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Reflections on the last year

It's March, which means my birthday is coming up, which means that another year has gone by.

I haven't written on my personal blog in a long time, so I thought it'd be appropriate to try and reflect on some of the life events that took place over the last year.

Moving

So I finally moved back to the Bay Area after a good seven years in San Luis Obispo. I originally moved there for school in 2011, and after five years of that stayed to work full time at iFixit.

Living in SLO was a really great experience. I got to work with and meet a bunch of brilliant people through Cal Poly and working at iFixit. SLO's a beautiful place to live too. It's basically always 75 degrees and sunny, there places to hike and enjoy nature all around, the downtown bar scene is legendary. It sounds a little like paradise, no?

However, as time went on, more and more of my friends moved to places like the Bay Area or LA and got jobs at bigger (or sometimes smaller) companies. It started to feel like most of the people I had met during my time in SLO were still together, but spread out across Silicon Valley instead of across SLO. I was also kind of nostalgic to move back, since I'm originally from that part of California. It also turns out that the Bay Area is an okay place to find a job in tech, so that worked out.

I'm currently living in San Jose with some friends from school and things have been going pretty well. We live close enough to walk (or scooter) to downtown SJ and frequent places like Original Gravity, Good Karma, La Vic's, Uproar, Haberdasher, San Padro Square, you name it.

I'm about 30-45 minutes away from everyone in family, so I get to see them a lot more often than when I lived four hours away.

I still get to visit SLO semi-frequently and catch up with old friends who are still in the area :). I'm pretty thankful that I still have close friends there.

New Job

I took a new job at PayPal in late August/early September last year. Long story short, things are pretty cool there. I mostly get to work on front-end stuff with React and back-end stuff using Node, so I'm pretty happy with the tech stack. For such a big company we still get to use basically the most recent versions of everything, so if I really felt like it I could use something like React Suspense or Hooks or whatever. I got to use React Suspense in a proof-of-concept, so maybe that'll make it to an actual product sometime :).

There's a bunch of people who keep up with active trends with things like React and GraphQL and Reactive Programming, so I get to learn new things pretty often. I even got to work on some Java stuff recently, which felt a little weird after mostly writing JS and PHP professionally for the past few years, but it was cool in its own way.

Exercise

I've been pretty consistently exercising every day for the last month or so. Nothing super interesting here, but I generally feel like I have lower amount of stress throughout the day. It's kind of hard to keep it daily, but I've tried to turn it into a habit and I feel like I'm almost there.

Travel

I've been trying to say yes to more trips. It probably helps that I'm in the Bay Area now and a lot closer to people who are planning trips, but that's been a pretty big plus on happiness. A recent one that stands out is when my roommates and some friends from school went to San Diego for a long weekend. We didn't have too many plans other than hitting up a bunch of breweries and hanging out by the ocean, and that's basically what we did. We went with enough people that parts of the group could split off for the day and do their own things and then end the day by doing something with the whole group. I'm really going to try and plan more things like that because that was such a fun experience.

This weekend some other friends went up to Bear Valley to hang out in the snow and ski. I mostly hung out in the cabin, but it was really nice to get out of town, if even for a little more than a day.

Later this month I'm traveling to Arizona for my cousin's wedding and then probably heading down to SLO for a weekend too.

In Conclusion

Things are pretty cool.

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