My roommate, friend, and fellow Project M’er, Ryan LeCluyse is about to embark on a new chapter in his personal and professional life. After the new year, he will find himself on a journey through three countries in Africa working with Mama Hope, a non-profit that embeds and invests in communities across Africa, collaborating with local organizations to build projects such as schools, clinics, and clean water systems. Ryan will be using his design and photography skills to document “stories of empowerment to inspire compassion & channel generosity.”
I’ve known Ryan for a few years now. I seen what he’s accomplished since college and what he’s currently accomplishing here in San Francisco. A few months ago he realized things needed to change and he started to make those changes happen. He’s leaving his comfortable tech job to pursue a new chapter that is very different from the current one he’s living now. He’s doing this because he wants to, not because someone told him to do this. Ryan is taking the initiative to create the work he wants to create—work he feels drawn towards.
I’ve never liked when people call designers “problem solvers.” I’ve always felt that this implies we simply sit around and wait for someone to come to us to solve their problems. I like the phrase, “opportunity seekers” much better. Glass half empty, glass half full.
My friend Ryan is doing that—seeking out his next opportunity, without anyone telling him. He felt the need to make changes in his life and he’s doing it. Although he doesn’t know what he will find when he gets back from Africa as his fellowship ends in April, but I’m sure he’ll seek out even more opportunities he feels drawn towards.
I’m inspired by his actions and commend him on his pursuits. I’m looking at this as a call to action for me. With the new year around the corner, it’s my turn to seek out my next opportunity—an opportunity that has been a few years in the making. I owe it to myself to pursue the work I want to do. I owe it to those who have helped me throughout the last few years as a sign of gratitude for their support.
This past weekend, a small group of friends took a quick camping trip to Mt. Tam, just over the Golden Gate Bridge. Ryan wanted to get some quick outdoor adventure time in right before he heads east. Can’t blame the guy—with Mt. Tam so close, why wouldn’t someone take advantage of some camping shenanigans, campfires, and trail runs.