Transitioning is tough, but not surprisingly, listening to those who I admire in the world, and how they get by, gives me hope.

I've been working through the backlog of Brett Terpstra's podcast Systematic, and stumbled upon episode 47 with Fletcher Penny, the creator of MultiMarkdown. Myself being a nerd and lover of Markdown, plaintext and technology, my spirits were immediately lifted (and I'm on my second listen to the episode as I write this post).

Throughout their talk, Brett and Fletcher touch on the idea of their hobbies as 'labors of love', comparing an contrasting the freedoms they have between their open source projects and their 'commodity projects'. While each has their limitations, what caught my attention was the passion that each of these men has for their "side projects".

This is what I aspire for as the goal of my transition from military service to civilian life. To find something I'm passionate about, and to actually live life once again.

The men and women that we listen to on our podcasts, who we converse with on Twitter, and who we read in our various feeds, are people. People with lives, day jobs (some of them anyway, it's good to be King), families, aspirations, doubts, fears, and failures. For the most part we only see the polished, 'made for TV' side of their personas, but follow them close enough, on a long enough timeline, and you'll see the truth.

So: to Brett, Fletcher, John, David, Merlin, DanMarco, John, and yes, even Casey, and the many others who I have neglected to mention but still value incredibly, I thank you.

I thank you all for showing us that it is possible to branch out from the normal doldrums of life. To take risks. To love what you do, and to not be afraid of being successful .