I know, I went dark. It has been more than a month since I posted a blog article… and that was just a sample to show my friend Jeff how to do it. To put it mildly, the last two months have been a whirlwind.
I will try to start from the beginning.
A little under a year ago I met someone. Liza and I were introduced by mutual friends we both know from Cuba who thought we would get along. The original discussion (to which I was not a party) took place a year ago. A month later we were talking on the phone, and a month after that she came for what would be the first of several in-person visits, which would include Niagara Falls, Los Angeles (three times), Havana/Varadero, Ottawa/Montreal, and New York City. We liked each other, and possibly more.
Long distance relationships are fine, how well can you really get to know someone from phone conversations and vacations? We got along great in those circumstances, but that doesn’t mean as much as living in the same city. At some point we would have to do that to see if we were truly meant to be together. Without doing anything else, I changed my geographic region on my LinkedIn profile from Ottawa, Canada to Los Angeles, California. I do not remember exactly when that was, but it was probably around June or July.
I started getting poked very quickly; I had a lot of initial conversations with recruiters, but it was obvious that however good a candidate I might be, the prospect of ‘importing’ me was off-putting to a lot of companies, including one for whom I was absolutely the ideal candidate, even by their own admission.
Around the beginning of October someone reached out to me from a company called Taos Mountain; they (much like Cistel) provide IT services to mostly non-IT clients, and there was an interesting opportunity with a client in the entertainment industry in Culver City, California. The interview process was long and grueling – four interviews with Taos and three with the client – before I was ultimately offered the position around mid-November. the only thing left was to apply for my TN Status, essentially my permit to work in the US. If I didn’t get that, all would have been for naught.
I left my client early on Tuesday, November 20th and drove to the Thousand Islands Border Crossing with all of my paperwork. I had my offer letter, I had my credentials, I had all of my forms, and I had the application fee in $US funds. When I drove away from that appointment I immediately called my boss at Cistel (who had not been in the dark, and had known for some time that this was coming) and officially tendered my resignation, effective the following Friday.
I spent two days the week after that (December 3-4) at the Taos offices in Boise, Idaho for onboarding and training, and went back to Ottawa to close up as much as I could; that Friday I flew to California and spent the weekend acclimatizing (to the best of my ability).
Monday morning, December 10th, I began my position as Senior Windows Engineer at a major motion picture company in Culver City. It was an exciting week (to say the least)… that Thursday was the company’s holiday party (held on the studio lot) was amazing. The people I have met, that I will be working with, are great. Unfortunately (for my readers) I will not be blogging about my work very much… it is a very high-security environment where privacy is absolute.
So what about things with Liza? So far, so good. We are very happy together, and while we are not living together, we certainly spend a lot of our free time together. As she works in retail the month of December was, for her, extremely busy. The holiday season is when most retail companies make their bones, and she warned me in advance that she would be swamped. We still managed to spend a lot of time together, and all is well in our world. We are still figuring a lot of things out, but that is what relationships are about. We are happy, and I see great things in our future.
Living in the USA for the first time in my life is not as much of a change as I had expected, although there are a lot of differences, many of which I will discuss in future articles. In the meantime: I have a Social Security Number, I have a bank account (with a debit card that has Mickey Mouse on it), and I have an appointment at the DMV (which is not until the end of March). The weather is much better here than in Canada in December, and I am enjoying making my friends back home jealous when I smoke my cigars outside in short-sleeves.
The words ‘That happened fast’ are accurate commentary on everything… I would have liked to have an extra week or two to close up things in Ottawa, the result of which is that I will need to make a couple of quick trips back to do that over the next couple of months. My car is still sitting in the driveway outside the apartment that I still have to pay for; I still have a storage locker filled with boxes and furniture that have to be sorted, and that will be a job. By the end of February I hope to have the Ottawa chapter of my life closed out… with the exception of my friends, who are amazing and welcome to visit me in California anytime they like.
So whatever else happened in 2018… it started with the passing of my mother, gaining back so much of the weight that I worked so hard to lose, a job in a city that I had trouble feeling at home in, all of that is past, and I will start 2019 with a fresh slate… new job, new challenges, and a lot of new places and people and experiences.
I hope your 2018 was wonderful, and wish you only amazing things for a wonderful 2019!