It almost feels like too much happened this year to really sum it up. To start, it’s worth remembering my state of mind when 2012 began:
It’s about 4am. I’m writing this post because I was laying in my bed for over an hour trying to fall asleep. …
My first train of thought is that I’m incredibly scared how I’m losing my memories of my childhood. …
Another train of thought is that I don’t know what my future will be, especially since I’ve started doubting my worth. It would have been amazing if I had gotten that job in California last March, but I didn’t. And now I don’t know where to go from here. When you have a million options to choose from, you get anxiety over which one you should choose. …
I had a meet up with some great friends from high school last month, and I realized that it was a drop in the bucket compared to what I need. I need to see these people more often. And I can’t at the moment and it’s killing me.
I enter 2012 more unsure of myself and my future than ever before.
- “Insomnia,” December 21, 2011
I was pretty down in the dumps and more depressed than I had been in a very long time. It didn’t help that it felt like my family was falling apart a little, as well. We certainly weren’t in poverty but we were trending downwards to the low end of middle-class.
Thankfully, my hopelessness didn’t last very long. On January 3rd I was contacted by someone at a gaming company in Boston about a web development role at their company, based on my resume. On January 17th I went to interview in person with them, and it went well enough that I received an offer later that night.
It was official, I would be moving from Connecticut to Boston. From the only home I had ever really known in a small town to some city where I didn’t know anybody. And I only had two weeks to do it.
Considering everything, it went pretty well:
Today, I went to look for an apartment.
I found one. I’ll be moving to Boston in six days.
It’s late. And I still don’t know what to think. But I wanted to get this out there.
I’m still scared. But in a way I’m also relieved. I’m scared of the unknown, and about half the unknown is now, well, known. That’s nice. There’s still a lot of factors I don’t know, but I’m going to take things one day at a time. Humorously, a big comforting factor on the way back today was realizing I have my own bathroom. I don’t know why that calmed me, but it has.
- “Split,” January 29, 2012
The move went well, considering it was only three days before I was to start. It’s weird, but I don’t really have any emotion attached to the memories of that move. It’s like I was straining to not feel anything, in case it would hurt too much. I had always imagined it hurting. The first time I helped my older sister move, I could see the how emotional it made my sister and mother. It was a little emotional moving me for my mom when we said goodbye, but it was less severe than I had been expecting.
On February 6th, I started my first real job and began my career as a web developer. I will always be thankful to Jay Jungawala for finding me and reaching out to me when at that point I held little else but potential. Even after all my talk, on this blog and in other places, after all of my designs (sixteen in total between this blog and the other site I started around that time, not counting the dozens of other “throwaway” sites/experiments) I was still incredibly green. I’m still amazed they took such a chance on me and allowed me to learn so much.
That knowledge and experience would come in handy, since I was part of the first round of layoffs for the company later that year. June 4th was my last day. I’m ashamed to admit this but it really shook me up.
It hit me like a tidal force. I went from being completely numb at work, to completely losing it on the phone with my mom. Now I’m back to “normal,” except I feel like I’ve got an anchor around each leg.
How the hell am I supposed to pay my rent for the next seven months? I mean, that’s the big question I have. I can maybe scoot by on my phone and utility bills, those aren’t cheap, around $300 in total, but rent is over three times that.
How naive I was to think that I’d be able to afford a decent apartment in Boston.
- “Shut Down,” June 5, 2012
Once again, I was at a very low point.
That’s just about exactly four solid months of work experience, and as I would find out almost the very next day, that’s seemingly all it takes to make you like catnip to technical recruiters:
The day after writing that post, I got a couple phone calls from some recruiting agencies, and have continued receiving calls and emails since then. …
Learning that, and the constant contact with recruiters, has obviously brightened my outlook. It now feels like I can actually fulfill “The Summer of Andrew” in a way more faithful to its inspiration from Seinfeld; in the original episode, George Costanza had been put on a three-month paid leave. I’m pretty much free to do the same.
- “Rises,” June 20, 2012
Just knowing I was wanted was enough for me. Personally, I still felt a little burned out from the whole experience and spent a couple weeks back in Connecticut enjoying my free time and considering my options. I was happy.
I agreed to begin working at another, much smaller startup on a contractual, part-time, hourly basis. I started on July 30th, and five days later it was shut down. There were about six of us there which I thought was a bit off, but the company had been around for two years so I at least it would be safe for
However the emotions I felt could not have been more different than when I was first laid off. I was relieved. I had begun feeling that working an hourly job was not for me, since I didn’t pay much attention to what I did in each hour (which I had to report) and instead focused on the result and getting the task done. My onboarding process was also less than stellar; it took two days for me to even get a kind of makeshift coding environment working, and even then I still didn’t have my own computer. In fact, the only real bright spot about the whole thing was I might Max Thayer, who’s also an awesome hacker dude who I can bounce ideas off of and hack with, and vice-versa.
On the fourth day I was working there, I got another email from Jay, who had apparently been laid off as well. He wanted me to come work with him at a different company. On that fourth day, I felt uneasily split between my feelings of obligation after accepting my current role and my desire to work at someplace better and with someone I was friends with. Thankfully, I didn’t have to make that decision, as the next day I was told the company was closing.
Since my last post, I started working at a startup that promptly shut down five days later. I was then contacted by an ex-coworker from my original company — in fact, the very same one who emailed me in January, telling my to come to Boston to interview. That email changed my entire life. His new email to me was less transformative, but similar in content. Basically, I’m working with him (and about five others from that job) once again at a new startup.
- “Further,” August 31, 2012
I’m still at that company, but we moved on November 10th to a new building with a lot more room. We own about 3/4 of the 12th floor, and the view is pretty amazing. It takes some more time to get to, but it isn’t a major deal… yet.
I truly love my current position. I love the team I work with, I love the stuff I’m able to do, I love what I’m learning, and I love the energy and how excited it makes me.
I enter 2013 more certain of the decisions I’ve made than ever before. More certain of who I am than ever before. I know that if for whatever reason I stop working at my current company, I’ll probably be able to make it out OK. In fact, maybe even better than before. This year I have seen the highest highs and lowest lows of my entire life — no other single year comes close.
Armed with these memories and experience, I raise my fists to the new year and say: “Bring it on.”