Goodbye San Francisco: 5 things I'll miss, 5 things I'm looking forward to

After 12 years, 4 states, and 11 different apartments, I’m moving back to my home state of Michigan… for now.

Growing up in Michigan, California always felt so far away. Like, a different country type of far away. When I joined the team in Colorado, I never thought the opportunity would take me to California. But when a good opportunity arises, sometimes you need to run with it. So when I found out about the acquisition, I leaned in and moved to San Francisco with the team.


San Francisco is a difficult place to live

I’ll be honest, my time here hasn’t been all roses and sunshine, as life goes. Living in San Francisco came with a decent amount of pressure and stress for me, but I have a ton of great memories of California and feel lucky to have gotten to live here.

My feelings about San Francisco are like feelings about a relationship that didn’t work out. We had a lot of good times, but it’s time to part ways.

But I don’t want to make this a post about all the negative things the Bay Area offers. I’ve been reflecting back on the last few years here and thought I’d share 5 things I’ll miss, and 5 things I’m looking forward to.

First, some highlights


I got married

I came out to San Francisco with a girlfriend, and I’m leaving with her as my wife. I’m incredibly grateful for her support, sense of adventure, and strength in always seeing the positive things in life. Lately I’ve gotten to watch her build a print design business and it’s been incredibly rewarding and inspiring. 

I bought my dream car

If you know me, you know I love the outdoors and a good road trip. I gave up the dream of “van life” when I found the Honda Element Ecamper. I’m in love with this car and it’s going to be our little home on wheels as we drive from California to Michigan.

I won ShipIt, Atlassian’s hack-a-thon competition

Atlassian does a lot to engage employees and seek new ideas. One of the things they do is a 2-day competition called ShipIt. I pitched a last-minute idea and won!

I played drums in ‘South of Market: The Musical’

In the fall of 2017 I played 8 sold-out theater shows with an incredibly talented and fun crew of actors, musicians, and production specialists. This was my first professional theater experience and it was way more fun that I expected. We were even featured in Forbes!

I got a dog 

Oh sweet Charlie girl. I’m convinced you’re part cat and part psycho. You’ve brought so much joy to our lives here, you are so patient and loyal even when we are bad dog parents. I look forward to sharing many more adventures with you in the midwest. 

There are so many more memories I’ll keep with me forever and I will miss a lot about the last few years.

5 things I will miss


California’s beauty 

I am extremely lucky to have gotten to live in California. I have driven the entire coast, camped in a private ocean side cove, backpacked Yosemite, visited wine country, went whale watching, hiked in Marin County, and much more. This is truly a beautiful and unique state with endless possibilities of things to do and see. 

The tech community

Sure, call me a tech bro or whatever. I’m passionate about my work and love this community. I’m a big believer in networking for learning and discovering new opportunities. I’ll miss being surrounded by so many like-minded folks and so many exciting new things being built every day. 

The Atlassian office

Wow, I am so spoiled. The space Atlassian has created and allowed me to work in is extremely beautiful and comfortable. I am excited about my transition to remote work but I really will miss the environment, kitchen chats, and yes I will miss the kombucha on tap — no shame there.

The weather

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Michigan isn’t really known for it’s amazing weather. Sure, summers are great, but they don’t last long. I do look forward to seasons, but you can’t really beat the weather in the Bay Area. 55–70 nearly every day? What’s not to miss?

The people

I struggled to build a community here and there’s a lot I could have done to change that, but I did create some really meaningful new friendships. You know who you are, and I’ll miss you! 

5 things I’m looking forward to

Remote work

I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to take my job to Michigan. The ability to work remotely means we can focus more on the quality of life we want. 

Being close to family and friends

Living in California means we don’t seen our families and friends in the midwest very often. I’m excited to be driving distance from home again, and to be closer to our friends in Chicago.

Affordable housing

Hm. Not much to say here. Paying rent in SF is exhausting. $3,500 for a 500 square foot one-bedroom and a parking spot should be illegal.

The Great Lakes

I love the water. Especially water that doesn’t have sharks, jelly fish, or anything else that can kill me. Michigan is a beautiful state, and I can’t wait to explore it. 

A slower pace of life

I used to love city living. A part of me still really values it, but I’m tired. Like, really tired. SF is a constant grind, and you have to force yourself to slow down and get out of it. I’m looking forward to it being easier to slow down. 

So what’s next? 

My wife and I are in the process of trying to buy a house in Grand Rapids, MI. For now, we’ll be living with some family in their mother-in-law unit while we continue the house search. We’re taking a couple weeks to drive across the country and enjoy some states and sights we’ve yet to see. I’m going to continue working with Atlassian as a Customer Success Manager focused on Statuspage and Opsgenie. I’ll visit SF any time, and I’m grateful for the time I got to live there.

I won "ShipIt", Atlassian's quarterly hack-a-thon competition!

My project, the Incident Template Generator, one the customer-selected award for our company wide hack-a-thon competition. Here’s what the customer judge had to say:

This project impacts not only Atlassian customers making their updates easier and therefore faster but also their customers as well, who they are trying to rectify the issue for… this is the biggest impact audience of the lot, and one that personally rings to me after many years of critical system support.

— Atlassian Customer & ShipIt Judge

8 Common Mistakes That Negatively Impact CES

A good support team is obsessed with finding ways to improve the customer experience and have an opportunity to impact it on a large scale. But before you can improve the customer experience, you must first have an understanding of what’s causing negative experiences.

Originally published on Read the full article here.

The Day I Went To Prison

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day in prison with Defy Ventures, an organization that teaches entrepreneurial skills to incarcerated individuals, or what Defy likes to call ‘Entrepreneurs-in-Training’ (EITs).

You see, many people in prison are “business savvy”… they just happened to be in the wrong business, which ultimately lead them to prison. Defy helps “transform that hustle” into a legal business by providing MBA-style coursework and preparing people with criminal histories to employ themselves once they’re released from prison.

Originally published on Medium. Read the full article here.