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Celebrating Oneself

Celebrating Oneself

September 13, 2021

Motivation zero. Laughter unheard of. I am pretty sure that I personally, am at my lowest point thus far inside the pandemic.

To be 1000% clear, I in no way, want to diminish the pain, anguish or loss that so many have felt thus far throughout the pandemic. In general, I actually have it pretty good. Although we have friends whom have had Covid deaths, I personally have not lost anyone close to me. For the most part, I live a lifestyle that should be celebrated.

Although myself and family of Adriana and Ollie (the four legged furry friend) have the plan of returning back to my home of New Zealand, one might well imagine that it’s not quite as simple as “just” booking flights. Ollie of course is an important member of our family. Easily demonstrated by her Instagram account Regrettably for us however, she is of Mexican decent…

New Zealand, with its current bio-security controls and restrictions, ensures that we as a family cannot travel directly home. Mexico, at this point in time, has not eradicated rabies from its borders. Or perhaps it has? It may be that “sign off” between both governments to confirm this has not yet occurred? And because of this, we as a family have only a couple of options to return home.

We either

  • begin the process through the Mexican government veterinary sector & officials to start the process of proving to NZ government officials that rabies has been eradicated from Mexico…or
  • as per the NZ government guidelines, self quarantine Ollie in a “Category 2 " country for 6 months prior to NZ entry

Of course thats a Lolz Hard No on trying to work through the Mexican government option!

To be clear, I am in no way angry/annoyed/upset around NZ’s bio-security controls. I understand what is at stake and I will do everything possible to protect my place of birth, and the people whom call it home. But that doesn’t make the journey home any easier.

At this point in time, it looks as though the USA is the “best” Category 2 option we have. Due in part to the proximity to Mexico and the direct NZ flight routes. We also have Canada and Chile as possible options at this time.

Being an NZer and having an active “ESTA”, I, if allowed entry, have a maximum stay of 3 months. Mexican/USA visas allow a 6 month stay on successful entry. As fate would have it, through no fault of her own, Adriana’s 10 year USA visa expired earlier this year… At least she booked to renew early as applications are currently backed up for at least another year….fuck. So let’s hope that it is not declined….there is no reason why.

More info learned today! After the initial meeting, it could be another x3 months before we even know if the application is/was successful. Additionally, the consulate may hold Adriana’s passport throughout the process. So even if we wanted to, we can’t leave the country together either. It’s quite likely that we won’t even know if the USA is an option until January 2022. We will know more soon as Adriana is booked in next Monday to see the consulate.

This sucks.

Best case scenario, we will have a little border dance, whilst Ollie remains in the USA. Adriana & myself bouncing between countries as we make up the minimum 6 month duration. However, in my opinion, we have a bigger uncertainty…

In addition to border bouncing, along with the possibility that border entry agents don’t believe our story, if you were to take a look at the NZ MIQ slots available, you will likely be presented with something similar to the following…

This means that as a family, we need to bounce borders, hoping we don’t get rejected at border entry, with enough time overlap to ensure we can book an available MIQ slot, just to get us all home.

To be clear, it’s not the nicest of feelings not being able to return home. But more so, the uncertainty sucks.

Look for and celebrate the wins (even the smallest of)

I’ve always tried to live by the mantra that you should never be vexed, by the things that you can neither change, nor control.

When looking back thus far on the year (and where has it gone? ), there are still wins, small as they may be. After taking a breathe, stepping back, having some internal retrospection and acknowledging self worth, some reflection points began to bubble up to the surface.

A Wedding?

The biggest point to celebrate being that I will be married in the coming weeks. The pandemic is playing its part here though too of course. To mark the celebration with friends, we have booked an oceanside venue in Acapulco (State of Guerrero) late this October. However, the handling of COVID here in Mexico is nothing like that of NZ. With hot spikes of COVID infections across the nation, it could be that we have to postpone this date too. And of course, there is no feasible way for any of my NZ family or friends to attend this special day with me. Knowing this, we have arranged to complete at least the legalities and will be married via a registry here in Mexico City.

Love and romance never looked better than a shabby building that greets you with razor wire. And staff that expect bribes because they did their flippin job… It’s not exactly what I had ever thought or dreamed, but this is the situation we currently find ourselves in. Another piece of straw for the camels back so to speak. And not one at all wanted in any way based on my current mental frame of mind.

Not to mention the snowball effect, as all I feel is guilt for not outwardly being as excited as I should…

To be clear, internally I couldn’t be happier to marry Adriana.

She is a wonderful human, a wonderful woman. I am looking forward to the rest of our lives to celebrate this love.

Explore, Fail, Learn and Repeat

Grinding through my days, it’s easy to forget that at heart, like so many others, I am a builder/creator. Though it seems as if, over time, you become more and more disconnected from what you have built? You now only see the staircase as a whole, not the unit of work that made each individual step. It’s time that I remember!

Earlier this year, with what started as a small side project, has become a bit of a success. Golang based micro services that can horizontally scale, running comms and crawlers behind a managed pool of proxies. Along with a new web app adventure exploring the possibilities of I have started a Feed Army Blog Series from my learnings thus far if you would like to read along.

Much like personifying the staircase, listed below are some of the my favourite Go package creations that constitute the steps. Note that all packages listed are currently used in production environments, though you own own personal mileage may vary of course! I have strived to make them all as generic/simple as possible so that I can easily drop into all of my Go projects as required.

So the question, why do I not celebrate more?

For me personally this ones a “toughie”. Thinking hard on this, now with a little more age and wisdom beneath me, I’ve concluded that it doesn’t all boil down to one single thing. To start with, in some respects, I think I’m still trying to find my “place” in this world/field? I guess this is because I don’t believe that my work defines me. Clearly I don’t want to just toil away the days either, purpose is paramount.

And having had a glimpse into the “Bay Area” way of life, and that outright level of entitlement. With such a backdrop, I can only feel a measure of disdain for the field in which I work. I’m am also long enough in the tooth to know that the Koolaid these days be salty as fuck. Fine for a Margarita I guess, but you can’t be supping those everyday. Remember you have a liver to look out for =]

And I’m also not one to sing out from the rooftops. Having been brought up in a country and an era where even the mildest of celebrations makes you “a dick”, you keep those feelings suppressed way down low. No chopping down of Poppies around here. Mix that in with a pinch of “check your privilege”, and to be clear, I know full well I have it, and you start to take your wins silently most days.

The irony to all of this of course, is that I am the first to celebrate the wins of others, but when it comes to myself, not so much?

I guess it also all comes down to what is success?

What is success for you?

What brings you joy?

We all measure our own success in very different ways. I think for myself personally, it’s being reminded that I need to make and take the time to reflect, to celebrate the wins where and when I can. The next couple of years are once again going to be filled with challenge. We have many issues from many sides. I do hope you all take some time for yourself, to reflect on how amazing you all are too.

As for me, going forward, I will the best husband I can. I will take care of my family and keep them happy, safe and warm. I know that, because I have the belief and will within myself that I can.