a young man, having just emerged from two years of living in the jungles of Bolivia, go from a broke, dollar-store shopping, career-lacking lifestyle all the way to some of the highest levels of government - and from that position do some real good as a public servant.
DC is a place where opportunity abounds - all you have to do is out-work, out-network, out-perform and out-persist those around you, and then grasp onto that opportunity. In essence, that same vision of manifest destiny from century's gone by still abounds in present day America.
But now, just as seems to happen over and again, it's time to move on, and my family and I are forsaking the crowds, and the hustle, and the bustle of DC, and setting our sights out West. It's time to focus on the full spectrum - family, community, surroundings, and career - not just career. It's time to manifest our destiny in NorCal. And while we're not heading out to California to pan for gold, we'll be panning for a golden lifestyle from out on the left coast.