A Whirlwind 2013 in San Diego

A Whirlwind 2013 in San Diego

Pacific Beach, San Diego

3 blocks to the closest surf spot

When I decided to come back to the States, and being the person I am, I immediately began work on a giant spreadsheet to help me choose where I wanted to go next. Warm weather and proximity to a good surfing beach were obviously the first two entries. But I also had a few more personal things like how long it would take me to visit friends and family and $$ invested in new technology ventures. Looking at the table now, with Austin, Boulder, and San Diego all earning a checkmark under “Consistently Ranked as a Top 10 City to Live In”, it’s funny to see that all the things that made this past year in San Diego great weren’t part of my criteria. Of course, there’s no way they could have been.

My original plan was to take an engineering job to fill my pockets and stomach while working nights and weekends on game design. That all went promptly out the window before I even made the move down to San Diego. In hindsight, I had latched onto a goal I didn’t really want just to have something to hold onto. When I was working on SavePenguin, I was fulfilled. Being aware of that feeling as well as where my attention was presently directed, I incorrectly made a connection between game development and passion. If I had waited a few weeks longer, I would have seen that the spotlight of my focus was slowly drifting away and spilling its light across the rest of interaction design. I still just love designing and building ways for humans to interact with machines – be it games, B2B analytics dashboards, or single-button deployment processes for engineering teams.

White Wonderland New Years Eve 2012-2013

White Wonderland for New Years Eve 2012-2013

A big reason why I chose San Diego is that a few days before I wrote my first and only other post of this year, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision with Justin, who was graciously letting me stay with him after my return, to drive down to San Diego to celebrate New Years Eve with a few friends and attend my very first rave. I will go into more detail in a future post, but the friendships made and the first-hand experience of life in San Diego pushed me over the edge. The following week I shot off a few resumes and before the week closed out I had accepted an offer – what a whirlwind that was!

In the coming months, I’m going to tackle bite-sized pieces of my time here in San Diego and try to put them to words. Some of the experiences have been transformational, some of them eye opening, and some of them are just tales of non-stop fun. I don’t think I have ever let myself have as much fun as I’ve experienced within this past year – I’m not sure I really understood it was possible!

To view, click the above image and then drag your mouse to look around

One of the things I’ve come to appreciate more than I ever have before is what a life-long (or at least, a significant amount of time) friendship looks and feels like. Anyone that knows me well has undoubtedly been subject to hearing my philosophy about relationships – “We’re all just ships at sea,” I lament. “Some ships float alongside each other for a good while, but ultimately, each ship is on its own journey. And someday, when the winds permit, they will part and continue on their independent paths.” Some feel it’s a bleak outlook, but I believe it keeps me rooted in the present and ever aware of the transient nature of life and all relationships. My own personal “This too shall pass”, if you will. Along with a handful of ships that I seem to constantly cross paths with, I’ve stayed in regular contact with the two men that rode the entrepreneurial roller coaster with me across almost half a decade – Jun and Yu-kai. The former of which introduced me to the reason why I’m writing this post and leaving San Diego in a little under 3 months.

This time I bought slowly and deliberately so I won’t be selling all my stuff – most of it is going in storage. I also have a clear deadline for re-evaluation – the end of June. And this time, instead of aiming to figure out where I’m going next, I’ll be helping others acquire the skills needed to craft the life of their dreams.

In a few months I’ll be moving to Santiago, Chile and joining Exosphere as a Fellow!

You can read more about it in my next post.

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