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One year ago today

A year ago today, I put everything I owned in my truck and moved across the country from North Carolina to the Bay Area.

I didn’t know where I was going, I didn’t even know what San Jose was like— I just knew that I had my first “in-person” job in 4 years and I was excited to be working with the best and brightest in Silicon Valley. I’d love to tell you it worked out just great, but the past year has been the hardest of my life.

The job I moved out for turned out to be a flop (who knew, charismatic founders can sell something that doesn’t exist), where I worked 12-14h days and went into the office <10 times in the 9 months I worked there.

There were mornings I would wake up and cry because I was so lonely. Just writing this brings back some tough emotions. That startup didn’t give me health insurance or PTO for the first three months. Leadership played head-games that made me feel even more isolated.

I worked so much, and still do, that there were stretches where I didn’t see or talk to anyone for days. My family is on the East Coast and I’ve moved every year for the past half-decade, so there aren’t too many long-term connections in my life.

Because I’m either working, writing, at the gym, or hiking, it’s tough to meet folks my age with my passions and I haven’t found the culture of fitness that’s been a key component in my life up to now.

I sacrificed one of my biggest hobbies (olympic weightlifting) to focus on overall fitness and accommodate working long hours.

This is not a sob story— it’s to share the the way out: perseverance.

I did those things by waking up every day and shipping. Even when I didn’t feel qualified or thought I might fail. I told my self “I can and I will.”

Today, I wake up and get to do something that doesn’t even feel like work. No, life is not perfect. There are still hard days and weeks, but it is so much better and I know I’m moving in the right direction.

It’s not a sob story, but it is to say you might be feeling something similar. And that’s ok.

It’s ok to be lonely, to feel like you’re not where you want to be, or to recognize that things take time. It’s ok to feel like you’re the only one who has conviction and the world is crazy because you know the right thing to do, but no one and nothing is confirming that.

I love what I get to do, but I’m still lonely… and I’m actively taking steps to fix that. I know and believe I’m a great person who will make other’s lives better, so that’s what I’m here to do. And that’s why I’m trying to share more of my journey with you all.

Here’s a picture of me on June 8th, 2023 at 4am pulling out of a driveway in North Carolina. I’d like to think I’m just as excited for today as I was for that road trip.

Update: since I first wrote this draft, layoffs affected ~30 of my talented coworkers at Replit. That includes the entire marketing team… except for me. Never has it been more clear that life will continue to throw curveballs. The only way out is… well you know the rest :)

#life #narrative #opinion