From 28 to 38 and 2 to 12
A decade is a lifetime ago. Watching through videos and digging through old pictures, I was hit with emotion over the people I’ve loved, lost and who have grown out of diapers. As I thought about the last decade, this guy is the one who has been everything to me.
So I thought I’d share my last decade through the eyes of being a dad next to my little boy with curls.
And oh hey there, I’m back.
I was working at a church. I was married with a two-year old. I weighed about 145 pounds and had a haircut that makes me cringe, hence the photo with a hoodie.
I started getting into fitness and taking care of myself. I wanted to be a dad my boy could look at as a strong protector and superhero. I lived in a house in North Austin and reconnected with my old roommates from college. I was still in the video world creating short videos and promos and being active in the Austin film scene. It was also the year I would leave a giant scar on my face that would stare at me every day in the mirror for the rest of my life. It turns out, it just gave me a new story that was told on my face.
Cai learned to snowboard and I started to say goodbye to the church and all the things I was familiar with. This was the year that my career began to take off. “You don’t have a lot of experience, but I think there’s something there.” All it took was someone seeing something in me that I couldn’t.
This was the year I never saw coming. It was filled with confusion, failures, hurt and loneliness. I spiraled in a way that required me to rethink who I was and who I wanted to be. It probably says a lot that this picture is one of about 5 pictures I have from that year.
Nothing around me was familiar. Especially myself. This year would prove to be my most challenging and heartbreaking. I found myself in a desolate place, where friends and even some family were no where to be seen. I kept my head down and began a new journey to find who I would chose to be.
This was a fun year for me and Cai. There were lots of trips to Six Flags. Lots of rugby, rock climbing and soccer games and Cai even braved ACL with me and some friends. We had a silly string fight in what felt like a game show arena we stumbled across that we still talk about constantly. It reminded me to never stop doing stupid small things that won’t be a big deal to you, but will be something your kid holds onto forever. Living in an apartment for the first time in over a decade brought me into a community of neighbors and swimming pools I didn’t know I missed and I started doing some more traveling that sparked something in me that wouldn’t go away.
This was a pretty cool year where I was able to do lots of traveling to look at different roles in some of the bigger tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, Evernote and Venmo. I ended up getting a text from an old boss of mine that convinced me to stick around for a small startup he started up, which lead to one of my most satisfying career moves and a resurgence in my career.
I got some ink! I was over holding back and overthinking. So I wanted to do things that I wanted to do and this really was the year that I started to climb back up from being sidelined by life. I moved to the East side in a tiny apartment, said goodbye to my once new car that was now a decade old and gave Austin another chance and fell back in love with it. I let go and let the beard go crazy multiple times, which was my way of saying, “Whatever, this my year. I’m not trying to impress anyone.” But the biggest thing that happened was my little boy turning a decade old. We spent 7 full days at Disneyworld and Universal, ended each day putting medical cream and bandaids on our blisters and loving every minute.
This was my most reflective year. The last 4 years had challenged me to see who I wanted to be. This was the year that I learned what vulnerability looked like and started a journey starting this blog and thinking out loud some of the things I felt uncomfortable and judged about. I made the decision to be really seen, knowing that true connection would not happen in hiding. Some old friendships came out from my past and I made some real strong close relationships with friends that largely lived outside of Austin, which a plane ticket no longer kept me from growing and some close friends that I talk to almost every day who know my story and still love me. My little startup I was a part of also got bought, which made Seattle and New York my second home. I also stopped holding onto the things that were keeping me from going all the way with fitness. Mostly drinking and diet. From what Cai tells me, I peaked and haven’t quite made it back there since Damn.
Last year was my most adventurous year. Lots of traveling around the world the first half of the year, following by the second half of the year jumping into a pretty special relationship. It was a beautiful year full of inspiration, uncertainty and challenges as well as maybe the most happy I’ve been in a really long time. I went silent online and on here and just focused on Cai and on myself while I found myself leaning into who I want to be and standing up for my values, not trying to be who others wanted me to be.
This last year was a big one with about 38 drafts for my first post of the year, which started back as early as June. But ended up just writing one on day one. So, lots more to share.
It’s good to be back. More to come.