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Six Months In

I definitely cannot believe that that it's June. It feels like I just started my current job and I'm still afraid of pollen.

I like these quarterly updates. It definitely makes sure I get grounded to a sense of time, before time makes me an old man.

What's cooking?

  • I'm a regular at my company now. My direct manager is pretty awesome and I am very lucky to have her. She has both a high IQ and EQ, which are two traits much rarer in practice than I thought, and something that I can more fully appreciate.

  • My project at work chugs along. There are fits and starts here and there because I've been iterating my process and trying to get it right. I've gotten most of the kinks out, I think, and very soon I can start on that hockey stick development curve that makes a project go. Refactoring will be a pain, but after implementing the initial feature set that will make it “complete”, I should have time to focus on making it truly great. Ideally, I'll be able to open source it (or publish it on GitHub, since it already ships with an MIT license) by the next major software suite release in September of this year sometime. I am definitely learning how to be an effective individual contributor.

  • I'm starting to publish on my company's blog! Hopefully I'll publish a featured article once a month, and cross-syndicate on my blog and the company blog. Maybe I can be the Hazardish of the technical blogging community.

  • I almost have one year's worth of liquid savings! I will likely store away that whole amount in some account (maybe with my current bank, maybe with another bank) so that I am not tempted to touch it. Then, I think I will either save another year's worth of cash in order to bootstrap my own thing, or I will begin investing again (either index funds or dividend funds). Or both, I don't know.

  • I am paying better attention to the habits that build habits. Without tracking my habits, they fall through. That included going to the gym, cooking every day, and coding every day. So, I bought this app called Productive, that kind of mirrors what Calm had been doing for me. Instead of having a meditation session, you can add in different habits, and it will remind you to do them, set alarms, keep streaks, and display analytics. It's $7 for three or four months, and I think it's worth it so far. I've lost about 15 to 20 pounds over the past month, going from 185 to 165-170, which was unexpected. The UX is a bit unfamiliar, and there's some custom functionality that I would prefer it have, but unless I build out my own habits app and CMS, I don't have a good comeback.

  • I bought a PC at home, and am building out my workstation. It should be finished very soon, and I'll complete a writeup about that.

  • I am walking. A lot. Arlington is supposedly the fittest city in America, and you can definitely tell people like running, biking, stand-up paddleboarding, and otherwise doing sports. I miss the sunlight. My grandma commented on how pasty my skin is, and I'm afraid of losing hair. So the bike is in the bike garage and I walk 20 minutes to work.

What hasn't happened this year?

  • …that date I promised myself I'll go on. Now I'm a bit concerned. Like alarm bells concerned. I'm not afraid of talking to girls, and I don't think I have enough shame or fear of rejection left to ask people out on dates (out of general self-apathy and desperation), but I just don't put myself out there, wherever there is. Dating apps are not for me. I need to trust and be comfortable around other people now before I allow myself even the modicum of romance. We'll see where this goes. I don't have a roadmap.

  • I also don't have too many friends nowadays, and I feel the loneliness. I'm like an emperor penguin alone in Antarctica. Most of my friend-interactions last year came from my last company. Two things are different now. One, this is a normal company where employees respect one another and see a future, which means that relationships at work prioritize the corporation. Two, most of my coworkers are much older than I am (mid-thirties is on the young side), and while I really appreciate the maturity at work, they have responsibilities and cannot “hang out” afterwards. I don't think I can do hanging out every day, but once a week would be nice. I think this is where the running club I've been going to on again, off again will come into play.

  • The lack of verbal communications and thinking on my feet on a regular basis has definitely impacted me in a negative way. I have difficulty forming sentences, and elucidating my scattered thoughts. It's likely a result of me working on a siloed, independent project. It could also be who I've always been underneath. Maybe I should try out Toastmasters or something.

  • I still haven't learned ukelele. It's probably gone out of tune. Again. The fiscal conservative in me is going absolutely nuts. Why the hell did I buy a ukelele if it's just going to sit there?! I need to add this to Productive, and get a stand for it instead of having it pile on my desk.

  • I am being a bit more deliberate about my cooking (I baked my own bread last weekend because I was afraid of the bread-cake in the store), but it still needs work. Maybe make a new dish from a recipe a week?

Adding my New Year's Resolutions list to Productive, and keeping track of everything, is going to be much more difficult than I thought. That being said, things aren't bad. I know and appreciate that I'm much luckier than the vast majority of people in this world, and I am grateful. I just need to make the most of it.

(Correction on 2018/06/09): A prior version of this post described my manager as “physically and emotionally intelligent”. This is changed to “high IQ and EQ” after some discussion with a friend as “physical intelligence” may be ambiguous.