Pre-Holiday Reflections

“Life is not a punishment, it is a reward, it is a gift. Befriend it totally. The moment you start befriending life you will be surprised by how beautiful it is, how poetic it is, how musical it is.”




I spent a week in LA again as I had a break after my job interviews and before Christmas.  Although I thought I would have more positive and definitive news at this point on the job front, weirdly all of my interviews turned into more interviews for different teams.  Essentially I got good feedback, but for different reasons the two positions I interviewed for didn’t work out, but the people liked me enough to recommend me for different teams/positions.  


Of course my intention was to get two job offers, but I’m actually not disappointed in the fact that now I have a little time to step back and re-assess my ideal working future.  There’s so much variance even within companies between departments/teams/roles that I want to make sure I don’t just fall into whatever comes easiest if I don’t think that’s going to make sense for my career.    


Everything is on pause until the new year, and I can catch up on a little bit of life stuff, particularly my portfolio of cryptocurrencies.  I bought a decent sized chunk of cryptos a few months ago and I’m enjoying stimulating that more philosophical side (the fundamental reasons why some of these might be a big deal) of my brain now that I’ve been living in pure math/algorithms/machine learning for a while.  I haven’t seriously looked at the prices for months, so it also didn’t hurt when I finally logged back into some of the exchanges and saw my net worth taking an uptick.


I also caught up on some of the political/economic zeitgeist going on at the moment.  Mostly opinion pieces about how hard it is for people to get jobs currently, housing becoming very expensive, and how the employment downtrend is likely to continue to get worse.  It interested me to see that so many people feel like they’ve been “screwed” by the previous generation/government/tech/etc.  It seems like there’s a small portion of the US that will do whatever it takes to stay a valuable member of society (learn programming, social media marketing, etc.), and a much larger part that wants to be compensated well but not interested in the small subsection of things that are currently in demand.  I’m pretty sympathetic to both groups even though I strongly belong to the first one.  


It’s so rare at the current moment that anyone is comfortable in their place in life.  I’m as guilty as anyone of feeling behind and late to everything.  Lately though I’ve had an overall strong sense of contentment and gratitude.  I think it helps that I read some type of positive philosophy before I go to bed nightly (currently on my Kindle: Osho “Courage”, Matt Ridley “The Rational Optimist”, Ralph Marston “Get Good Stuff Done”) in addition to some fiction.  


Another thing I realized has helped me is a somewhat humorous attitude towards our society.  If you step back and think about how much money, time, and resources we dedicate towards professional sports for instance you really can’t take it that seriously.  I personally participate by continuously following the ups and downs of UofMichigan football even though I’m conscious of how ridiculous it is to read post-game summaries of games that I’ve watched.  There’s something inspiring though seeing how much energy and passion that a collection of humans put into something as trivial as a sporting event.  There’s so many absurdities with how the major economic countries have evolved that humor to me is just the much more enjoyable and logical approach.  


Here’s a pic from the beautiful deck of my friend Ty in Los Angeles.  Even though I’ve been off my hiking routine I still have had a few moments to relax amongst the trees and appreciate how enjoyable it is to just be.



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