A reflection of the year.
In the midst of a summer hiring freeze, I managed to reenter Google as a UX engineer, which feels much more natural than as a software engineer. My new team, organization, and day-to-day tasks have me truly happy and if all else grateful for being able to rejoin when I did.
In September I formed an LLC to develop software and digital content as an ongoing side project. Nothing launched yet but I have some ideas lined up for the next year. I’m greatly inspired to make things, the hardest part is finding the time.
Six months into taking Lexapro and it’s been a game changer. The first few weeks when it started kicking in I really felt lighter and jovial. Truth be told I think it was my nesting phase in anticipation for Luciano’s birth, which later had me on cloud nine for a solid two weeks. Since then, though, I’m more leveled out and at best, content. Which is still a huge improvement for how I’ve felt for many years prior to medicating.
Despite the more neutral mood, my new struggle is my focus. I find it all too easy to procrastinate into either social media or something mildly interesting when I start feeling some type of mental strain on a task. I lose my concentration and the time slips throughout the day. My working memory isn’t great either— I’ll forget why I went to a room and lose track of items on a regular basis. It’s time I take mediation seriously.
Then there’s my physical health. It turns out that my dad bod isn’t a consequence of sweets and indulgence, it’s biology! According to the Huberman Lab podcast, Episode #15, expectant fathers can expect to lose about half their testosterone and have an increase in estrogen. The thinking is that that men possibly gain weight for the upcoming sleepless nights and inability to eat regularly. I’ll take that explanation over my metabolism slowing down.
I did have minor scare one night where I had to go the emergency room. My shoulder was so stiff that my arm started tingling, where the pain almost caused me to cry. I was given a muscle relaxer and was able to sleep, and the diagnosis was a muscle spasm likely caused due to bad form of holding a baby.
Celeste had a tough last month in pregnancy, but the birth was fantastic. She’s been an absolutely incredible mother to Luciano and I am regularly in awe of her love and affection and diligence she puts in anything related to him. She’s my greatest inspiration as a parent.
As a partner, she’s also been phenomenal. She’s helped me through my lowest lows and I only hope I reciprocate that support to her when she needs me most. Eating ice cream sundaes three times in a week is no easy feat, but for her I’ll do anything.
I’ve grown closer to my parents, and Celeste’s parents too. It’s a lot easier to talk to them when you have a babbling baby that they’re all so eager to hold and nurture. But it’s also nice sharing that common parental bond that is hard to put into words.
Luciano is perfect in every way. It’s hard not to say that without vanity as he looks like a literal clone of me, but he’s just so dang cute and more mellow than I could have imagined. I’ve made many people laugh in my life time but hearing his four month old laughter is the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.
There’s also Matthew. It’s been a year since his passing, and I’m not sure how the grieving process changes over time. But sometimes I have dreams of him where he’s able to talk, and having been a life long mute those are fleeting moments I treasure. Even if I’m making them up in my sleep. One thing I’ve noticed is that Luciano loves staring at the ceiling, especially ceiling fans. My brother had the same fascination, even when he was a baby too. I like to think when Luciano looks up to the ceiling that Matthew is looking down smiling back at him.
Between fatherhood and working a full time job again, I fell off on my writing habit. Hard. I miss it dearly and want to recenter my habits around writing again, as it was really giving me clarity.
I also haven’t done a good job at being succinct with my recent writing. So I’ll start now.
As a callback last year’s goal of writing more, I would definitely say I hit the mark.
I’m finding clarity in my voice, the message I want to share, and the impact I want to have on others. I really enjoy helping people. But time is precious and I have to scale it wisely. If all else my reflections are for me to sort out my shortcomings and turn them into wisdom.
Thanks for reading this far, and see you next year.