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Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

I’m in a quasi-contemplative mood (and sick with a cold) and I wanted to add my own version to go with all of the 2012-in-review stories I keep seeing on the news. To be honest, 2012 has been an exercise in existence and not so much actual living.

The good:

  • After basically a decade of yearning I finally live in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a diehard tech person this has been the hot spot where all the exciting things happen. For years I freaked out and balked at the cost of living, not knowing if I’d be able to get a job to afford it all on my own without roommates. I finally made it (by way of Seattle) at the start of 2012!
  • I got the job of my dreams. This one was tough. As an engineer, I really can’t ask for a better place to work. I’m free to really crank on interesting things without all the distractions such as phone calls, angry customers, office politics, incompetent coworkers/groups. Every single person I work with is brilliant and they’re always willing to help out.
  • I’m out of Washington. It’s no secret I hated it there, it just wasn’t for me.
  • I adopted Charlie, my 2nd tuxedo cat.
  • I discovered microelectronics aren’t as hard as I expected; I also discovered homemade drones which has lit my imagination on fire.
  • I love California, I wish I had moved here years ago. (I’ll secretly admit I even like it more than Texas.) It’s oddly hard to fly somewhere else now, I don’t want to leave!

The bad:

  • I let my heart be broken in a big way and it continues to hurt. For months and months I would wake up angry at myself for getting into such a situation, yet I knew full well ahead of time what the risks were. On one hand it’s fascinating to see how powerful brain chemistry is, on the other hand it’s a real bitch.
  • I swam through the weeks. At some point I didn’t even care if I blew a Friday night because I knew another one would be here before I knew it. While this made the weekends come fast it also made the months tick by, everything was a blur. I can’t tell you what I did a week ago, let alone three months ago.
  • I had a head-on collision with tech burnout and the wreckage is still smoldering. I’m flat out sick of tech right now. I don’t even want to hack on my home projects, I’d rather go for a hike or drive along the coast. There are many causes but primarily I just didn’t step away enough.
  • I’ve made zero friends outside of work. For a large part of the year I would be so exhausted when I got home, I just didn’t want to deal with people or go out at all. I became very anti-social (which is a huge irony considering where I work).
  • Didn’t visit my family in Oklahoma or friends in Texas at all, other than the family at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For 2013, I need to get my house in order. Before I walked out the door this morning some televangelist on the telly said something that stuck with me (paraphrasing): “If you’re not enthusiastic and living your life, you’re just existing”. I strongly feel I spent all this year just existing, waiting for something to happen; waiting to get through another busy day; waiting for the weekend so I could decompress and sleep.

Despite how anti-social and a hermit I’ve become, I need to make a point to get out to meet people (starting with a party I was invited to on NYE). I need to get involved with or re-discover non-tech hobbies (cooking?, lock picking?) and go on real vacations even if I have to go alone.

I finally got proficient enough at work that I stopped with the weekend studying and hacking, which is finally helping me want to step outside to explore. I often forget things like Merritt Lake are just 15 minutes away via BART, Santa Cruz is ~40 minutes away, the coast is ~30 minutes away. All this awesome California stuff around me that I never think about because I just wanted to stay home.

I just want to be normal and enthusiastic about life, I hope I can accomplish this in 2013.


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