Birthday status update

It’s wonderful that Facebook lets me hear words from my friends every once a year, especially in this 2nd year of the pandemic when I’m not seeing many people. So this is my annual “status update” for those of you who care.

I’m feeling a lot of changes in me in the past year.

I started riding a bike since last summer. It started as 15 minutes ride around the block, but I kept at it and upping the game little by little, now I have a road bike, I can go 100+km, and I can climb 800m in one shot. The total distance is >5000km and counting. I have probably gained some muscle, but more importantly I’ve gained confidence to myself. It’s nice to feel the vastness of the world. Muscle fatigue feels good. And I want to do more. Higher mountains. Go more distance. Multi-day trip. Everyday, those new milestones bring me back on the saddle.

Last summer, I also started doing plastic models. I’ve done a dozen or so and now the models are overflowing from a cabinet. I’ve learned to listen to the airbrush, I’ve learned to observe the reflection of the wet paint, I’ve learned to layer paints for complex effects. And I want to do more. Using putty to fix gaps. A non-portable more serious airbrush that might give me more expressiveness. The world is full of vibrant colors that I want to spray. Every model I’ve finished always leaves something to be desired, which makes me want to do one more.

A couple of months ago, I picked up watercolor pencils. Sometimes I take it out with me on my weekend outing. Other times I paint from pictures in the evening. I use a small sheet of paper so it only takes 30mins-2hrs to do a piece. You can never fully control water nor paint, so there’s always an element of surprise in every project. That “you never know how this one comes out” feeling is exciting, and it makes me want to do one more.

Last but not least, Launchable has also changed a lot since the last year. Our company is at a whole new stage now. I’ve learned a bit about accounting, I’m more involved in sales than ever before, and I’m managing people more intentionally than before. I find them all interesting. I’ve learned the challenges of building data services, one pitfall at a time. I think about how engineering should be in this context, which is different from how engineering should be for Jenkins. As with every other startup, there’s not nearly enough time in a day to do everything that needs to be done, so I do feel a pressure, but no two days are the same, and I keep at it because I want to see where this goes.

It’s almost as if no matter what I try, there’s always something interesting in it. I love that. If one year brought that much change in me, it makes me wonder what the next year will have in it for me. I feel alive.

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