The last time I wrote anything for my personal site, it was the same old developer blog drivel: I've redesigned/redeveloped something again. But even then we were in month nine of the Covid 19 pandemic, and getting excited about tech was, let's say...really fucking difficult.
We're approaching year two this coming March, and the anxiety levels are still high. A good portion of my pre-pandemic life involved some form of social interaction, whether that was in the office or outside of it, but I'm now inside my home and anxious about leaving. Sure, I started venturing out a bit in June of 2021, but the evolution of the virus, the refusal to vaccinate or take ANY mitigating measures brought me right back to the alert state I was in starting in March of 2020.
What our family has been through is not particularly different or special in terms of experience—so many others have had it much worse. I kept my job in 2020, and eventually thrived a bit in it despite all of this. My wife and I have had the chance to get even closer than we were, we adopted a dog, lost an old friendly cat, and really found a way to live a little more slowly and for ourselves. I recognize how lucky we are.
But what has made this so difficult have been the relationships and friendships disrupted or lost. The feeling of lost time (I keep saying a year ago, when I really mean three) and lost opportunities. There was this tradition I had been involved in for over a decade with an old group of friends involving a wine tasting around Christmas. I'd been one of the only members of that group that had never missed it. I've now missed two while some others have continued the tradition (am I crazy for skipping that when the politics are so divergent amongst us? You know what I mean there...).
The point of all of this writing is that...we've all gone through something that we have no ability to handle. It has been traumatic, disruptive, and difficult—more for most, less for some—but I'm still trying to figure out who or what I am after all of this. What even defines me anymore? Am I still that guy that everyone knows at the local breweries (they barely recognize me with my mask on at this point, but remember after seeing my card)? And for someone that used to find conversation less than difficult...yeah that's a skill that is gone.
I also changed jobs a few months ago, leaving a job I had worked at for the better part of eight years. The beauty of being able to work remotely is that we're no longer required to move for a job change, and I don't think this opportunity would have presented itself pre-pandemic. At least not in the same way. But combine the stress of the pandemic, with the stress of the marketing world and what felt like a lull in my career...it felt like the right move to change industries and see where it could take us as a family. And I'm happy with that change.
But really, I'm happy to have remained a healthy household so far. And I'm tired of all of the uncertainty. And I want life to go back to "normal," whatever that was.
I'm feeling ready to attack tech again, too. Ready to keep going. To survive and thrive with my wife. Can't wait to see what 2022 brings, since 2021 passed so quickly, and hopefully we get to experience the year in full. Something that doesn't pass like a blink.
Here's to hope.