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Lauren Van Horn

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Marrying an Entrepreneur

Posted: 11/12/2013 6:00 pm

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Lauren Van Horn

And then there was one bread winner in the family: me.

This week my husband announced that he is leaving Path to start his own company with a close friend and co-worker. In Silicon Valley, an announcement like this is expected, the norm, no big deal. It is exciting, and talked about, but definitely not scary or crazy. The thing is, it is terrifying to me. Maybe Silicon Valley feels the same, and just never talks about it, but my heart definitely dropped the moment I entered the "married to an entrepreneur" world.

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Funny? Not really.

I was raised in a very traditional household. You were either a doctor or a lawyer, and that's about it. Sure, I broke out of that mold a couple years ago when I quit my law firm and joined a small startup (two weeks later to be acquired by Facebook), and sure I now embrace the unknown, the rollercoaster, the success and the failure, and the insanity. And yet, I am terrified! A lawyer can only be a non-lawyer part of the time (fact). No doubt, I am inherently a planner, who loves security, and tries to counter this by doing crazy things every so often, all the while knowing that those crazy moments are way beyond my comfort zone.

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Who goes to Iceland in the winter? We do.

So here I am, terrified, and yet also insanely excited. Drastic change in tone, I know. This week, I fluctuated between tears, smiles and screams, way too many times. This photo about sums it up:

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One-year wedding anniversary, trashing the wedding dress.

The thing is, as long as I have known Matt, he has always been an entrepreneur in heart and practice. He started a number of companies while in high school and college (even sold one for $600), and he helped Logan Green co-found Zimride (now Lyft) in the early days. Yet, he had not fully worn the CEO hat, nor had he fully devoted his career to one engine, run by him as founder. He made sure to repeatedly remind me throughout our past seven years together that this would in fact happen. He wanted no misconceptions about our future: We would partake in some traditional life commitments (marriage, dog, house, children, in no particular order), but everything else was up for grabs, with guaranteed! career instability. He would be a founder and CEO of a company, he would change the world (intense, yep), and we would enjoy it every step of the way. Such confidence, right? One of the many reasons why I adore him.

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Dog, check!

These conversations only became more pronounced and important over the years. As Matt met and worked for incredibly brilliant entrepreneurs (you know who you are), he developed into this now refined, knowledgeable, ready, entrepreneur. His mind and his soul transformed from a dream to a reality. I have never in my life witnessed someone set such an aggressive life goal, and perfectly devote seven years to preparing for making the dream come true.

Many may have a dream, and generally try to reach it over the years, but do they really transform substantially along the way? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, anomaly or not, Matt is truly a very different person than he was when I met him, and he could not be more ready for this exciting venture.

And so, I put my fears behind me, because he has always reminded me, continuously, that this is who he is. It is this spirit, courage and confidence that I love so much, and that makes the non-professional part of our lives so exciting and fun. I know with him my life will never be boring. We may bring more ups and down into our lives, but at least our lives will be one big adventure.

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Super Bowl, 2013, booked two weeks in advance.

I also can't help but bow down to all of those who have supported him and guided him through this crazy world. From high school, to college, to Digg, to Path, thank you. From long time friends to anyone and everyone who has ever spent time with him, thank you. Each of you helped mold him into this ready founder, and I am forever grateful. The attorney wife could only do so much over the years to help him grow in tech (she is more useful now, don't worry), and so you and Matt did all of the heavy lifting together. I just sat back and watched with a smile.

It is with love, tears, fear and excitement, that I now enter a whole new world with Matt. It is time, and I am ready too.

One last note: Thank you, Matt, for supporting me through life, and helping me make my dreams come true. Now, it's your turn.

Onward!

Lauren's post first appeared on Medium.

 

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