It’s late Sunday morning and I’m sitting with a (decaf) cup of coffee on the sofa, re-reading my last update to all of you. It’s almost comical how many of the things that I shared have changed. While I don’t know if my mom still wears her Ethereum T-shirt with pride, I do know that I’m no longer working at Anthemis, rowing across the Atlantic, or able to work remotely from anywhere full time.
What else changed? We finally made it to South Africa, just in time to see Grant’s niece Hannah walk for the first time. My brother moved in with his girlfriend Hilary, who is fabulous and an incredibly curious anthropologist. We kayaked in Washington DC and hiked in Atlanta with them this spring. I received “settled status” in the UK and lost my HK permanent residence. Thankfully, I retained my “right to land”, which means I can still live and work in HK without restriction. I have a hard time imagining a day when I’d take advantage of that right.
After much reflection, Anthemis and I agreed that I would struggle to pursue the ideas I was most interested in there. In February I resigned and started proactively looking at new opportunities. It was a fascinating experience that really highlighted the strength of weak ties. I reached out to people in my extended network about job opportunities. At the same time, I applied to advertised roles on LinkedIn where I didn’t know anyone. All of the concrete opportunities and offers I received came from my network. I didn’t receive a single interview from my LinkedIn applications.
At the end of June I started as the Community Director at Atomico, responsible for building community among our stakeholders and harnessing the network in service of our collective success. I have the opportunity to leverage their internal insights, engineering, and operations teams to build new tools and processes to support these goals. My first few days on the job were at our founders’ retreat in Dalarö, Sweden. In addition to meeting dozens of the founders they have backed, I kayaked in the Baltic Sea and heard the co-author of Factfulness speak. It was like being candy coated in the Atomico culture, and it tasted great!
Of course, I took advantage of the time I had in between roles. We got to spend Mothers Day and my mom’s birthday with her in DC. I took a short road trip between DC and Atlanta, visiting old friends along the way. I was blown away by how parts of Atlanta had changed since university. After returning to the UK, I hiked 140km of the South West Coast Path in Cornwall. I think it’s going to take a while for my toes to recover. Then Grant and I spent a week relaxing at a resort in Corfu, Greece. We barely left the resort and I only took a single picture of the gorgeous, 100+ year old olive trees. Afterwards, we joined a group of friends at a château outside Saint Jean de Luz, France for a week of fantastic food and conversation. At the end of June I participated in a 6-day sea kayaking expedition in Scotland. It involved carrying a lot of heavy things from place to place in the wind and rain, or both. We were rewarded with curious seals and maerl beaches. Needless to say, I got a lot of travel out of my system so I could dive into the new role refreshed.
Only a handful of you knew me back in high school when my mother announced that she was taking my brother (and not me) to see the Rolling Stones. I was furious. Tonight I finally get to see them live in London and I can’t wait! My mom still remembers this as one of her “big mistakes”. If that’s indeed the case, I think she’s done pretty well :p.