Sunday, June 26, 2016

Independence: Week 2

It's still a bit of a whirlwind. I am learning new things quickly, figuring out where to run and shop, and adjusting to the heat. It's significant, the heat. It's not just the 90+F heat either, it's the 80+% humidity at the same time.

So why did I name my new series "Independence", aside from the obvious fact that's the town I'm living in?

Well, for starters now that I'm 30, I feel that I can't even pretend to be a kid any more. I mean, in your 20s you still count as young, but 30? People make a billion dollars by 30. Successful professional athletes retire by 30. Rock music stars overdose and die before they get to 30. It's like there is no pretending, no hiding, on do overs, this is your life. I'm an adult. Which means, at least in America, that I strive for independence. That means financial independence, it means living independently (like not in my parents house), and in my mind it means buying a house too. Those are all things I am working on, developing my independence.

It's also ironic and I find it funny because I don't think true independence really exists. I could say I am living independently hundreds of miles from my family, but I still talk to them often and I have all of the relationships with my coworkers and friends. Similarly, I strive for financial independence, from my parents I made it years ago, but ultimately we aim for the same thing from our employer (it's called retirement), where we are financially independent enough to do what we want when we want to. Yet, everyone has a boss, and to pretend that you are free from the constraints of the financial industry when you are financially independent is ridiculous. Analogously, I say I am striving for independence, but looking for a nice lady friend, it's a contradiction.

Work was good. I led a meeting with some international colleagues that I will be working closely with, and I had never been in a meeting with any of them before, and only previously met one in person. Other than that I'm learning the more detailed aspects of axles, which is why I came here.

I ran 59 miles and bicycled 57 miles during the week, and the high temperatures were over 90 Fahrenheit six out of seven days, and only 89 on Saturday. The temperature alone is not so bad, but it's humid here, routinely 70+% in the two weeks I've been here, which makes any afternoon activity a sweat-fest.

Social activity has been up to my desires already. I went rock climbing Saturday afternoon. The rock was hot, the routes were difficult, and we sweat like crazy. I've been out to eat with coworkers (friends) a few times and been to a couple grill out events at people's houses. People are quite friendly and social and I can see already I will soon be turning down invitations to do this social thing or that social thing so that I can sleep and run more. That's kind of something I was famous for in Dubuque, not committing to social stuff.

That's about it for week two. Next week will be a little crazy as I go out to Colorado and try Nolan's 14. If anyone wants to join for all or part of it you are welcome, but fair warning, I'm not waiting for you if you can't keep up.

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