The Cost Of The Pursuit

I’m scraping the back of my brain, trying to figure out why I feel this way. Do I not have the words to write because I don’t care? Or can I just not process my emotions? Maybe it’s a sign of getting older, that I would love nothing more than to give up my passion projects for stability. To be boring. To finally tame my wild side, give up the crazy hustle of the creative lifestyle, and just work 9 to 5. I would have more time again. I could visit my family more often. I could be around more for the ones I care about.

But what would I lose? Oh man, I’d lose the thrill of it. The thrill of making new friends in weird places. Meeting people from all kinds of backgrounds and escaping the monoculture of an office. That feeling of new beginnings. Or the anxious calm at the starting line of something new, knowing that I need to perform. The late nights wondering if we can scrape it together and make something incredible from nothing. It’s selfish, but I love getting to learn something new all the time.

What triggers these anxious times of flux? At least that one is simple for me. A week ago at the time of this writing, I became an uncle at the unimportant age of 26. That day, I dropped what I was doing and drove home instead of going spring snowboarding. Everyone in the room was in awe of the new life, just hours old. Just a few hours later, I was in the office, like usual, in the same thrilling pursuit, as usual.

Like most people, I like having income to buy food, clothing, and shelter, so I work a job where I get up at 5 and get out by 4. And there’s nothing wrong with my job, I like the work; I like the people. It’s quite pleasant. Sometimes it’s stressful, sometimes it’s boring. It’s a job. Then I leave, and I run my startup company. It’s crazy, pure adrenaline. Some weeks, we make more money than I could have imagined. Other weeks, we’re raiding the spare change on my desk for rent. Then, we leave for the weekend, peddle merch, make sales, make friends, discover new ideas, go home, and make new products. It’s a rush, and I’ve gained more experiences from my startup than I could have ever hoped for.

But like most people, I only have so much time. Time is the only thing we can’t make, the only thing we truly run out of. So I work my ass off, burn the candle at both ends, and shine some truly incredible light.

But what if I want to be a good uncle, a good family member? We’re all getting older, and all the things I wrote off for “someday” are making their slow march to fruition. No one lives forever, no one can work forever, and childhood sure as shit doesn’t last forever. And I’d love to find the time to make sure that I properly take care of and spend time with those I love, but I can’t find the third end of the candle to burn.

So what do I do? Give up the passion project for stability and have the time to be available? Give up the time and have the stability? Or keep both irons in the fire, trying to figure out how to make a passion stable, while continually accelerating down a runway unsure whether takeoff will happen before the runway ends?

Danny Lykens

Entrepreneur, Engineer, Artist. You'll either find Danny in his startup's office, or running in the woods. He is a tinkerer who realised passions can become careers, and that happiness lies in doing what you love.

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