So much has happened in the last two months. Not just professionally but overall. I broke my Mile / 5k / 10k PB. I’m convinced that I was never meant for road running; I am much faster on the track in spikes than road running shoes. It’s a shame I never took running seriously from a young age. It took me a few months of training for two days a week to run a 6:35 minute mile in horrible conditions. (Stupid cold that I was having a hard time tying my shoelaces, 5M wind slapping my face, and then it started raining. I was determined to run mentally, so I ran that time, although I had aimed for 6:30.

I’ve learned a lot at work in the past two months. It has been an enormous learning curve. I am looking forward to the conference in LV for the entire first week of Dec. Even if I get drained out over there, at least I’ll come back to an executive suite at caesars palace every night. Also pretty psyched to run with my manager, who is an elite marathon runner. Time to change the guard, I guess?

In my performance review, my manager said he might put me up for promotion for principal architect next year. That is insane. He couldn’t do it now because I’ve only been at the company for seven months and 15 days. I am scared as hell more than I feel proud of my contributions. You see, to become a doctor in the US takes 10-12 years. Becoming a tech principal engineer takes 10-15 years of experience and a proven track record. It is not something that is handed out on a piece of a platter. I have not even been at the job for one year! I barely have total work experience on paper for three years, despite the fact that I’ve been doing what I love since I was 9.

Somewhere I feel that this fear is reasonable. Fear is wisdom in the face of danger. I also think I am unworthy of that title at such a young age. Many people might raise eyebrows for promoting someone of my age to a principal engineer. Individuals slog their whole life to attain that title. But my manager assured me that the title has nothing to do with age but work ethic and contributions made to the team and company. I promised them I would save them a million dollars in their infrastructure, but I only managed $8,50,000 per year. It’s close but not there. So much for “My word is my bond.”

He also mentioned that I am too hard on myself at times, wear my heart on my sleeve, and it’s okay to take things slowly. Be that as it may, I do it because I want to; nobody forces me to do it. The following nine/twelve years will be the most crucial time for me, not just as an engineer but also as a human, including what I want to achieve going forward. Humans cannot make a difference and significant change sitting in their comfort zone. If you’re going to push the boundaries of innovation, engineering, and science in general, you can only do that by “not being okay.” I am aware I am too hard on myself; because I have no one to be hard on me. It’s easy to get comfortable doing the same thing over and over. We need curiosity and drive to accomplish anything; I feel I have it more than anyone. A man is made by discipline, patience, and the odds against him. Being afraid of failure makes us aware that things cannot always be perfect, and that’s why we need to experiment. You cannot dream about making a change by sitting at home on the couch, binging Netflix for hours eating chips.

I’ve had some issues lifting weight on the left elbow for a few days, hoping it remedies before my trip.

I’ve stopped using the dating app. I genuinely don’t have time for it, and I no longer like it. It is not for me. When I started, I had 0 intentions of finding romance or love. Apps are not meant for that; I hoped to make a few like-minded, driven friends with more to life than food, wine, and Netflix.
Well, lesson learned. I still believe that people have a good side, for what it’s worth, and they are not as shallow as they seem. I did go out with a few people, but I refrained from sharing a lot about myself. I think it’s for the better. One person I met told me to my face within 20 minutes of the first meeting, “I don’t think you are passionate or ambitious enough about anything.” I replied, “Yeah, you may be right about that.” So I paid the bill, went home, and continued studying the fundamentals of astrodynamics and rocket propulsion systems.

I might end stop using it entirely soon as it is genuinely mentally draining, and as soon as you feel like a person will not be shallow and have high ethics and morals, you get disappointed. I am not going to lie, I was hurt initially, but maybe this is a norm? I should accept it as a reality for future generations to build upon and continue living my life as a side quest. (Pun intended). Guess no friends for this astronaut candidate anytime soon.

I gave many clothes to goodwill as I had no place for them and didn’t intend to use them anyway. I only managed to give away $5000 to animal charities this year. I aimed at $10k but had an unexpected expense a month back, which was a downer. I have listed animal charities as beneficiaries for my entire net worth if something happens to me or if I get blown up in a rocket sometime in the future. So many people have asked me why I don’t start fostering animals again or adopt a pet. The truth is I do not have the heart for it; I am not strong enough to go through the roller coaster of emotions. It is not a toy; it is a responsibility. It is a living creature that needs to be loved, cared for, and treated with more respect than humans in my eyes. The mute creature will not expect anything except love from you.

In another version of reality or parallel universe, I would live in the suburbs, in a four-bedroom home, with 8-10 different dogs and a few cats living in harmony. They would quarrel with each other but never fight. Life would be good, peaceful, and carefree. I would cook for them all the time, bathe them even if they hated me for it, play with them in the yard, and go out for runs all twice in the day. Sadly I cannot afford that luxury in this life. I do seek peace a lot of times; I am just blind to most of it. The only times my heart is at leisure or content is when I’ve helped older adults. To bag/carry groceries, pick their stuff from somewhere, help them shop, etc. Their gratitude is genuine. And it helps me sleep better. I am starting to think this is weird as a modern-day human.

I still miss my dog; sometimes, I see him staring at me in the corner of my eye. Pretty weird if you ask me. It’s been two years now, and it’s been hard.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.