What a whirlwind past week. My friend Jeff and his wife visited for a cryptocurrency (technically blockchain but I’m not a fan of that term) conference. I’d wake up each day fantasizing about snoozing, rush to dress up, attend talks/meet new people during the day, and go to luxurious all-night booze-fests centered around networking as well.
It really exceeded my expectations with the turnout at the conference. The cheapest early-bird tickets were $1,000, and it sold out with a 600 person waiting list. I met some interesting people, and it expanded my mind about what’s happening in the industry. It was also very sobering seeing some people in person who had raised millions of dollars for their projects, whom to my knowledge don’t know what they are doing. To be fair though there were also some extremely sophisticated and smart people doing great things. It’s a very interesting industry where valuations right now don’t always reflect the quality of the project. Everyone knows that, but something about seeing people talk in person made it more clear for me.
I have made some less than sensible investments in crypto assets (which took a brutal beating this week, but have regained some life the last two days), and it made me re-think how hasty I am with some of my short-term investments. My first reaction to the paper losses was disappointment in myself for being too aggressive with my purchases. It’s such a volatile market, and I could have gotten much better prices than I have in the recent past just waiting a little longer. My second reaction was a realization that I’m spending a lot of time following the price action of the crypto markets, way more than I want/should be. My final reaction was a bit of relief… sometimes a loss (even though it is still in play, I didn’t sell anything) helps me look at the bigger picture. I’ve had the same feelings when I was both an options trader, and when I played a lot of poker and went on a bad downswing. How am I actually spending the hours in my day, and is this what I want? Too often the answer is an obvious no.
I enjoy the financial markets, but it’s not the main part of my life that it used to be. When I was younger and very hungry for money I would have loved to have a market like this, and built a team of people to game every angle of it. Now I want to spend more of my hours immersed in art. The high I get from reading a great story, doing my own writing, or even just practicing writing and discovering something new is intoxicating. I’m still allocating a part of my day to crypto as I think it’s such an important technology for the future, as well as a way for me to use my decades (bizarre to be in my thirties so I can say that without exaggeration) of accumulated trading experience to give me an income to pursue writing without having to focus on the commercial aspects.
This morning I set an alarm, went to the gym, meditated, ate healthy good, studied writing, wrote… all of the things that I can do on any given day that are both challenging but provide immediate gratitude. It’s such simple and obvious habits, just the inertia to get started can be tough.
On a final note I’m still really loving Puerto Rico. Every few days I’m able to figure out how to carve out a better life here. I think it’s possible to be very happy wherever you live, but certainly some places make it a lot easier than others. Here’s a picture from last week in the rainforest.