So in the midst of all of the iComics work I’ve been spamming out on my blog and elsewhere, another thing happened. I turned 32. Blimey.
My parents and sister flew out from Australia to come spend my birthday with me. That photo above is from the restaurant we went to. It was an excellent time and one that touched me more than I expected. 😅
Like I said last year, while 30 was certainly a milestone, 32 feels it’s just another stepping stone on the way to getting to say “Oh god. Make it stop” more often. The next sealstone will be 35. (Assuming I live that long! 😜)
This was an absolutely insane year. Absolutely insane. Last year, at the time I wrote my 31st blog post, I literally had no idea whatsoever of where I was going to end up. Absolutely none of this was planned in the slightest. I had no idea I was going to wind up in Japan. 😅
It’s been a whole year since this roller coaster started, and while I’ve kept it pretty quiet this year, now that some time has passed, I’m going to start talking about what actually happened.
In September of last year, quite out of the blue, Realm decided they needed to go in a different direction, and as a result of wanting to operate in a more lean capacity, they spent the next few months laying off more than half the company. Myself included.
It sucked. It really sucked.
I knew when I was getting into the startup scene, these things could happen. The wind can change at any moment. What threw me for a loop was how fast it actually happened. One day I had a job, the next day I didn’t.
This put me in a position I hadn’t been in for a long time: I had no idea what to do next. Absolutely none. It’s a terrifying feeling and something that makes me never want to take anything for granted ever again.
Realm had been really good to me in that it let me work remotely in Perth. I kind of wanted to stay in Perth. Despite popular opinion, Perth is actually a nice place. But while the startup scene in Perth has been making extremely impressive strides in recent times, there didn’t seem to be anything there at the time that would let me scratch the same itch as Realm.
I was considering a few companies in the Bay Area. I interviewed at Apple, and I considered applying to Twitch. But all things considered, while it is quite nice to live in the U.S, the vast difference in time zone meant I could never easily keep in touch with Perth friends, and it felt quite lonely.
By a turn of luck, one of my old friends from my pixiv times in Tokyo came to SF while I was there and we agreed to catch up for a drink. During the evening, he offered “Why not come check out my company Mercari? We’re like Silicon Valley, but in Tokyo”.
I was tempted. Extremely tempted. Also a bit skeptical, but I figured it was at least worth a shot.
So in October of last year, I applied to the company. And when I wrote my birthday blog last year, I had just finished my final interview in Tokyo, but hadn’t received an offer yet.
Suffice it to say, I did get an offer a few days later. And I accepted it.
As a result of that though, like I said above, the next 8 months or so after that have been chaos. The next 2 months would be getting ready to leave Perth, and the next 5 months would be spent rotating places in Japan, living out of a suitcase, until I found somewhere more permanent.
For the longest while, all of my free time was spent simply “getting set up”, and so it sadly meant that all of the stuff I do in my free time (iComics, my libraries, even gaming to an extent) had to sit on the back-burner for a while.
In any case, it’s been a long time, but I’ve finally managed to get set up and settled in that I can finally start putting real time back into all of my side projects, and for that, I am now extremely excited.
Like I do every year, I thought I’d make a list of some of the cool things I got to do as a 31 year old.
- I helped record some vocals for a soundtrack for an upcoming anime coming out in 2019.
- I got to finally try recording and publishing a tech video to YouTube.
- I accepted a job at one of Japan’s leading startup companies and relocated to Tokyo.
- For the first time ever, I got to be an MC and help run the try! Swift Tokyo conference.
- I was able to finally visit lots of Japanese conventions for the first time, including Tokyo Game Show and BitSummit.
- I was able to visit a lot of famous Japanese company headquarters, including LINE, CyberAgent and DeNA.
- I managed to score a WWDC ticket two years in a row and represent my company over in San Jose.
- I helped my company be a sponsor for /dev/world/2018 and had a blast experiencing the conference from a completely different angle.
- I discovered that my cropper library itself was now being adopted by Google in the official iOS Drive app.
- I was lucky enough to be MC once more at the Mercari Tech Conference this year!
- I received an award at work for being one of the most unconventional employees (I THINK that’s good. XD)
- Finally got into a position where I can stream on a regular basis.
- I finally built the perfect home office. With Nintendo Switch/Mac/PC support, as well as standing.
While maybe not as amazing as 2017 where I got to visit the Pokémon headquarters or anything, I think it’s still been an extremely exciting and enlightening year. It was definitely a slight step back due to the sheer amount of effort relocating, but still good. 🙂
There’s a lot of things I still want to do and I don’t think I’ll get to them this year.
- Focus more on health. Moving country, setting up a new home, adapting to a new job, and working out a health balance has been ‘interesting’. I’ve nearly decided on a gym at this point.
- Do more with my singing. I’d love to do more than the occasional karaoke screaming session, but I’m still not even sure where to begin there.
In any case, I still have a lot of things to work on. 31 was definitely a bit slower while I had to stop and reset everything, but now that’s all done, I’m extremely excited for level 32. XD
I know these blogs are pretty cheesy, but if you got this far, thanks so much again. 🙂
- Published November 20, 2018
- Categories Personal