Monday, September 04, 2006

60 Days

A lot can change in 60 days. I've gone through so many periods of stagnation in my life that I never thought 60 days could make a difference. I'm the kind of person that has the next 5 years planned out, much less the next 60 days. Well, here I am, a completely different person in a different life than just 60 days ago.

60 days ago I was a 26 year old boy who was living with his cousin, working a steady job, and driving down to LA every other weekend to see his fiance. I've since done a lot of forceful growing up. I bought my first house in Sunnyvale, right next to my work. Handling all of the business, scheduling, and finances involved made me grow up real quick and take an active role in my financial goals. Taking this step and seeing money flow through my hands like water gave me the harsh reality that if things go wrong, I won't just be okay. Spending over $45K in 30 days can do that. But I have a plan, I'm pretty sure I can afford it, and my greediness to make money overcomes the uneasiness in spending it. It's a good thing I like foods like Mac-and-cheese, top ramen, and anything on a Taco Bell menu.

I've also gone from happily complacent in my job to almost feeling angrily insufficient. I thought that my Masters in Mech/Aero Engineering would be good enough for me for whatever I wanted to do, but I see all of my peers and younger getting their Masters or MBA's too. I went to talk to my manager last week to let her know that I'm serious about getting my MBA, Engineering Management, or some other degree. I mean, during the interview I had to work there, she specifically told me that she would support me getting an MBA and that work would pay for it. Well, it's out of her hands, but educational re-imbursement maxes out at $7500/semester now. Doesn't she still owe me her best effort to get me into something? I want to join a leadership program that will look good for my career and also pay for schooling 100%. The bad thing is that I'll rotate out of her group and a job that I really enjoy. Still, I'm an easy going guy and I'll probably like anything that's challenging.

As always, I've saved the biggest for last. The biggest change in my life in the past 60 days is probably what I would have defined AS my life. My fiance and I broke up on 4th of July weekend after a huge fight in Vegas. I could probably dedicate a whole website to what happened if I had the propensity and/or the time. Botttom line is that we weren't meant for each other. We were probably the closest thing to it without actually being there, but it wasn't enough for either of us in the end. The really strange and, to me, surreal part of it is that it all spiraled downhill so quickly and ended so badly. All of the negativity that came in the end made me realize that I don't need anybody else. I remember my friend Eric Jones telling me that you change and you change and then one day you think to yourself - I don't even know who I am anymore. People shouldn't have to make those kinds of sacrafices for each other, no matter how much they are in love. And, it's not easy to leave love behind. I still love Quinn and the hypothetical future that we had worked together for 3 years to build with both our visions in mind.

In the end, the letdown was so great that I couldn't even stand to talk to her anymore. Neither of us could stand it. Her, even more so. After the break-up we would spend our conversations arguing over the legistics of who's fault it was and trying to convince ourselves that breaking up was the right thing to do - which it was. I didn't have the person anymore that I could call on the phone and tell about my day. I remember that I was so excited the day that I got my house, but when I got the keys and stepped into it for the first time I realized that I didn't have anybody to share it with. When you have someone special, every day you remember what happened just so that you can tell them and you can have one more story or common opinion about something between each other. Now, I just drudge through and nobody cares about something mundane like me buying a new desk or giving a good presentation at work. After the break up, all I had was this person who I had to edit my life for so that I wouldn't be accused of something new the next day. All of my jokes were interpreted as insults and I interpreted all of her discussions with her friends as them hating me.

After all of this change, I'm left with a lot of sadness, but also a bit of excitement. I'm sad that I'm not living as close to my immediate family, cousins, and good friends Servando, Jones, and Goose. On the other hand, I live closer to some really great people that I met at work. And, I'll never stop hanging out with my brother, cousins, or the Fearsome Foursome crew. I have extra time now since I'm not commuting an hr each way to work and driving down to LA every other weekend. If I had to guess, I'd say that I'll save $450 or more a month on girlfriend expenses (gas, rental car, food, etc). My mortgage will more than offset that though. Hopefully, I'll be able to persue another degree and feel good about where I am. Hopefully, I'll also date around and not take everything so seriously. My past two relationships were 4 1/2 yrs and 3 yrs - that pretty much took me through undergrad, grad school, and into the working world. It's really going to take someone special to convince me into being my old self again. I've gotten burned too many times to have faith in anybody anytime soon. Finally, as a 26 year old man, I feel okay with being a bachelor for the rest of my life. Ever since I started thinking about it at around age 10, I've always wanted a wife and kids. But, as long as I can get some dates and I have good friends and family, then I'll be alright. Oh, and lots of money too.


Kathryn said...

Congratulations on the new house! Sometimes life throws you stuff that takes you out of your comfort zone, but when that happens to me, I remind myself that there are lots of different ways to live life. If that means that it's not the life that I pictured when I was 10; oh well, shit happens.

Drew said...

Matt, congratulations on the new home! Don't be surprised if you develop a love-hate relationship with it.

Sorry to hear about the breakup; however, I'm glad you feel you did the right thing.

Chrysantha said...

"People shouldn't have to make those kinds of sacrafices for each other, no matter how much they are in love."

It's true, in relationships we should be able to use our differences to compliment one another. There's nothing worse than expecting someone to change and become who you want them to be, after all when we all first fall for one another, it's those same differences that spark attraction.

You've always been one who is very focused. I am happy about your accomplishments and I am certain that even greater things will continue to light your way! We all go through ups and downs, and as cliche as it sounds challenges are gifts that force us to find a new center of gravity!