Coming Home To Quito

With an interesting date match on Voicebar and the rainy season pausing my construction project, I spontaneously visited San Francisco this month from April 3rd to the 21st.

Two and half weeks wasn’t nearly enough time to spend with my sister…let alone other friends. Some got very short blocks, and some were completely left out of the visit (sorry!).

I don’t yet have a plan to move back to the States, but I’m considering it much more heavily than before the trip. If I could magically snap my fingers and improve one relationship, I’d want to grow my bond with Wendy.

Being physically close reminded me how connections deepen through meaningful joint experiences. Even with a sibling whom I’ve known for decades, we still have so much more room to develop together. The marginal benefit of each shared moment is not going down.

A lot can happen virtually, but I doubt there will be a substitute for in-person interaction for at least the next decade or two.

I’m also re-evaluating my relationship to the working world after 7 months of funemployment.

I’d like to re-establish a steady income stream before the year ends: to maintain my choice lifestyle, to enable more flexibility, and to take responsibility for potentially starting a family someday. Getting a decent job is the easiest way to achieve this outcome.

However, I made the decision six years ago to eschew career ladders when I declined a dream internship offer at SpaceX. I chose to build out Lean On Me instead, and ever since I have sought an engaging day-to-day existence over status and financial reward.

You could view my path as low-EV and impulsive. But I’d argue there can never be enough risky adventure for someone like me who’s aggressively pursuing self-actualization. I’m glad to have iterated towards this blog and a couple other projects worth doubling down on as the journey continues.

In the months to come, I’ll be a bit more mindful balancing financial responsibility against my current primary challenge: to engage more fully on a daily basis in developing a creative Practice and Turning Pro.

Getting more in touch with my body is essential to this process.

I would not have written that sentence before the SF trip; I gained interesting new perspectives from the outcome of my date, admonishments from my sister, and insights from my therapist. I’m beginning to see how the planning intellectual part of me dominates counterproductively across myriad situations. Like all Martians, it seems I need to get more in touch with my feelings.

People often think I have high EQ as a super friendly dude. For example, I had a great first day in Quito meeting some folks who work at the Basilica. We ended up going for drinks and spent more than four hours hanging out!

I then returned the following day (yesterday), accepting the store owner’s chess challenge and hospitality: beer + colada morada + great views.

However, I have a lot of weird blocks when it comes to romance, and I’m far less experienced at it than friendship, acquaintance-making, or chess… For the longest time, I didn’t date at all because I thought a life partner and perhaps a family would be zero-sum competition against other goals.

After graduating college, The Defining Decade finally showed me how I was wrong. The right partner would actually be a positive-sum contributor to my life. But it wasn’t until last summer’s covid coop-up that I was finally ready to start dating properly.

I acquired non-gym clothes and grooming habits. I got on the apps. I read up on how to avoid being a tactless buffoon. I then face-palmed thinking about many regretful past interactions in which I had behaved much worse than a tactless buffoon.

This month’s trip hit home how I need to revise my internal language around romance. “Dating and finding a life partner” is logistically but not emotionally accurate. I can’t have an intellectual framework motivating me because falling in love is not a to-do list project.

It sounds so obvious to write that, but it’s also super empowering. I’ve put in a lot of work trying and failing to do right in my relationships, career, passion projects, and love life. There have been reasonable successes, sure…but I’m very hungry for more. 

Excited to connect more intentionality and feeling to it all going forward.

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