It's official: I am no longer a New York State resident. I gave away all of my furniture and books, got rid of five pairs of shoes (!), and forced all of my possessions into one large suitcase and one backpack. Even though I spent my last day in New York slightly hungover and very stressed about getting everything done (I packed at the last minute, as usual), I was in good spirits. I had a very easy flight to Portland, Oregon on 29 January, and I will remain here until 3 February. It's a great city - despite the chilly temperatures and constant rain, there are still tons of people out there riding their bicycles, which I think speaks very highly of the people who live here.
After my last day of work in NYC (which was 25 January), I spent a quiet Friday night at a friend's place. I took the opportunity to catch up on the podcasts posted on Citizen Reporter, a blog run by a good friend of mine who lives in Amsterdam. One of his recent podcasts was an interview with two video bloggers, and it couldn't have come along at a better time. Now, leaving my job is something that I've been planning to do for a long time and on my last day, I felt mostly excited. But I was also conflicted up until the last minute - I genuinely liked my job, I enjoyed the company of my co-workers, and I really, really like working in post-production. However, I have bigger goals. Even though this makes me sound like some kind of idealist hippie, I really want to help change the world. I want to eventually make a feature-length documentary, but even before that, I want to start producing shorter video projects that help other people tell their stories. I want to get more people to start caring about the world about them.
I heard a lot of my own thoughts said in a much smarter, more experienced, more articulate voice when I listened to the interview with Ryan (of Ryan Is Hungry) and Jay (of Moment Showing). These two people, in one thirty-minute interview, squashed every speck of doubt I had about quitting my job to run off and try and change the world. They are ex-television producers/editors and now they teach video blogging techniques all over the world ... I'll be honest, I kind of want to be these people when I grow up. Except I already am grown up, and I don't have to wait, and I don't need any more affirmation that what I want to do is a valid choice. I made the decision to leave, I have my plane tickets for Europe (depart NYC on 20 April, arrive in Paris on 21 April), and I am determined to do my best to help make a real difference. It just so happens that what I'm passionate about takes me outside my home country, so I need to figure out a way to make a real life for myself in Europe. I really hope that Amsterdam is a place I can live and make my home, but if it doesn't work out - well, Europe is a pretty large continent, and I should learn more languages anyway.
If you're looking for a little inspiration, listen to the interview. I feel very fortunate to have such smart and inspiring friends.