Goals – The ones you should have vs the ones you probably have

I currently live in Silicon Valley. I came here a nobody in the tech space and I’m leaving as a little somebody.

My wife didn’t want to move here originally. She hated the idea of leaving family behind, but I convinced her otherwise. I explained that part of my goal for moving here was to build a name for myself and leverage that to work from anywhere. The “anywhere” being a spot where we had family vs here where there’s none.

Over the 3 years I’ve been here, I sort of lost that goal. Soon, the Valley started to work its magic. I began formulating long term goals. I began to lay out plans on how to settle here permanently. I mean, why not? I’m in the tech field and this is the tech mecca. The weather is simply amazing. San Francisco has anything you could want in a big city. Why not stick around?

One reason: kids. We have two of ’em. They’re a barrel of fun and mean the world to my wife and me. Thing is about kids, they think differently then adults.

They don’t care about the weather: They can have fun in hot, cold, wet or dry conditions.

They don’t care about the local job market: My son thought I made fries at eBay. I wondered why he thought that, then it dawned on me. When he wanted fries, he’d call me at work and I’d come home with a hot batch. So yeah, I can make “fries” anywhere.

They don’t care about the perks of a metropolitan city: Sure my oldest likes to take boat rides around the San Francisco Bay, but he likes riding his big wheel around the back deck equally as much.

There is one thing they do care about: Family. Kids have an inherent desire to be loved. All humans do, actually. Kids are just the only ones open enough to admit it freely.

Now, assuming you have a loving family (a big assumption in this day and age, I know), they will love your kids and that’ll make the little ones happy.

In November, my wife and 2 boys went to visit my wife’s family in Arizona. They had done this before, but something happened this time around. Their cousins were old enough to play with. Both their minds were old enough to tie faces to names and experiences.

I went to pick them up Thanksgiving week. I asked, “Alright, boys, you ready to go home?” I’m not really sure what answer I was expecting. I guess, in some delusional state, I was looking for them to be estatic and respond with, “Yeah, Dad. We’re ready.” Boy was I in for a shock.

The reply I got was swift and short. “No.” When pushed for more info, they offered it quickly and easily. “We want to stay at Goddess’s house.” (My mother-in-law prefers to be called “Goddess” vs “Grandma”.)

Their response hit me hard. It was in that moment that I realized that my kids didn’t care if I made it big in Silicon Valley. They didn’t care if I managed to buy one of the (small) million dollar homes. They didn’t care if I revolutionized the world. They wanted to be loved and they wanted to be near those that loved them. Plain and simple.

I needed to rethink my goals and it took my kids to help me see that. Within 30 days and a lot of prayer, a plan was in motion. I would focus on my business more and I would get my boys closer to people who love them. It may be a foolhardy plan, but it’s what my heart says I need to do. It was also my original goal when we moved here 3 years ago. I just needed a voice of reason to remind me.


About Tom Ortega II

My purpose in life is to make people happy through the application of technology. My primary way of attaining my purpose is by doing Montage, iOS and Flex programming for my consulting company, OmegaOrtega. The secondary way is by building games with my great friend from high school over at Area 161. I'm found on app.net as LordBron. You can read my personal blog over here. It's filled with technical posts, but also posts about bettering oneself My faith is being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have a spiritual blog called Spiritual Techies. It's not LDS specific, but more generic spiritual thoughts. Who's Lord Bron? Where does the name come from? He was the main character in a short story I wrote in middle school. I liked him so much, I took up his name as my nickname and username for internet sites. He was a time-traveller. 'Nuff said!
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3 Responses to Goals – The ones you should have vs the ones you probably have

  1. Josh says:

    I hope everything works out for you guys. My wife and I briefly considered moving out to the valley a few years back, (I had been talking to Yahoo!) but we also had a baby on the way. Like you guys, with a lot of prayer and pondering, in the end we decided that we wanted to raise our kids close to our family, as both of our families live close here in SLC.Had the opportunity appeared a few years earlier, we we would’ve done it in a heartbeat, and we may again consider a move out of Utah, but again, it’ll just depend on what’s going to best for our family.

  2. Dan Wilson says:

    How very admirable Tom. This is a wonderful decision you have made for your family and I wonder if a lot of other ‘personalities’ would have the guts to do the same. (I wonder if I would have the guts to do the same either… though since I am without family, I guess it doesn’t matter yet …)You will be successful in your move, I’m quite sure of it!I look forward to hearing on how everything progresses..Dan Wilson(nodans.com)

  3. Tom Ortega says:

    @JoshYeah, the valley is crazy. To put it in perspective, I put on the initial Flex User Group meeting the week after my youngest son was born. Who the heck leaves their newborn to hold a UG meeting? LOL@DanWell, think about those types of decisions now. That way when the time comes. You’ve already decided. 🙂

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