Last week, I went on a company sponsored vacation to San Diego. I honestly wasn't excited about it at all. Maybe a little anxious. I don't like travelling, and I just wanted to get it over with. We had "fun activities" that we signed up for, but they didn't really appeal to me. I didn't have to attend, but it just seemed like the socially acceptable thing to do.
When I got to the airport and walked over to the terminal, I saw several of my co-workers standing in a circle. They were getting on an earlier flight. I also passed by another co-worker to waved over to me, and I sat with him for a little bit as we waited for our boarding times. As the day went on, I saw more and more co-workers. When I finally arrived at the hotel in San Diego, I saw people that I hadn't seen in person in over two years. And a wave of energy just hit me. I rushed up to my hotel room, dropped off my stuff, quickly changed into shorts, and in less than ten minutes I was back downstairs in the hotel lobby, chatting it up with my co-workers.
Those three days in San Diego were absolutely exhausting, and I barely got any sleep. The food was decent, but nothing amazing. The activities were fine enough. But the people. The people made it absolutely worth it.
What I love about my job isn't the fact that I solve challenging problems and write code. It's the incredibly smart, interesting, and friendly people that I get to interact with. And I've known this for years, but the pandemic had largely taken that away. I'm glad I was reminded of it during this trip.
In the old iteration(s) of this blog, around 2015-2018, I would always talk about my goals. I wanted to save money, to learn more, to be a more productive person. My life was centered around the things I wanted to accomplish. Lately, I've had a few conversations that have made me think about what I want in my life. Right now, I don't think I want to accomplish anything. I just want to do things that will make me happy.
But most importantly, I want to spend time with others. I could do all those things, but if I couldn't share my experiences with friends and family then it wouldn't make me happy at all.
Life is still kind of a mess right now, with lots of ups and downs. But I'm slowly getting out more, and reaching out to people more. It's way more effort than it used to be just to see people, but I'm going to try as hard as I can to make it happen.
There are two things that make me proud to be part of something. One of them is success. The other is the times you spend with people, having truly quirky moments. The moments that make me forget that stupid things like American Idol exist.
- me, 12 years ago
I was a senior in high school and I was in the indoor drumline. We had a competition that morning, and we were really happy with our performance.
It was also the first day of spring, so a few of us celebrated by going to Rita's. That was fun, so we decided to go to another Rita's. And another. And another. We finished our round of Rita's at the local mall. Since it was spring, the Easter bunny was around and we all took a picture together.
My next door neighbor was also in the drumline, so we drove to his house, but we weren't ready for the day to end yet. We all stood in a circle in the driveway and asked ourselves, "What should we do now?" Standing there, it felt like we contemplated forever.
One of my friends really wanted to go bike riding, but there were 7 of us. Where were we going to get enough bikes? We ended up driving all around town to some of our houses and our friends' houses to pick up bikes from different places until we had one for each of us to use.
Right when we started riding, we had to cross the street to get to the park, and I nearly got hit by a car. But I was fine. We got to the park and we rode around and I was incredibly slow and lagging behind everyone. Once we got tired of riding, we all went swimming in the creek. I've never really been a huge fan of bike riding or swimming, and I'm not really good at either, but man, it was so much fun.
Somehow, only 5 hours had elapsed throughout our adventures that day. It truly felt like the best day ever.
These are notes that I took while I was on a trip to Cambodia in August 2017
Lots of trees
Lots of wooden furniture
Day 1: Arrive in Phnom Penh. Culture shock. Driving is crazy. Walking around the vehicles is crazy. Stay at the guest house. There is no barrier between the showers and the rest of the bathroom. There is no toilet paper. We tried to find some toilet paper at the central market in Phnom Penh. It was a challenge. Finally found some along with paper towels, but we bought the paper towels by accident. Ate at some relative's (to sopboy) restaurant. Avoided the ice, except for Dana. We are stinky. Went to the Aeon Mall. It has five floors and "ice park". Took bets on what it actually was, but it's an ice rink. Ate at some super expensive restaurant in the mall. We were all confused because they made the kids sit in a separate table and we didn't know how to order in Cambodian. Xiaoming felt sick. Had some bubble tea. There was a cool arcade.
Yesterday I took a day of PTO and spent a couple of hours on my mobile app. This is what came out of it: