It was ten years ago yesterday that I moved to California from Madison, WI.
Back then I had just turned 30, interviewed with Apple, and accepted the job that brought me out here. The months of January, February and March 1999 went by in a whirlwind of travel, cleanup, preparation, packing, starting a new job, and finding an apartment. The upside of such a big move is that you’re just too busy lining up all the ducks to get too stressed out about the change – you’re too busy being too stressed out about getting it to work. It was just an insane time.
On the one hand I think I could have managed things better way back when – in particular, I wish I’d gotten better guidance from my friends about where to live, as I ended up living 15+ miles away from all of them, which made me miserable for a while – but on the other hand I did eventually correct the mistakes I made, I ended up at a company that was on the upswing and working on interesting stuff in a job I enjoy (ten years later, I’m still working at Apple), and my life in California has been enjoyable and productive and involved considerably less cold and snow than did my life in Madison.
Even ten years later, leaving Madison still feels bittersweet: I had and have a lot of friends there, and it’s a great city. But it’s also a small city, and I’ve appreciated the more and varied opportunities for all kinds of things here in the Bay Area. I guess I’m just a big city guy at my core.
(And I have lots of friends here, too!)
All-in-all, it’s been a good ten years. What will the next ten bring?