he talk like this 'cuz he can back it up

When I was in my 20s, going to New York City was a pleasure trip. I knew so many people there from my old blogging days, exploring the city via subway was fun, and I even tried to move there before I turned 30. Eight years later, and it’s a totally different experience now. New York City is cramped, dirty, smelly, and rude. Most of my old friends from those blogging days have either moved away, moved on from me, or sadly have passed away.

Now, New York City is just work. I need to find a new city for pleasure trips.

Speaking of work, two new members just joined my team last week and I spent time getting them up to speed before promptly going on vacation for a week and leaving them to fend for themselves. That wasn’t the plan, but I had this time off on the books before they even signed their offers. Coupled with few hard weeks of management decisions and general chaos at work bringing on more new employees, your boy was burned out. The good thing is that this is honestly the first time I have taken a vacation from work and not had to check back in about something, and I plan on using every precious hard-earned minute treating myself to whatever I want.

When I was up in NYC for work last week, the COO and I had a little chat. He was giving me his version of a pep talk for making a recent tough recruiting decision, and was congratulating me on handling it with grace.

“You know, you are a fantastic individual. You really are. But I think the best thing about you is that you have no ego about it. You just do the work and show up and help out. And that’s the trait of a good leader.”

I zeroed in on that “no ego” part because I’ve never gotten that as a compliment before. I’ll admit that I have mellowed in some ways over the years, but I’ve also never really been one to be all that bombastic about my accomplishments. The work should speak for itself, right? And I’m fortunate that it has, especially since it’s gotten me this far. “No ego,” though? I don’t know. That phrase is still sticking with me.

Today is my birthday. 38 years old. I have a great job, I’m making more money than I’ve ever made before, and life is good right now. I’m able to fund my creative projects, give back to the community, and make an impact.

Ego or not, I think I’m in a pretty good spot.