Bjorn, Ting, and I have finally wrangled ourselves all together in Detroit.
Well, kind of. Our apartment won't be ready until the end of next week, which means we're crashing with friends this week, so it doesn't really feel like we're residents, not just yet.
Who knew that it would take almost 10 months of planning just to move an hour and half south? Well, however long it's taken, it's almost over. By the end of next week we will all be 100% moved to Detroit.
Which is wonderful, because the more time I spend here, the more and more and more I love this city. We were at Eastern Market After Dark last night, and it was incredible. There were people all over the streets to see all the artists and local businesses on display. There are so many passionate people living here and doing what they love. In just one short walk, we visited a bike shop, a letter press, and a shop where they hand silk screen patterns onto silk ties. I even ran into some former Main Street colleagues who were in town for an MML conference. Great night.
One of the best parts was that I finally got to meet Alex Alsup from LOVELAND Technologies. I wrote him this letter a couple months ago when Bjorn, Ting, and I were in town for a short trip. We wanted to meet with some inspiring people to hear about the city and LOVELAND were at the top of the list. Among other projects, they run Why Don't We Own This?, a great website that tracks the tax status of land all over Detroit.
Meeting Alex was especially fun because he was so enthusiastic about the letter that I wrote him. He said that one of the guys on the team read the letter and way crazy in love with it; so much so that he insisted to the rest of the team, "We have to meet these guys!"
It was nice to hear because I'm currently working on a similar project. Instead of trying to get a meeting with interesting people, I'm trying to get a job with an interesting restaurant.
It's a similar formula: many will enter, few will win.
To stand out, I know that my best bet is to do something crazy like draw pictures and write love letters.
It's funny, though. No matter how many times I do these wacky things that take me out of my comfort zone, it doesn't get a whole lot easier. I still get scared, I still want to play it safe and do something normal.
My lizard brain still runs the show in a big way.
I think the only real antidote is to have awesome people in my life that push me to be braver. Right after we met Alex and talked about the letter, Bjorn immediately turned to me and said, "That's what you should do or the restaurants that you're applying to!".
And of course, he's right.
Extraordinary is the only way forward.