There’s no need to reiterate that 2020 was absolutely terribly awful in every way possible. Dead relatives, friends, and acquaintances, sick loved ones, ruined lives, and futures altered forever. In whatever scheme of things you look at 2020, it was abysmally horrible. Yet humans do human things: we adapt, regroup, process, and move on. And we have hope. Hope that 2021 will be better. That we will persevere, and come out of this whole mess stronger and more resilient, individually and as species. Today, though, I want to take a moment and take a look back at my 2020.
All in all, it was not too terrible, albeit terrible nonetheless.
It was my first full year at Auth0 — I joined the company in December 2019 and started really contributing in 2020. I enjoyed commuting to our office in Bellevue and hang out with my colleagues. I’ve been learning, in scientific terms, a shitload of stuff, and it was so very cool. And overall, I got so much better at everything I do!
In late February, my son Vlad had terrible viral bronchitis, which I’m almost certain was in fact COVID. Both my wife and I got mildly sick afterward, and since COVID testing and reliable information were non-existent, we’ll never know for sure. In early March, Vlad’s school had a case and was shut down. It hasn’t reopened since.
Auth0 offices closed in mid-March and there’s no concrete plan to reopen them soon. They are ready for us to come back when it’s safe: the Bellevue team outfitted it with all possible safety measures. I’m not coming back until everyone in my household gets a vaccine; most people I know are in the same boat. Our company offsite in Mexico was canceled, what a bummer.
It’s safe to say that because of where I work, I’m much, much better off than many. I can work from home and Auth0 paid for my home office equipment. I can take as much time off work as I need, at any moment, no questions asked (especially, if it’s related to COVID). And for this I’m grateful.
In March I finished my second tattoo. It’s a Phoenix, a mythical bird that rises from the ashes over and over. This tattoo reminds me of all the difficulties I’d overcome over the years and that no matter what happens next, I will pull through.
I hiked a lot this summer. I even hiked around Mt. Loowit (St. Helens) and returned home in one piece. I also met a black bear in the wild and lived to tell the story.
Never in my life was I as productive as in 2020. Don’t get me wrong, the first few months were brutal, distracting, and lonely but eventually, I got it.
I worked so much and with such efficiency, I still can’t believe it. And it all paid off already or will pay off in immediate future.
This last bit made possible in part thanks to my psychiatrist: this year I was diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar depression and got proper treatment. There’s still a long road ahead, but it’s a start.
We were more together this year.
Even when we were thousands of miles apart:
And of course, these things happened. Now I know what tear gas smells like, and why defunding the police is the only way of fixing it.
I also realized that I don’t want to have people in my life, who do not consider human rights above all else. My social circle shrank considerably and I regret nothing.
My car got scratched a bit:
For the first time, I voted in the US elections.
Finally, some good news this year:
All in all, Fuck 2020, fuck you very-very much.
Here’s to 2021!