I captured this moment on film… me leaving Buffalo, NY for San Francisco. I nearly passed the exit ramp for fear of “officially” closing a chapter in my life and moving away from people I grew to know and respect. I didn’t get to say goodbye. Dan. Curtis.
It was that small synaptic reflex that made me realize how affected I was. How much I love Buffalo.
I began to reflect… all the cool people I met, the awesome range of food from locals, the hipster scene in Elmwood Village, the awesome architecture / cultural history, Niagara Falls, Ellicottville, Toronto, Delaware Park, snowboarding, and most importantly, my friends.
These are the people that pull together and try to inspire or drive change in the community. They love Buffalo and want to see it prosper. They are super smart and ambitious. They take pride in the city and get excited about new technology. They geek out on food and design. They love the Sabres. And they pushing for Buffalo to become a startup hub.
They step up. They create things. They try to leave the world a little better off.
To quote Chris Sacca…
I think people from Buffalo have something going for them – I have never met more genuine salt of the earth folks than who we all grew up with. Use that understanding of real Americans to your advantage as you strike out into the rest of the country. ~ FormSpring
Call me sentimental, but I had a flood of thoughts as I approached the exit lane for I-90. This would become the point of no return… a sort of official end to this part of my life and on to the next part: Mountain View, CA.
A voice inside me said, “You’re realizing your dream. It’s ok to keep going.” I remembered why I’m leaving. What my raw passion is. What I want to achieve in this brief life and the products I am building. What impact I want to make on others. My children. My wife.
So with that push, I entered the exit lane towards Cleveland. Soon I will be in California again, only this time it’s for good and inevitable.
I’m not a native Buffalonian, but I felt like it. There’s a sense of family that I guess I needed which I’m grateful for.
Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely path, full of hard, life-changing decisions. It’s important to believe in what you are doing and to do it with high level of confidence.
Don’t worry, the dots connect. A part of me will always be connected to Buffalo.