About a year ago to the day, I saw the Manifesto for the first time while searching for a new direction to take myself. My life had been taking dramatic turns very quickly; I was about to graduate, my relationships were evolving as I was quickly getting older, but I was not feeling like I was really “growing up.”

I was browsing through a list of entrepreneurs, trying to narrow down the five that I would beg to let me work for them. And then, I saw the Manifesto. I must have read it ten times in a row. I knew from that moment on, regardless of where life took me, the words on the Manifesto would always have an impact on my life.

Later that same night, I had a date scheduled, my first with this particular girl. As I sipped my margarita, I remembered the words on the Manifesto, and decided to be myself: open, naive, and to put all my awkwardness right on the table.

“I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I want to change the world. Do something crazy. I just applied for these programs. I’m either going to Cali or NYC. I have to get out of here and take a risk on something.”

“That’s awesome! I think you should explore outside of the Midwest.” She replied. “I want to teach Earth and Space Science…and shave my head.”

Our Mexican meal turned into hours of talking about life, death, fears and passions. I credit a large portion of our conversation on the Manifesto. It pushed me away from typical ice breaker questions and down a path of intellectual exploration, which led to genuine interest, insight and sparked amazing conversation.

“If you don’t like something, change it.” How true.

I’m in NYC. She’s bald and beautiful. And life is short.