I don’t like to think of myself as a hoarder, but I am. Certainly not as bad as many people but you know stuff just builds up and it seems a shame to throw away perfectly good things. My hoarding is kept mostly under control by the fact that I haven’t lived in the same place for more than about 2 years since I left home. Moving is the perfect opportunity to ditch things you don’t need any longer, if you throw it away you don’t have to pack it and I hate packing.
My upcoming move to America (still some 3-4 months away) though will be something different. This time the amount of stuff I take is going to have a bigger impact on how hard and expensive the move will be so I’m going to have to really work on getting rid of even more than normal. To try to ease the stress I’ve been working at this already. A few weeks ago I got rid of 4 bin liners full of clothes that either didn’t fit me anymore or were falling apart. Today I have pruned out another 2 bin liners full and then started going through my closet.
My closet is filled mostly with empty boxes, mostly from gadgets I own that it is handy to keep the packing for for moving and warranty claims and such. Lots of these boxes I don’t even own the contents of anymore, easy pickings. Some of them I’ll never use again and they will soon make an appearance at a landfill or an eBay listing near you.
Then I get to the back of the closet. The boxes that are actually filled with stuff that has journeyed around with me as I’ve moved, most since before I left home. And I’m presented with the difficult decision, what do I do with this box of childhood memories? It has been at the back of a closet for close to the last 2 years and I have never looked at it. None of it is what anyone else might look twice at, a deck of cards we used to play with in college, a professional compass used in my graphics GCSE, my old field hockey stick and ball. All very normal items that are significant to me in some way. Part of me is saying that I’m never actually going to use or probably even look at these items again, except when I move, so what is the point in having them clutter the place up? But then there’s that other part that just doesn’t want to see them go into the bin. Some of it can potentially be given away and put to good use by friends, but some of it is just junk to anyone else.
Still I guess today’s haul is a step in the right direction, I hope the tip isn’t busy tomorrow…
Rubbish for the tip
I’m normally pretty happy to be getting home after a trip to the States. Not because I don’t enjoy being out there of course, but you know home is where you’re most comfortable and living out of a bag in a hotel gets tiring after a time. Today is the first time that that has really changed.
I really didn’t spend as much time in San Francisco as I would have liked. A mere 4 days meant I totally failed to hang out with some of the friends I wanted to and didn’t have enough time with even those that I did get to see. I’m really grateful to those that put me up and took special efforts to catch up with me.
My flights home have pretty much been my worst air travel experience ever. First Houston has some rain so my first flight gets diverted to Austin to refuel and then continue on to Houston (after 2 hours on the tarmac), landing well after my connection to the UK was long gone. Then the guy trying to get me onto a later direct flight walks off to help someone else and when he comes back decides it is then too late to make is. So I have to stay in a hotel and take a non-direct flight the next morning, the nice guys at Continental send me to one of the dingiest hotels I’ve ever stayed in, of course without my luggage so no clothes and no wash bag.
Needless to say my flight the next morning is delayed. Thankfully it still lands in time for me to make the connection. Just as things seem to be going well the cargo doors on the plane to the UK break and we have to sit on the tarmac for 3 hours waiting for maintenance to fix it. Then we start moving and just as things seem to be going well we stop. After a quarter of an hour we pull back up to the gate. Apparently we ran over something and two of the tyres got punctured and have to be replaced. 2 hours later (after the in-flight meal has been served) we finally take off. That’s a nice 5 hour delay on what was only a just under 6 hour flight. I was frankly amazed to find that we did finally land in London and my checked luggage was there too.
I’m sure others have worse tales to tell, but this is on top of me being disappointed at having to leave so soon. When someone had suggested that I could just rearrange my flights to stay longer I had decided it was too much hassle since I would have to rearrange my hotel and car parking in London too, which of course I ended up doing anyway.
Plus of course I want to move out there anyway. There are becoming less and less things to interest me here and it’s getting disconcerting to see all the cool stuff my friends out there are getting up to and I’m missing out on.
So now I’m sat in a hotel room in London, trying to force myself to stay awake a bit longer to ease myself back into UK time. Still a 3 hour drive to go when I wake up but at least that will be under my own steam and on quiet roads. Well assuming nothing happens to my car overnight that is…
For a while now I’ve been in a bit of a rut. I knew I was there I just hadn’t quite got the motivation to pull myself out of it. It wasn’t such a bad place to be, but the difference of being just ok with the way things are going and being exactly where you want to be and with the people you want to be with is a pretty large one. I’ve been exceptionally lucky that over the last few months a bunch of things have happened that will help take me to where I want to go and start some new and exciting changes in my life.
The problem is that almost none of them were instant changes, they are all gradual and still in the process of happening. Some of them may not even work out the way I’d like. It’s disconcerting to see where I want to be on the horizon yet now I don’t have control of getting myself there, I have to wait to for the cogs to turn. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that there are perfectly good reasons for having to wait, I don’t expect to be able to just move out to the States at a moments notice for example. But the wait and not knowing exactly what is going on is leaving me extremely frustrated. Do I assume everything is going to work out and look forward to my new life only to be disappointed later? Do I assume the worst and then not be prepared when it comes?
Frustration is something I’m normally fairly familiar with. It is after all pretty much the standard state of affairs for anyone working on Mozilla code, you have to wait for responses to design questions, you have to wait for patch reviews, you have to wait for the tree to be clear enough to land. All of this you slowly get used to, but it is still annoying. The problem is that now this is going on in pretty much all aspects of my life and is starting to drive me into the ground. I’ve been getting even less sleep than normal which is also leaving me kind of cranky.
Thankfully I have been able to arrange myself a temporary escape. Next month I’m going to go spend a week and a half with an friend in Austin, and while I’ll still be working for much of that time I can’t wait to hang out with him again. Also, just because it was fairly cheap, I’ll hop over to San Francisco for a long weekend with some other friends. Hopefully that will de-stress me enough to last the following months. And who knows some things may even have resolved themselves by then, or at least become a little clearer.
So as I’ve said before I’m planning on moving somewhere new. I’ve finally made up my mind and I’ll be trying to relocate to Mozilla’s Mountain View office. I say trying because of course just deciding is only the first bit, there are still visas to be arranged, contracts to be agreed, accommodation to find. It’s going to be a long road and I’m barely started.
Hopefully the guys in the Toronto office don’t hate me too much for snubbing them. While they are awesome and I would really love to work out of that office, I think I’m going going to get a better social life outside of work around San Francisco. I have friends inside and outside the city who I know will drag me out so I’m not at home alone every weekend like I am now.
I’ve been trying to work out what it’s actually going to cost me to live around the office. I’ve found it kind of strange that I can’t find any cost of living comparisons between here and there. Maybe I’ve missed something entirely but it all seems to be comparing US cities to each other, or UK cities. Never comparing US to UK. Seems like a bit of a gap in the market to me. Anyone have any good ideas for comparisons? I guess if there is a city in the US that works out somewhat similar to a place in the UK then it’d at least give me a rough guess. As it is I’m left trying to estimate all my bills and work it out that way with pretty much no clue how various things work out there.
Finally back home after my two weeks in North America. Both Toronto and Mountain View included fun and disappointment. Traveling to these places is generally awesome but somehow I always manage to generate some form of drama for myself, and really living out of hotels and restaurants gets old pretty fast. I’m not much of a cook but I am looking forward to sitting down with a homemade meal this evening, well maybe tomorrow with the jetlag.
Right now I’m feeling even worse than normal for jetlag. I’m following my normal routine, I went to sleep at 6pm yesterday and got up at 2am today. Normally this sees me about right and I can slowly shift myself by a few hours a day till I get onto UK time somewhere around Wednesday. Right now though I am feeling shattered. I have a suspicion that even if I don’t fall asleep during the Grand Prix I’ll end up passing out shortly afterwards. This probably means I will be even more cranky than normal this week, sorry about that.
I guess it’s not much of a secret that I am planning on moving to either Toronto or Mountain View, but even after visiting both I am having real trouble figuring out which. Both have great people there and seem to be in good areas. I like Toronto because even though it is a city it does not feel very cramped and getting around seems easy. I like Mountain View because it isn’t a city at all, yet San Francisco is right there if I need one.