Issue #15: Rollercoasters in Time

Rollercoasters And Time

On December 6th, the Oregon Ducks beat Utah 37-15 to win the Pac-12 title and advance to the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin for the first time since 2014 when the Ducks crushed undefeated, defending national champion Florida State 59-20. Going into the game I was excited and hopeful that we could win, but in the back of my mind Utah scared me. They had crushed opponents we had struggled against, but had lost to a USC team that Oregon crushed in LA. I expected Oregon to win barely or get blown out.

For anyone who knows me, I’m a very passionate Duck fan, especially when the game is on. My emotions rise and fall dramatically as the game goes on and no lead will calm me down until the 4th quarter ends. Oregon jumped out to a 20-0 lead, which was then cut to 23-15 before Oregon ran away with it.

Now, why am I talking about the Duck game? Because I noticed something funny happen afterwards. During the game, I was a rollercoaster of excited, anxious, defeated, and relieved. I felt every failed third down, first down given up, and Utah score so strongly and vividly and my mind would amplify every bottom and every high of the contest.

But, once the game was over and a few days went by, I rewatched the game. Instead of going back to those strong highs and lows I felt while watching it live, I felt steady, almost calm. All the emotions from watching it live felt silly and distant. I wasn’t in the thick of fandom anymore. I could rewatch and think back with an easy feeling.

When I talk with owners and investors who are in the middle of starting their company or investing, I can hear and feel the emotional swings of their adventures. On some days they experience otherworldly highs; a new customer, closing a deal, an exciting new partnership. On other days they feel unfathomable lows; losing valuable employees, deaths and terminal illnesses in their work and personal life, divorcing with a business partner. These times are raw and felt stronger than at any other point in time.

As time moves on and I have conversations with owners and investors well into or late in their career, they still remember how the early days felt, but they can think back more dispassionately and with relaxed hindsight. They can think back and enjoy the memories of the highs and understand the lows, without feeling the corresponding rollercoaster at the time.

Only being 22, I’m very much in the first group and some days are better, more productive, and happier than others. Just this year I’ve felt the thrill of releasing new podcast episodes, getting engaged, graduating college, and the sadness of lost opportunities and illness in my family.

While it’s all hard in the moment and the day to day can swing wildly within mere hours, I’ve seen those who’ve worked past those times and observed the peace they feel after going through it all. For anyone going through hard professional and/or personal times, keep going forward and that time and peace will arrive.

Go Ducks!

Capital Notes

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