In a tiny brewhouse just north of Minneapolis, you’ll find Barley John’s, a brewpub making small batch, kick-ass beer. I started with a Rogue Galaxy IPA (ABV 6.2%, IBU 70), which named for the galaxy hops that were accidentally shipped along with a different batch, though I like to think it’s a Star Wars reference. I also tried an Old 8 Porter, which I highly recommend. The smooth, chocolatey flavor is well-balanced and quite drinkable.
I asked Andy, the brewer, for a bit of advice at the end of his shift. After a thirteen hour day, his first response was, “Always try to have an assistant.” The philosopher in him soon brought out far more advice, including, “Take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Pursue your interests and all opportunities. One door opening may temporarily close other doors, but those doors aren’t closed forever.”
In the midst of a late night and a long conversation, Andy’s words struck me. Advice along the lines of saying yes more often usually ends at that, but Andy intentionally chose to portray a non-linear life trajectory. We often use language such as “advance your career” and “next step” to analyze our lives and relative successfulness.
However, as I’m bound to learn with experience, a linear path is rarely the right way to find satisfaction. In fact, putting on a set of expensive blinders could easily leave you with a regretful pile of “what if’s”. Luckily, our decisions don’t have to be win-lose, they’re simply a combination of “why not’s” and “not now’s”.