What I’m Doing Now

Previous: July 2020

This is my “now” page, inspired by Derek Sivers.

October 2020

A lot has changed since July.

I got my first tech job (!) as a natural language processing data scientist for the data and insights team of a midsized healthcare firm. A year ago I didn’t know how to code. Lambda School worked: There’s a direct line between my project work and what I was able to effectively signal and communicate to my now-employers. I’ll never forget the feeling, after hundreds of applications and dozens of unrealized prospects, the point in the final interview when the hiring manager said, “Ok. Max. We put together a package we think you’ll be very excited by.” And I thought, Holy shit. It’s happening! After dropping out of college in 2012, team leading in AmeriCorps, traveling the country for a few years doing disaster relief and community service, coming back to finish college by 2019… I had never made more than $25,000 a year in my life. No longer the case.

Somehow even more significantly than that development: Today, Monday the 26th of October, marks four weeks of living in Austin, Texas, and the raw dynamism, opportunity, and space for possibility has exceeded my every expectation. Why did I move? There were pulls and pushes. I had been outgrowing my hometown for a while, though had school to finish and then about a year of gymnastics training and Lambda School (which I resolved to pursue in a bungalow in Pai, Thailand during the winter break before my last semester of college).

The pull? Have you been to Austin? It’s an adult wonderland, a nexus of play and healing and opportunity, and not to mention… home to many Twitter mutuals! The story of my move probably starts there, with the decision to meet them in late August. I’ve been a part of a DM group for over a year—people, I’m telling you: DM your heroes—and a sizeable number of the group lives in Austin. With the lattitude afforded me by my remote job, I crashed a couch for a week. One day I went paddleboarding and met my now-roommates. We hit it off so thoroughly that, the next day when they offered me a room to stay in, I decided hell yes. I couldn’t be happier with them, the house, and the neighborhood.

A lot has happened in these four weeks. I’ve met some very cool people. Some exciting opportunities have developed, more to come soon! My new environment means a chance to more intentionally revisit habits and behaviors. After years of reading about personal finances, I finally started my retirement account proper, with a little bit of active investing.

If you’re in Austin, send me a DM or email!

And for a shorter update, plus some of my inputs from the last few weeks, check out the latest newsletter.

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