... and putting it back up somewhere else. Monday morning I start orientation at Apple Computer, as a build engineer for the OpenGL team. I'll be driving overgood ol' highway 17 for the next three months at least.
My old employer was good to me, even if I was probably paid below market value. I'll miss being able to walk to and from work, and taking lunch breaks on a redwood deck in sight of the harbor. I'll miss being the go-to guy for every type of computer problem, large or small.
But I had to move on. I've been walking the same easy path for longer than I can stand. Even if the scenery's nice, it's too familiar. And it will be good to have peers at work for a change. People who can answer my questions, instead of always the reverse.
My last day was a whirlwind of system maintenance and paperwork. I replaced a dead power supply in a server, diagnosed a handful of filesharing problems, repaired a botched user account transfer for the boss, traded my flatscreen monitor for an iBook, cloned a 10.4 system, reconfigured a RAID array, tweaked a backup script, threw out a pile of parts... Then of course I had to pack up my whole desk and take down the posters. I think I got everything but the orange juice I left in the fridge... I expected to be sad or nervous at any moment; I expected to feel some kind of welling emotion for my last day, but all I felt was eagerness to be out the door.
La and I had breakfast today on the sunny back porch, while the cat scampered around us. Then she napped and I quietly did little chores - sorting the toolbox, fixing the camera, moving files, burning DVDs - tidying up the seams of our daily life. There's always a lot to do around the house, and I know that with my new hours it will be much harder to get anything done. Every once in a while I have to pause and remind myself that, yes, this is what I wanted, what I need to do. I agonized for a year or more about my next big change, and this is the best opportunity I found.
There are other things that remain on my list. Moving farther north perhaps. Finding another place to rent or own. Helping my friend Andy grow his business. Teaming up with Zog to make more music. Coding challenges with Alex. Helping La's friends move to the west coast. Finding a place and time to grow kids with The La.
I mean, I can do anything, really. I'm an articulate young adult white male in good health who speaks the dominant language. The world is at my feet, or whatnot. I just wish it was enough to undo the damage wrought by this land of opportunity upon my friends and family, when it casually scattered them to the four winds in pursuit of romance and employment.