Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Beer with old friends is awesome

After work today, I had the good fortune to meet-up with an old friend from college in a nice little brewery just a block or so from Google's offices in Kirkland. (I really liked their porter. The red was decent.)

It had been 12 years since I saw him (and even then, it was at Andrea's and my wedding day), so catching up on how life has treated us was really spectacular: to chat with an old friend and to hear that your lives haven't played out so differently, that you are so alike and have such similar interests and philosophies is really pretty awesome.

After some rolls, nigiri and another beer at Sushi Joa, I hit the road for a beautiful late night ride home, thinking about how incredibly fortunate we are. Among all that we discussed, I think the subject that sticks out the most is regret.

Five years ago, I was offered a position at Amazon. Andrea and I decided that moving across the country wasn't the right decision for us at the time, so I turned it down. Over the following weeks and months, and indeed for the next year, I came to deeply regret the missed opportunity. After joining Amazon a year later, I hated the better part of my experience there, but at least I had the experience, and for that, I am very grateful. My life - and, I believe, that of our family - is so much richer for having gone through that change.

There's an article I like to cite from NPR entitled Does age quash our spirit of adventure?, and the core message I take from this is that we should strive to take (calculated) risks, to seek out new experiences. Enjoy what you have (without being reckless) while you still can.

Apparently the guy on the right is a well-known singer
Today is the 21st anniversary of my brother's death. I guess the death of someone close to you affects everyone differently. As for me, I suppose I have developed a mindset that keeping up with the Joneses is a bullshit way to live your life and, by extension, conforming to the others' expectations is similarly fruitless.

Sometimes its hard but not to think about what you could have done or said differently; to wonder what you'd do if you had more time.

I have no heartwarming way to wrap up this blog post, so I'll simply state, for the very small number of people that read this, that I hope you make the most out of the time you have left, be it 45 years or 80 or one. Don't just think about what's a priority in your life. Reflect on it - really reflect on it - and act on it. Because some day, someone you love will be mourning your death and reflecting on your absence years after you're gone.