JTK says - Issue #3
Like I said, this was a really cool week for me. I started a new role in November and at that point was still in the tail end of full-time school. Fatigue was definitely affecting me, and to be honest I didn't feel like I was really giving my A-game while school was still going on. I really like my new job so I actually told my boss about school and explained that I was looking forward to being a little less preoccupied as it ended and had planned it so that around the time I expected my responsibility at <new job> to increase I would be at 100% bandwidth for it.
Funny how you can speak things into the universe! I said "I expect more responsibility after school" and about the week after it ended my boss gave me my 90-day review which was shockingly positive and let me know that I'd be a team lead for the next quarter.
I have been a lead once before (at that role it was called Dev Lead and did involve a title change, here for now it is Team Lead and does not involve a title change which is fine). Let's just say, that workplace was not the most functional and so immediately on hearing this news, I knew there were some mistakes I did NOT want to repeat: primarily, taking on too much work myself to manage ambiguity. The workload I was doing then was not sustainable. And some of the ambiguity needed to be addressed through management of our resources and project scope, which would have needed management agreement.
But that said, my new team seems wonderful and I'm excited to be a better delegator this time around.
This week I've been sort of thinking over the concept of "old dogs learning new tricks" and realizing at my big age of 32 how many new things I've learned I love in the last two years alone. I always thought I wasn't a steak person until this year! Until two years ago I didn't know I was a bourbon person either. And although I always hated yard work and never thought I'd care about it, this week caught me planting tulips and wildflowers and enjoying it completely. (Choosing to do it yourself vs your parents making you do it in the height of summer CLEARLY is what made this experience different this time around).
I always thought I reacted badly to weed too and only in the past year or so have gotten into Delta-8 and realized I just am sensitive and need very small amounts (which, great! I'm a cheap date, lolol).
An old friend from DC visited last weekend who I met when I was 23 and a nanny and she lived across the street and was an au pair. Having her back reminded me of how bananas it was to be a nanny for rich people and also reminded me how the experience was so bad that I hated cooking for YEARS afterward! Now I adore cooking. It's wild even remembering I felt differently.
This hindsight combined with all my new free time with school being gone, and an almost comical uptick in my energy level without all that work to do all the time, has left me in a wonderful mood and just feeling excited for whatever I come up with next to fill my free time. First up, I'm going to take a crack at candlemaking because I have been spending an absurd amount of money on this candle and this other candle over the past month.
This week I finally finished my magnum opus on our conversations about degrees vs bootcamps. Honestly, if you read a single thing I ever write, this topic is probably the most important (in my opinion) that I've ever covered. It's a conversation I've hated for years and I did specifically wait to drop this diatribe until I'd finished my degree and from the lens of "now y'all can't tell me shiiiit" haha. If you want to read this long but fascinating post, it wound up being so much more expansive than I could have imagined. It touches on class, social science, learning theory, cognitive bias, there is SO MUCH to unpack it is honestly wild. Find that here.
In other news, I was sooooo sad to hear that Zelda BOTW 2 was delayed this week although I understand you can't build Rome in a day. To somewhat scratch that itch I've been playing Oceanhorn 2 for Switch after finishing Link's Awakening. While the game is, eh, definitely not BOTW it has probably given me (a not very good player) dozens of hours of entertainment at this point so I would give it a B grade if you're looking for something to do with your downtime.
My adoptive state and city have been stunningly gorgeous over the past few weeks and it made me want to jot down some of my own little love letter to this city. I'll say, growing up in MD (which I don't consider the south and it certainly doesn't feel like it is) I had a pretty stereotypically negative opinion of "the South", largely formed by camo wearing dbags I went to high school with who were in the Future Farmers of America and had obnoxious trucks with ahem, certain insignia.
Now that I found myself in the south and not only that, loved it, overstayed my planned year here and bought a HOUSE here, I think it's worth diving into a little about what's great about this area.
There's nowhere in this country, maybe the world, with a completely unproblematic history of course. North Carolina was what we'd now call a "purple" state back to the civil war days, when strong pro-union sentiment existed even though the state ultimately joined the Confederacy (to be fair, under duress). The civil war ended officially at Bennett Place, not far from my home. But we are also the home of Black Wall Street, and the first liberal arts college for Black students in the country as well as many HBCUs throughout the state. We are home of the largest research park in the entire country, and our tech scene thrives because of its relative diversity.
If you ever come to visit (yes I would invite internet friends to visit! I have a guest room) yes, there are some southern staples I'd make you eat like a fried green tomato and pimento cheese biscuit.
But I'd also drag you around for the killer Indian food or to get the incomparable bing bread at my favorite Asian fusion place. After that, a hike or a walk around the historical markers of Black Wall Street.
Or take you over to Simon Says Dip This to make dipped ice cream concoctions.
I never thought I'd like anywhere as much as I like it here. I thought I was just a nomadic type, I thought I'd move around forever. I know now that I was just looking for something without knowing it, to be unbelievably cheesy.
Bonus content, pet stuff
Celebrating this beautiful spring weather, my parting content this week will be one of my favorite pictures. This bush outside my house gets little yellow flowers around this time every year and I always think of this favorite shot of baby Vex.