I’ve been trying to write this blog post now for over 3 years, believe it or not! Life has been getting in the way for a long time, along with a heavy dose of laziness on my part. It got to the point where I didn’t even know where to start, so much has happened it’s felt like a roller coaster ride. But excuses and delays aside, the time has come to write something and actually press the “Publish” button on it. I’d like to summarize some of the big changes and life events over the past 3 years, discuss where I am now & then describe my plans and goals for the near and distant future. I’ve had to re-read several of my past posts to remember where I was in life 3 years ago, and It’s amazing just how much time flies when you are living life and building a family.
I’ll start with the obvious, I was 30 when I last posted and now I am 33, going on 34 in a few months. My wife had an amazingly healthy pregnancy and we now have a beautiful 3 year old daughter named Juliette who just celebrated her birthday last week. Our application for my wife’s permanent residents went through without a hitch and she has had her PR card for several years now. We’ve been living in our beautiful downtown apartment now for over 3 years and it’s been a great place that our daughter has called home her whole life. We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary earlier this year and we are still madly in love and as close as ever. I maintained my contract job for nearly 4 years with a hefty rate increase a few years in as I took on much more responsibility. I think that sums up a look at the last 3 years from 30,000 feet. Now to come back down to Earth and look a little deeper into what all these changes have meant and where they have taken me so far.
First my work situation, I had several very fun years working as a contractor with a small company called Spintech IT which unfortunately came to an end in early 2019 when their main client which I was handling decided that they didn’t need anymore work from us. The writing had been on the wall for that relationship for a while and I had actually been looking for new opportunities for over a year prior, but nothing motivates more than necessity and when things started going down hill I kicked it into high gear and was able to find a new opportunity in under a month. That opportunity has been at a company called Voxter whose parent company is Ooma. They have treated me extremely well and I now have a salary that is comparable to what I was making with my contract work. They also gave me full medical benefits, a brand new MacBook Pro, unlimited vacation time, complete control of my schedule and most of the other things that you would expect to see at the top players such as Google & Amazon. They have already sent me to San Francisco, San Diego & Chicago for conventions which have been awesome. My role in the company is a Full Stack Software Developer and I believe I have done a very good job so far, especially seeing as I am the only developer in the company without a formal education.
Next I’d like to discuss our apartment. It’s been great and we have really enjoyed living the downtown lifestyle. That being said, we have been seriously considering moving over this past year. The amount of noise downtown is becoming unbearable, at least where we live. Nearly every block of downtown has some kind of construction going on, including right outside our window where they are making a new building. And the fire station outside our building has also turned out to be as loud as you’d expect something like that to be, with alarms seeming to happen 2-3 times a day or more. Currently we are waiting to see how my job situation looks at the 1 year mark before we get serious about moving, but we are basically decided that we need to find somewhere more relaxed for a family to live. The plan is somewhere slightly outside downtown in a suburb where we can rent a home with a backyard. Currently my commute is only a 10 minute walk and that is one of our main considerations when we do finally decide to move.
Where to begin with my daughter and fatherhood? It’s as challenging as they say if not more, but the rewards are of equal greatness. Coming home from work each day to be greeted with a little girl who is very excited to see her Daddy, it feels fantastic. Watching her grow and learn has been amazing and we are very proud of her progress. Being a role model has been hard and as she gets older and more aware of everything I have been feeling more responsibility to be a good example in her life. There have been many trying moments as well and there is a reason why people say “Stop acting like a child”. Patience is something I have been trying to get better at, which has been a challenge because anyone who knows me would not describe me as patient, in fact they would probably describe me as impatient. But I am filled with endless hope when I see how quickly she has been learning things these past few years. She is great around others and everyone is always saying what a beautiful and well tempered little girl she is, which reaffirms our feeling that we are very lucky parents.
Marriage has been a journey that I am very happy to be on with my wife. We have had our ups and downs but I believe through it all we were always loving and we have always worked things out. Having a child stresses relationships, I have no doubt of that anymore. There are just so many opportunities for differing opinions and for stressful moments, but there are also moments that bring us all together as a family and closer as a couple. Embracing the struggle and finding ways to work through it together is something that I have been trying to focus on over the past few years. My wife has stayed home with our daughter while I have been working full time, this has been great for our daughter and we both believe it’s the right thing to do. I am eternally grateful for my wife’s sacrifices and we have managed to make it work so far. But it also means we have very different focuses in life, I am trying to build a career while she sees things from a very family oriented perspective. I personally feel like this aspect of parenthood can be tricky because I don’t feel her struggles and she doesn’t feel mine, not that we have had many issues with this, I just think it’s a fact of having a stay at home parent that I didn’t consider as much when we took this path. Finding time for a career and a family is hard and I struggle to know when to turn off my work mind and turn on the family one.
Since moving into our apartment and having our daughter we have managed to take several vacations. Last September we took a trip with Juliette to Chile so she could meet my wife’s side of the family. Earlier that year in February we spent 3 weeks in Europe while my wife’s parents stayed at our apartment to watch our daughter. They have been great trips and I appreciate that my in-laws have been able to help us during these times. We don’t have any more trips planned in the near future but I will hopefully take some time off in October so that we can take a small family trip within BC. I hope to take my family for a trip to Japan in the next few years but I want to wait until I feel that my daughter will get the most out of it.
Now I’d like to discuss where my life is as of today and what finally motivated me to sit down and write this blog post. It hasn’t been any single event that has made me feel like it’s time for change, but I have felt a little like I’ve been on autopilot for the past few years. I finally want to take the wheel again and get back to being the successful person I know I can be. Not to say that I haven’t been successful during this period, but I have felt like I’ve been going through the motions and don’t have a clear direction towards the future. One change that I have recently undertaken is to buzz cut my hair and finally try and live the bald life. I haven’t been happy with my hairline for over a decade and I’ve always felt like when the time was right I would do this, but it took me longer than I expected to take the dive. Another important reason for doing this is because I am tired of telling myself I will change and then essentially forgetting to stick to it. I wanted a reminder of change that I could see in the mirror every day, to show myself that I am capable of transformation. Some people may be surprised to think I have an aversion to change, seeing as how I left my life behind and traveled the world solo for over 3 years. But changing my environment has always been easier for me then changing myself. It’s not going to be easy and I will need a lot more reminders and hard work to get where I want to be, but I feel like I am on the right path now and this blog post is helping me reflect on that.
I think I’ve done a decent job by this point of discussing where things are with me and my family. Now I’d like to look into the future and take an opportunity myself to try and imagine the next steps in our life. This is the hard part because I have almost everything I have ever posted about on this blog. I’ve found throughout the years that what I write here isn’t just dreams and wishes, they are blueprints for my future. That can be empowering but also very scary. I will try to focus on who I want to be and what I want for my family. I want to be someone my daughter and wife are proud of, someone who is stable, smart, available, fun & much more. I’ve lived most of my life focused on myself, and I don’t want to be that way anymore. I want to be more giving with my time. I’d also like to continue advancing my career as a software developer, I am not sure if that means starting my own business, working for one of the big companies or becoming a leader within my current company. I’d like to provide more for my family and to make sure they have everything they need to be successful in life. Teaching my daughter my perspective on life is also important to me, a chance to pass on what I’ve learned through my journey thus far.
I could likely go on with this post forever but I think it’s time to stop and leave something for the next one. I’m making a promise to myself here in writing that I will post again before the year is over. I’ve known for a while now that I need these opportunities for self reflection and I would be doing myself a disservice to wait another 3 years to step back and look at what I’ve become. Thank you to whoever finds the time to read this, I’ve tried to be honest and open as I want others to know my struggles and to be part of my journey, in whatever small way it may be. I appreciate you taking the time to read how my life has been going.