Memorial Day in StartupLand
It’s the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. I was up at 6:30AM, working from my iPad in bed by 6:31, at the gym before 8, and at the office by 9:30. As I walked from the East Village to the West Village, I passed young professional after young professional carrying tote bags donning the words JPMorgan, KKR, etc… They all had their “summer weekend” outfits on. Sunglasses, newspaper poking out the side of their bag, boat shoes no socks, and a smile on their faces like they were going to coast through this Friday and “slip out” at 4 to catch the early train to the Hamptons. They walked with a cadence that said they’ve been thinking about this 3 day weekend for the last 2 months, and it occurred to me that the holiday weekend meant so much more to them than it does to me.
I remember when I used to work in finance (first job out of school), the briefest glimpse of a break from the grind and routine was a very big deal, and as I now watch what this holiday weekend means to these guys, it occurs to me that they are not really living. Every day I wake up and I am doing exactly what I want. Yes, I work hard. Yes, I am tired sometimes. But at the end of the day, I am not searching for a break from my everyday life. There is a fundamental problem with a life where a 3 day weekend puts a hop in your step that won’t return until Labor Day rolls around…
I walked by a 30 year old dude in a small BMW that said “I’ve been dreaming of this aspirational lease for the last 6 years in my cubicle,” and he had his “weekend bag” on the passenger seat, shades on, heading for the west side highway. I could see he was “sneaking out” Friday morning when all the other suckers were working a full day. It occurred to me that I don’t want to sneak out. I want to get to the office, write a blog post, focus on my to do list, get better, learn more, prepare, because all the work I’m gonna do while that guy is drinking Amstels by the pool of his shitty summer share is for me and my team. Not some 40 year old Managing Director who’s been in the Hamptons since Thursday morning at his place on the beach that this 30 year old guy would kill a 6 month old puppy to call his own.
So, I guess in some ways I pity that guy in the beamer who’s at this point probably at exit 63 on the LIE, salivating over the sign to Montauk Highway. Because Monday night is going to come around, and he will return to a life that I almost lived, that you couldn’t pay me $5 Million a year to return to.