This writeup is about the feelings and emotions that I’ve been dealing with for the last 6 months. I feel I need to get this off my chest – vote it up or down, it’s up to you.

In early 1999, I met someone who changed my life forever. Him and I quickly fell in love. He was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me. We had one big problem – he lived in Las Vegas, and I lived in Los Angeles. After commuting back and forth to Las Vegas every weekend for 3 months, I decided to take a chance on us. I left my job, my family and my friends and went to Las Vegas to be with him. Las Vegas was great – the city actually had a lot to offer, and I made some incredible friends. One problem: Las Vegas doesn’t offer much for a computer programmer to do.

Late August, 1999. I got an email from a recruiter at Microsoft. I didn’t hesitate, within minutes I had responded with a better copy of my résumé, and within two weeks I flew to Redmond, WA. I got the job, and off my partner and I went to Redmond. I was a little apprehensive at first, I had never been that far away from my family for any length of time. What you hear about Seattle is true. If you’re used to being in the sun all year long, the lack of sunlight can get to you. I gained a lot of weight, and got really depressed. I didn’t go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas that year, which didn’t help my emotional state at all. My partner and I started fighting with each other all the time over really stupid things (in the long run, aren’t most of the fights you have stupid?)

March, 2000. Something snapped in me, and I decided I had to get the hell out of there. A friend of mine in LA worked for a startup, and talked me into interviewing with them. The same day my cousin died. I made a trip to LA to interview and to go to my cousin’s funeral. I think having my cousin die was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I couldn’t just get in my car and be there within a few hours. I was a little over one thousand miles away. Well, I got the job at that startup and went back to Redmond and announced to my partner that I was leaving him and moving back to LA. Well, after a very difficult week, I caved in and asked him to move with me. He moved with me. I thought that being close to everything I was used to, my family, my friends, and just my old life would solve the problems we had. I could not have been any more wrong about that.

May, 2000. I ended my relationship with my partner. We fought entirely too often, and we harbored too much resentment about our relocations and such, and it was time to stop the pain. Well, that actually made it all worse. I started drinking – excessively. I decided that sex and alcohol would make me feel better. I kept looking for my ex in other people. Well, that was another stupid move on my part.

After he left, I threw myself into my job. That seemed to make everything better – note I say “seemed”. That didn’t really help, it just masked the deeper problems I was having. A month later, the company announced that they were changing platforms to Java and away from Microsoft’s technologies. To make it worse, they decided to farm out a great deal of the development work to an outside consulting agency. Well, I wasn’t too pleased with this. Think about it – this company recruited me away from Microsoft, saying they wanted someone with my experience to help guide them into the future, and then, out of the blue, they completely change their mind. All of the work I had done was thrown out, and handed to someone else.

September 2000. I left that startup. I got a great job offer with a company that one of my best friends works for. It’s actually a dream job – I work from home, I get to travel, and the best part for me: I’m back to working with all the technologies I’ve spent my career working with. Life continued as usual, except for one thing. My drinking got worse. I started drinking several times a week. I have high blood pressure and hypertension. That all increased. With that came a wave of stomach problems. I’ve been through the stomach problems before in my life, so I know how to deal with them.

October 24, 2000. I can’t stand this anymore. I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I’m not the same person I used to be. I’ve decided to quit dwelling in my past and get off my ass and get with the future. My ex and I are over, and we’re not getting back together. I think I left a great career at Microsoft, but I think I can do better for myself in the long run anyhow. The worst part about this for me is that I’ve seen my friends and loved ones go through similar situations, yet I’ve been completely blind to the fact that I was starting to go down this road.

I guess you live, and you learn.

It’s now time for me to get back to myself and my life. In the long run, if I can’t be happy with myself, I can never be happy with anyone or anything else. I have one hell of a journey ahead of myself. I'm just thankful for the friends that I have - you all know who you are, and I can't do this without your help. I love you all.

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