New rules

I’m trying out Audible (to help me ‘read’ more non-fiction books) and picked out the “Dare to Lead” book by Brene Brown to start. She has found a way to articulate my feelings on what leadership & being led should feel like. She also talks about being vulnerable and it almost feels like a therapy session! I feel relieved to have found this book and I will almost certainly be re-reading it simply for the words to soak in. As I mentally prepare for my new journey, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on what I’d like to do differently. Here are some un-ordered thoughts:

  1. I’d like to be more mindful of the impression I leave on my cohort/coworkers. I now realize that even when I was happy burning the midnight oil on development tasks, the optics of an engineer doing this regularly don’t look good (on me and could serve to unwittingly intimidate others & foster an unwanted culture of working long hours)
  2. I’d like to go into 1-on-1 meetings with my manager with intent. I have a tendency to lean away from having tough discussions and it’s very easy for a 1-on-1 to morph into a status update of tasks or simply just a fun catch up. 1-on-1 meetings serve very important goals for a software engineer and the engineering manager e.g. discussing performance milestones, bringing up concerns, planning out careers, etc. With my new engagement, it is my intention that I will go into 1-on-1’s with action items and follow up on those items in subsequent 1-on-1s.
  3. I’d like to stretch out of my comfort zone by volunteering for tasks. By virtue of joining this new company, I am already putting myself out of my comfort zone (different tech stack). I’ve been known to say that I “shy away from the limelight” but I fear that this may have accidentally prevented opportunities for growth from coming my way or perhaps inadvertently made me get overlooked for things like promotions (who knows?!) I now realize what I really meant was that I did not want to fail publicly (thanking Brene Brown for that realization). At my next engagement, I will practice saying “yes” more and thoroughly interrogate my reasons before saying “no”.
  4. When dealing with actions/behaviors that impact me negatively, I will choose to initiate difficult conversations and not remain silent. In general, it’s always a good thing to not suffer in silence. As I continue to introspect on why I’m leaving, I realize this was one contributor to my feelings of alienation. What taking action on this looks like would be displaying vulnerability in sharing my experiences with my manager in 1-on-1s and hopefully getting actionable advice in return!

I’m at peace and I feel like I have another take in this movie. I’m ready to rumble.

Newbie status

So #secretthing is no longer secret anymore – I’m starting a new adventure another company.  It was not an easy decision to switch as I feel/felt a great deal of loyalty to my current job and I feel bittersweet about the end of my chapter. However, like in nature, things bloom and die to bloom again (and die).

New company is still based in my area of residence so my commute does not significantly change (yay!). The tech stack is a major change and I’ll be coming into it as a “newbie” which I’m very excited about. It’ll expand my skill set and working at this new company will expose me to additional best practices e.g. faster/robust CI/CD pipelines, advanced metrics/logging/tracing of code in production,  streamlined on-boarding processes, and so on.

I’m leaving a pretty secure/sure thing for the unknown which fills with me with nerves and excitement. I know that I will thrive wherever I am because I’m scrappy! I’m not leaving on bad terms thankfully and the door is always open to my return if things don’t work out; I obviously don’t plan to fail! I’m taking a step “back” in a few areas (losing bonus pay, 401k match, etc) but negotiated compensation & startup-y perks make up for the shortcomings. I probably left money on the table again (ugh) but not enough to make me lose sleep. Live and learn, then negotiate “like a man”. My goal at the new company will be to exceed expectations during my time at new company, garner respectable raises (5% – 8%) and maybe a promotion (stretch goal!).

This switch made me do a lot of thinking about what I want my career to look like and that’s fodder for another blog post. Until then, adieu!

In My Feelings

Food expenditures are being tracked and it’s so easy to see how we’ve been blowing our hard earned funds without “realizing” it. With less than 5 days into January, we’ve already over $100 spent in food! Doing the math, it has made me more resolved to make a go of eating at home a *lot* more. Food prep is the biggest hurdle that gets in the way of preparing meals so that’s an angle that we’re approaching the problem for: prepping food items even when they’re not immediately used.

#secretthing is not so secret anymore. I feel a mix of relief and sadness; once enough time passes, I may write about it. Wicked Game (by Chris Isaak, covered by Annaca) has grabbed hold of me anew and part of me feels this song applies to the ongoings. If it’s not clear, I’ve been in my feelings lately but it’s not a bad thing! 😉 Here’s to writing new chapters!



I think I’m subconsciously trying to blog daily. We’ll see how long this lasts. 😁

Today was a bit humdrum. #secretthing keeps getting realer by the day and my stomach is in knots.

I’ve focused on the positive strides I took last year but I conveniently glossed over a setback I experienced last year. 😶

It’s not the end of the world and I am working hard to ensure my mistake doesn’t become a habit. To that end, I’m doing some research on new providers who can help. Wish me luck! 🤞


I had a tough conversation today and it got me feeling introspective. I can’t help but wonder how things got the way they did but here we are. Before anyone gets worried, ’tis nothing negative and apologies for being cryptic. Main takeaways for the future:

  1. Speak up! I have a bad habit of swallowing discomfort and I need to realize that it’s okay to say something. At worst, I get dismissed but at best, I get my concerns addressed!
  2. Take meaningful notes.
  3. Advocate for myself more.

I have a fresh chance in 2019 and I’m trying to be more intentional in my approach. Wish me luck.

First Day of 2019

I spent the eve of 2019 in bed with M talking goals and being middle aged. 😀 In past years, we’d mosey down to a bar downtown to ring in the new year but I think we recognized that we didn’t feel like hearing loud noises and ringing the new year with that vibe for this year. No value statements other than we weren’t feeling like it.

I’m learning a new language and I got inspired to do a little write-up on an aspect of that learning. I’m hoping to write a little more so that I can become a better communicator. So my plan is (tentatively) to write a technical blog post at least once a week. I write enough code and read/watch enough videos that I should be able to focus long enough to do this.

A focus of my and M’s goals is around mindfulness and personal health. For me, that means a minimum of 3 outings to the gym performing cardio and weight bearing exercises (by the way, my bones are fine! Phew). On the mindfulness topic, M recommends listening to Eckhart Tolle and I’ve resolved to do this at least 3 times a week (preferably when I’m trapped in a bath and can’t do anything but focus on his voice). I have a bad worry habit which leads to things like retail therapy, mindless internet browsing, etc. To address this, I’ve resolved that once I become awake/hip to the fact that I am mindlessly browsing, that is my cue to load up a Pluralsight/Udemy/Udacity video. Lord knows I have way too many unwatched courses. To address our overspending on food, we’ve created a menu based on items we’ve actually cooked and are resolved to make that the first port of call when hunger comes calling. As I write this down, I think I’ll include the dollar amounts on our menu and list the average cost of ordering in to further highlight how much money we’re hemorrhaging when we order out.

Financial goals are pretty aggressive but I think that they’re achievable. The first is to grow the emergency fund to a full year’s worth of expenses. The security and peace of mind that will bring will be worth it. I have a smattering of smaller goals like maxing out the various retirement vehicles I’m eligible for again (this should be on autopilot), build liquid savings, and saving for various wants e.g. MacBook, Christmas 2019, long term visit back home, etc.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty optimistic about 2019! I have a lot of work to do but I have steps to getting that work done!