So not sure where to begin. The right shin muscle seems heavy again after a bit of aggressive running. It will start getting colder, so I’m not sure how long I can run on the track in the late evenings—signed up for a 10k race in central park in January. Not so sure about it. VO2max has gone down to 47 from 48.

Inflation is at 6.8%, but salary has stayed the same, so essentially I got a pay cut.

This is precisely how I felt during my performance review.

Perf Review came out to be: “Exceeded Expectations.” I was unhappy in all sorts of ways; it’s hard to hide. I was moreover depressed for the entire evening. So you can save the company a million dollars, go above and beyond in your work and yet, get no pay raise, didn’t receive a bonus that I expected, cannot be promoted as I haven’t been with the company for more than a year, found out what my title was – Principal SRE. Overall I was just disappointed with the whole thing. Engineers spend 9-14 years of their life getting that title, and I have earned without those years. Something feels wrong in so many ways. On the one hand, it feels good and privileged that my work is respectable to attain that title in 2 years of total work (Excluding internships), and on the other, well – let’s leave it at that.

I have no choice but to start aggressively trading options to get my goals back on track. High risk, high reward. It will take a mental strain on me; there is no doubt about it.

I was more depressed because it threw off my plans for the goals I set for the coming year that I wanted to complete for candidacy. I’m never touching my investments as they are only reserved to be given away for animal shelters over the years. If I take money out of the very thing I set it for, I might lose respect in my own eyes – what kind of a person would that even make me. I was right for the most part; companies will always try to make the most money – that’s their goal, they have no other interest.

Still unsure if I might need to take another job like tutoring during nights or weekends, but that would be hard to do, most likely not, need time to study my own stuff. I still have to start making notes for the rocket propulsion elements book by Sutton. The hardest part of this all is even dreaming about doing everything I want to do for a cause that is beyond me, for an idea that is much greater than any individual, and at the end, concluding that it might be for nothing. I had so much planned that I went back to the drawing board and started from scratch all the financial plans I made for the whole year.

There will always be ups and downs; I like the people I work with, so it’s hard to put a price on that for now. Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion. This is a setback on a large scale. I’ve accepted that. But there’s a saying that growth is gifted to those who learn from quickly from setbacks. The struggle is real.

I have started to hate the words like “Child Prodigy,” “Genius,” “Wunderkind,” “Gifted,” etc., now more than ever. Give people to live in peace for sometime.