Right Now: Apr 16, 2021

A lot of changes have occurred in the last year or so. Living through the pandemic has been a lot for all of us, but simultaneously I’ve felt myself entering a new phase of adulthood.

Career

The pandemic forced me to question my career a lot. The youthful enthusiasm I had about the clean energy industry is largely gone. My idealism about being able to cause systemic change through my job has now been replaced with the view that a job is a way to make something I’m proud of, get intellectual fulfillment, and provide for my lifestyle. This shift in viewpoint has led to me becoming a pure software engineer, thus my current (remote) position at Ford, and my decision to apply for the masters program in Computer Science at Georgia Tech. While I was coding before and had the title of Software Engineer at FreeWire, this was my first time grinding LeetCode for interviews (made it to some final rounds at FAANGs, but honestly didn’t know what I was doing ahead of time), and I know that I stand to benefit a lot from formal education. Prior to this I was living in this hybrid bastardization of software and batteries, which I thought was cool, but the market didn’t really give a shit about.

To be clear, I am not delusional enough to think software will save the world, but I do know that it is engaging, useful, has high flexibility in terms of location, is fairly compensated, and is something I can be quite good at; i.e. all that I want from a job. I would even go so far as to say I am passionate about it, with the caveat that passion has a strong tendency to follow hard work.

Helping people is still important to me, and I just started getting involved with Code for America. There are a lot of highly impactful projects I am excited to get involved with and I think it intersects nicely with the rest of my life.

Personal Life

Moved in with my partner (B) to a cute new place in SF! We’ve gone on quite a few trips this year, rode our mountain bikes, and played a bunch of tennis. Our one-year anniversary is coming up soon.

Haven’t seen my parents the entire pandemic, we’ve had lot of phone calls and FaceTimes, but it’s not the same. Feels especially brutal because my Mom had cancer earlier this year and it was hard not being there to support her in person. Luckily my folks have already gotten vaccinated, Mom is cancer free (knock on wood), and I’m getting my first dose of that good-good Moderna this Saturday. Planning to go home to see them for three weeks in June. I suspect I will workout to the extent I can, work from my childhood desk, cook a lot with loved ones, and hopefully play some tennis with my Mom.

After that I’m visiting B’s family in Houston for a week, and we’re going to check out Austin again. We went to Texas together over the holidays and while we had a great time, it was quite hard to judge if it is a place I want to live given that we went mid pandemic. While I love the Bay, B has expressed a desire to be near family for the long term, whether that’s in Texas or New Jersey. I used to be more skeptical about moving than I am now, but as buying a property grows higher on my priority list I question how long I can live in the Bay. I know I could buy a property here, but I don’t know if I could live the lifestyle I want. While work is important, it’s just a part of life to me, and I have no inclinations to put in 60-hour weeks at a large tech company just to live. My job exists to support the entirety of my lifestyle, not the other way around.

Aside from going home, we have plans to travel in October, two of B’s friends are getting married on back to back weekends, one in Colorado and the other in Boston.

Hobbies & Fitness

I used to dance a lot of Salsa, and while I had a ton of fun going to clubs and dancing, for obvious reasons that became not an option during the pandemic. And now, as we near the end of this tunnel, I wonder what role if any dancing will play in my life. Now that I have a serious partner, I feel that the amount of feminine energy I’m getting in my life is more than satiated, and that I need to be investing in myself in different ways. Planning on keeping up with Capoeira and starting a BJJ practice once the pandemic allows.

tl;dr

I’m admitting I’m a real software engineer now, I have a remote job at Ford which will allow me to visit family and friends, and I’m applying for a masters program in CS at Georgia Tech. Publicly committing to volunteer for Code For America.

My love life is going well, I’m probably going to dance much less, and I think I’m going to get really into BJJ & keeping up Capoeira. Those will be my serious things, while B and I have fun biking and playing tennis.

Visiting Texas to see if moving there makes sense. Trying to put away as much money as possible to afford a down payment regardless.