Dick Clark passed away Wednesday. My first reaction was, "Wow, Ryan Seacrest, who has idolized Dick Clark, has officially filled those shoes for younger generations." Dick Clark started with American Bandstand on the national level as Ryan Seacrest started with American Idol on a national level. Both of them influenced generations of people through hosting music programs and then producing others.
This got me to thinking about the moments in life when I knew it was time to move on. The first one was when I left KUNV radio (alma mater to Jimmy Kimmel and Ken Jordan of The Crystal Method among others) after being a DJ, then the Music Director, and then the Program Director. Years later I would become the original author of KUNV's Wikipedia page, which has been altered quite a bit over the years as the station's strong innovative history gave way to deteriorating prominence.
When I became a DJ we had one of the few college radio stations that mattered in the country. We had a 15,000 watt radio signal in a valley, which gave us a signal as strong as the few commercial radio stations Las Vegas had at the time. Broadcasting emerging indie pop, rock, dance, industrial, punk, new wave and world music 14 hours a day on such a powerful signal made us very influential in selling records and one of the top five college radio stations in the country. It was revolutionary, fun and fueled entirely by passion by everyone involved at the station and in the community.
A few years later I was offered a job at Geffen Records and jumped at the opportunity. The truth was that I felt I wasn't as engaged, entertaining or interested in radio as I had been by that time. I was leaving at my peak in that position and would have continued on as a lesser version of my DJ and Program Director self if I had continued on. A decade later the music industry as a whole felt like it was getting antiquated and I moved on to a career in the then-infant digital marketing industry.
Since then I've experienced this feeling of industries and communities shifting from vibrant to predicatively stale in the cities I've lived in, and the jobs I've held and the companies I have both started and folded. There was always a time when it was obvious to me, if not to others, that it was time to hand off the baton and move to a new opportunity that was a better and a more passionate fit for that time in my life.
We all have these moments multiple times in life where something inside tells us that we're not that person we used to be, or the scene is too big and not as full of passionate brothers-and-sisters-in-arms as it used to be, or our interests have shifted away from those previous passions.
It's important to recognize when these moments happen and move to the next experience, which is a better fit for that time in our lives. I'm not at one of those points today, but it occurred for me late last year and one day it will occur again.
When these moments happen for you, be grateful for them knowing that they are a natural part of our evolution. As Dr. Seuss wrote, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." And then move on.
Like Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest and millions of others, we'll reinvent ourselves, discover new passions and move to what's next and what's most important for us to immerse ourselves in as the seasons and tides of life move forward.
What have been the most powerful moments of change in your life, how did they change you, and how are you better for them having happened to you?