February 1, 2020•
7 minute read
An overview of the past 10 years: where I came from, how it all went down the wire, and how I ended up where I am now.
Sure, the _decade_ doesn’t start until 2021, but:
There was no “year zero”, but there also was no “year one” or “year one hundred”. So it’s absolutely fine to count decades in a human-friendly way, by tens.
In any event, in _my culture_, index count starts at zero. By _my culture_, I mean programming, of course :)
It’s hard to believe how much my life had changed in the past ten years. In February 2010, I was probably sitting in my apartment in Moscow, minding my own business, having dinner with family, or maybe a coffee with friends. 10 years later, I work in a completely different industry, I’m live in a different country on another continent, I’m 60 lbs heavier, 1 inch taller (!), and have 80% more gray hair. I also like to think that I’m much wiser than 10 years ago, but life has its on ways of proving me wrong on this again and again :)
Here’s a quick look at the past decade and a look beyond 2020.
I started the decade as a radio personality. I was an editor of a few popular radio shows back Moscow. I also popped on air myself every now and again, and I mostly enjoyed it, and couldn’t really imagine myself doing anything else.
However, by 2010 it was clear to me that my birth country is heading in a direction incompatible with my values. It’s been pretty clear for a while, and ever since 2006 my family was low key looking at our immigration options. In 2010 I came up with a plan, and started working on implementation.
In fall 2010 I visited London, Ontario, Canada. I toured local schools, exploring programs I could take. At the time, Canada offered a pretty generous immigration path through education, and that was the plan.
I’m eternally grateful to my friends in London for making this trip possible. This trip kicked-off the decade of adventure and change. After coming back home and discussing with the family, we came up with an action plan to move to Canada by fall 2011.
On August 20, 2011 we left Russia with 3 suitcases and some carry-on, and 11 hours later landed in Toronto, Canada. Our wonderful friends drove us to London, our new home. Later that year I started Multimedia Design and Production program at Fanshawe. I’ve been doing some tech stuff all my life, but this time it was official: I had proper programming classes and projects.
These were exciting times of discovering a new country, new way of life, new industry. We fell in love with Canada, Southwestern Ontario, Toronto, and everything around. These were challenging times too: we had very limited resources, no family around, school was challenging, overall adaptation to the new reality wasn’t always easy.
On May 1, 2012 my wife won a Diversity Visa (“green card lottery”), which granted us permanent residency in America. We considered it for a few hours, and chose to go through with the process and move to the United States. In December we got our visas, and landed as permanent residents on December 30, 2012 via Buffalo, NY.
In 2012 I also joined a small software project, which introduced me to software development and allowed to sustain the family for a few years.
We stayed in Canada until I finished college, and moved to Vancouver, WA in May 2013. Initially, we were considering Grand Rapids, MI, but after a quick trip to Portland, OR, it became an obvious choice. We packed our apartment into a UBox, hopped on a plane and landed in PDX a few hours later. We’ve been living in the Pacific Northwest ever since.
We started 2014 in Las Vegas on our Big California Trip. We flew in a single-engine airplane over Hoover Dam. I was a student pilot, recording over 50 hours of flight time, including a few amazing solo flights over the Cascades. We traveled a lot, exploring Oregon, Washington, Pacific Coast, the mountains, and everything this incredible region has to offer.
In 2015 we bought our first house and settled into our quite suburban life. Arguably, it was a bit too quite at times, so we traveled a lot and had some fun along the way.
We’ve got our kittens, Trish and Dice!
I also was performed my first solo flight as a pilot of a single engine airplane!
This was arguably one of the toughest years of the decade. A lot has changed, and we had to adapt to our new reality very quickly. I’d say we did a pretty good job.
One of the highlights of the years was our trip to the East Coast - DC & NY and spending 2 weeks with my parents there!
In December, I started working as a contractor at Intel. It was my first non-self-employment job in America.
2017 was a year of most change since our last immigration.
In 2017 I became an uncle.
In 2017 We sold a house in Vancouver and moved to Seattle area.
In 2017 I started working as a contractor at AT&T.
As always, we traveled a lot.
In 2017 Chester Bennington of Linkin Park died of suicide. We had tickets to their show later that year, and it was difficult to contain our excitement about this upcoming concert.
We organized a memorial in Centennial Park in Seattle.
The year of Broken Leg. I broke my leg in February and this event defined pretty much the rest of the year.
In September, my contract with AT&T ended, and I picked up a 5-month project with a small company out of Kent.
Parents visited us in the fall, and it was one of the highlights of the year.
Finally, this happened:
2019 was a year of re-evaluating where I’m going and where I want to go. A year of being more true to myself than ever before. A year of strategic decisions and steps. The year of righting the wrongs, a year of self-care, inner peace and progress.
In May I picked up a 5-month project at Microsoft. It was a fun ride, I learned a lot an met some cool people. I believe that it paved the way for the next chapter of my life.
In December, after the most deliberate and exhaustive job hunt I’ve ever performed, I [landed a job at Auth0](/blog/new-job/). It is as close to dream job as it gets, and I’ve got pretty high hopes here :)
I enter this new decade with a lot of baggage that will require taking care of. Some things will be left behind for good, some will manifest themselves in unexpected ways. I will keep working on my mental health, family relationships, building new strong friendships and working on straightening old ones. A lot of work is ahead, and I’m hopeful and optimistic.
Here’s to the new decade! Cheers! 🥂