The Return

I went back to training tonight after a few weeks off. The longer I stay away, the harder it is to work back to where I was. I stayed out because I was sick with a cold, and I know that was the right thing to do, for me and my teammates. I needed the rest. I’d hate to be that guy who shows up sick and spreads germs all over the place. Especially when you’re in close quarters combat with people. Training in the martial arts is about spending a very long time doing something to get better at it, and as a result, become a better version of yourself. So a few weeks out of at an absolute minimum of a decade of training? It’s nothing. It just feels like a long time while I’m off the mats.

I also came back to work after calling out sick on Friday, and the long weekend. On Saturday Kt and I went to our annual Sounders game (Seattle vs Portland Timbers). It was a beautifully warm and clear day to march through the streets to the stadium. We had great seats, purchased from a season ticket holder who put them up for resale. The Sounders won 1-0, scoring in the fourth minute of the game. The stadium erupted with cheering. The rest of the weekend was spent at home relaxing.

At work I felt much better and more productive. I think I needed to get things off my chest, and writing that last blog post helped a lot. I also had the chance to fix something today, so that’s a great form of micro-reward. It’s the same thing with work as it is at jiu jitsu. I need to remember that it’s a long haul effort, and I’ll have good and bad days. Over the many years I’ll spend working, as long as I stay true to myself and my passion, I’ll never stop improving.

– Big Sean, Voices in My Head/Stick to the Plan


The Search

As you may already be aware I’ve taken up surfing. Usually down on the Oregon coast (Seaside, Cannon Beach) or out at Westport, WA. I’ll either borrow Kt’s sister’s surfboard or rent one from a local surf shop. I have my own full length wetsuit with a hood, gloves and boots. I’ve had a few surf lessons: my first two were in Costa Rica, and another with Kt in Australia. Other than that, I’ve just figured it out as I go. I just know how fun it is to catch a wave.

I’ve been fighting off a cold for the last two weeks or so. It’s prevented me from being able to train. I think without training I tend to lose my focus and drive. When I take time off work it makes me wonder what else I could be doing in my life (rather than a desk job). That inevitably leads to me feeling pretty unsettled, and sometimes frustrated that I can’t make immediate changes to the situation. There’s bills to pay: I can’t just surf and train every day. Not yet, anyway.

These last few days, I’ve been wondering what my passion really is. I’ve come around to the idea that it’s not what I’m doing right now. Working in an office isn’t my dream. I can’t waste years working on something that isn’t bringing happiness to my life. There are two financial roadblocks: paying off my car, and the credit card. Those two things need to be cleared before I can really seek out my dream: whatever it may be, and wherever it may take me. I have to be okay with my dream changing over time, but I won’t let go of it, and I have to chase it as if my life depended on it.

I’m thinking about film school. I’m thinking about Canada. I’m thinking about Hawaii. I’m thinking about Boston. I’m thinking about the kind of work I want to do, but more importantly the kind of life I want to live. All of this thinking is being blurred by the cold I’m fighting and the medicine that’s controlling symptoms.

This blog has always been about me, and a way for me to motivate myself. Now there’s another person in my life, and we have shared responsibilities and shared dreams together. She’s always encouraging me to ‘quit my job and do what I really love’. I’ve been stuck in a mindset, and this blog is evidence of it, that I have to figure out my life on my own. Kt is by my side, and she can get me out of my own way. She pointed out that I’ve been avoiding the obvious: I need to write. So here’s to the endless search for the perfect wave, and the relentless chase after the kind of life I want to live.

Today felt blank. The weather was pure and clear. At work I felt sensitive. I did have a realization about my work, and how I’m the guy who can realize my manager’s vision. I had my business analyst hat on. I took an idea, a proof of concept, and turned it into a viable operational solution within an hour or two.

Big work-related news just dropped, and it’s late. Goodnight!


‘the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time’ – Jack Kerouac, On The Road

I know I haven’t written here in a while. I’ve been focused on working hard at my new job. It’s all good and I’m happy working there.

I’ve been running flat out since I arrived stateside, and it doesn’t look like any part of my new life is going to slow down anytime soon. That’s exactly what I wanted. I’ve established good habits: a healthy sleeping pattern, fairly healthy diet, and training whenever I can make it after work.

I’m going on a motorcycle course tomorrow, to refresh safety riding skills and get a motorcycle endorsement on my license. The bike itself is running okay, it does need some encouragement to start when it’s cold out. I think that’s an issue with the choke cable. I also have to make adjustments to the throttle. Otherwise, it’s a blast to ride.


Moving forward

‘World can’t hold me, too much ambition.’ – Jay-Z  (On to the Next One)

I just finished my first week of full time work in the United States of America. I was training for the first few days. I’ve already started working fairly independently. I’m on the front line of the service desk, solving smaller IT problems for users. There’s a lot of incidents to solve, and it’s a good starting point. I’ve already adjusted well to working in a larger team, and in an enterprise environment. The people I work with are all super cool.

Another huge goal has been ticked off this weekend. I spent hours on Friday night researching apartments. Saturday I went to check some of them out. The first sprawling complex I went to was awesome. The others places I looked at, not so much. So I applied and put a deposit to rent a 1 bedroom apartment at the first place. We’ll see how it goes. I’m quietly confident about my chances. It’s exciting and stressful all at once.

This is the biggest disruption to my life to date. Nothing else even comes close to this level. I had nothing but a suitcase and an idea: that I could make a new life for myself. It’s all happening now, and things are moving very quickly. Everything I’ve done so far has been a series of calculated risks: putting the ball in the air. I’ve started making solid commitments on what has proven to be a successful experiment.

Cables, everywhere

I had my first day of work in the United States of America yesterday! I told myself I would have a job by the end of January. I got the job on the 31st, and had my first day of work on the 1st of February. Just in time! I’m working on a network infrastructure project with a small local IT shop. My American dream is coming true.