The burden of opportunity

How to handle all of the choices life can present

Tyler Walz
4 min readAug 18, 2022


Lili Popper via Unsplash

Growing up I had every opportunity offered to me. I had supportive parents, a network of friends, and an excellent educational background that prepared me for the “real world.”

Despite having the opportunity to go anywhere and be anything, I had decided to stay in the same area I grew up in as a young professional. Following closely in the footsteps of my family and firmly planted my roots in Southeast Michigan.

It seemed like a no-brainer. All of my friends and family were around, I loved the area and could very easily form a vision for the rest of my life.

During this time, I had never been more confident in myself. I felt like I was exactly where I wanted to be and doing what I should be doing. I embraced the “Michigan” culture and felt a strong connection to the area.

Eventually, through an opportunity at work, I relocated to Seattle, an area of the country much different than the flyover states of the midwest. Instead of embracing the change, I became more rooted in my belief that I belonged back home. That it was “who I was” and to spend an extended period of time away would rob me of my full potential.

This is not to say I didn’t enjoy my time in Seattle, it just always felt temporary, like there was an expiration date on the amount of time I would be there. In a transplant city, it felt natural to be “out of place” and it validated my Michigan identity and roots.

I followed this passion back home and upon my arrival realized how much I had changed. I no longer felt like I fit into my home area and it began to cause me a lot of distress. Questions continued to rise about who I was and want I really wanted. If it’s not the midwest lifestyle then who am I actually?

Anxiety started by overthinking my situation. Without Southeast Michigan as an anchor for who I was then who could I be without it? I began to really question who I was and what I wanted my life to look like.

In a Wall Street Journal article, this point was highlighted on a broader scale. The article describes the West’s struggle for mental health citing that societies that offer more opportunities seem to have higher rates of…



Tyler Walz

Writing to understand myself and the world | Sports Fan | Bookworm | Business Consultant | Twitter: @tjwalz | Referral Link: