34 🎂

September 20, 2018

Today is my 34th birthday; pretty much business as usual, though Caroline and I are doing something special for dinner.

Some thoughts on the past year:

  • Being married has been great, but I think it depends on finding the right person. It feels highly asymmetrical; marriage might take you from a 5 or 6 to an 8 (+2), but marrying the wrong person could take your 6 to a 1 (-5). Time will tell how we do. Also, happiness isn't fungible.
  • The condo has been fun. I think the price has fallen a bit but we aren't selling, and the neighborhood keeps getting better. Some call Oakland "Brooklyn of the West"; I've never lived in Brooklyn but from what I know, it seems pretty accurate (neighborhoodness, walkability, transit-accessibility).
  • Wealth and money aren't the same thing. I like Naval's take on this.
  • A few good friends left the Bay Area, mostly due to cost concerns. That's a tragedy because this area is finally embracing its destiny as West Coast NYC—a major center of finance, trade, and technology—and starting to clear the huge construction deficit of the past decades.
  • I didn't travel much this year, which was great. I spent a lot of time on planes in years past and I'm happy that era of my life seems to be over.
    • Related: it seems like my friends are visiting SF for business more. Start of a trend?
  • I spent some quality time with Caroline's family: Alabama, parents in Oakland, and a quick trip to Colorado. Also saw my brother in St. Louis and met his girlfriend Anna.
  • Jefferson Lofts has almost wrapped up; we've got about 2 more units to sell.
  • If you see someone less than once/year, are they really your friend? I see many people in Chicago more than this, even though they live 2200+ miles away.
  • I did some debate judging; not sure I'm going to do that again; OUSD is a disaster, people (not money) are the problem, and I have enough on my plate as-is. Question: when you see a problem you could fix, do you run towards it or away from it? Concentrated impact, trying to do too much, priorities, need; I've struggled with this.
  • Family is doing well: Patrick got a new job at Nuna, Renee started graduate school, Brian is working at a good architecture firm in St. Louis, and my parents are kicking it in IL.
  • I made some important changes business-wise; don't want to say too much here, but I'm happy with my decisions.

Here's to a great next year.