I’ve been in Las Vegas for a little over a week and a half, and I left home almost two weeks ago. A lot has happened since then, so bear with me as I attempt to put things in chronological order. Drove from Alabama to Muskogee the first day, and spent the night at Scott’s house. On the way, I passed by no fewer than 15 billboards with religious messages, and one claiming that the Democratic party had been taken over by socialists. Fun times. The next day took me to Los Alamos, or as Ariana likes to say, the pretty part of New Mexico (the picture below agrees). That part of the journey included lunch at The Big Texan Steakhouse (where I really was tempted to try the 72 oz steak challenge) and passing by the Jesus is our Lord and Savior Travel Center (no comment). Note how I drove cross country and stayed with friends. Good times. Moral of the story, make friends from weird places. Like Tuscaloosa.
Finally made it to Las Vegas and spent the next couple of nights in the Golden Nugget Casino while getting housing squared away. The highlight of that stay was definitely the pool. Or, to be more precise, the water slide that goes through a shark tank.
Pseudo-moved into my new apartment the next day, and attempted to move in and unpack. Went to an epic soccer game. Well, the game itself wasn’t that epic, but it did include Real Madrid and a really amazing sunset (side note, I could get used to the amazing sunrises and sunsets around here).
Went to a war room meeting for the Downtown Project on Sunday. Sort of started work on Tuesday. Still getting details hashed out, but we find out our semi-official positions tomorrow. And then the real fun starts. In between has been a lot of exploring, making new friends, and furniture scavenging. But that is the nutshell version of my last two weeks. Oh, and VFA’s founder, Andrew Yang visited, and we had the chance to hear some pretty amazing speakers, including Shawn Achor, Cathy Brooks, and David Gould. And I managed to escape the city lights and see a decent view of the Perseid meteor shower. All in all, a pretty good start to a brand new life.
On to the ending with Happiness Advantage pieces:
I drove a ginormous truck today. For three hours. One of those rental ones that you can get from Home Depot so we could move a loveseat, dining table and five chairs, desk, and overstuffed chair into our apartment. Though the mpg was abysmal (11.7 in case you were wondering), there was something incredibly fun about driving something that big and clunky 7oish miles down the interstate.
What I’m thankful for:
1) My health. I might weigh a few more pounds than I would like (which I am working on changing), but by and large, I am healthy. And that is something so many people either take for granted or can’t say about themselves.
2) My employment. Maybe it was a bit arrogant of me, but I don’t think that I ever considered the possibility of being unemployed. Not only am I employed, in so many ways, I might have stumbled upon my dream job without even realizing it.
3) My family. I’ll be the first to admit that I often take my family for granted. And I really shouldn’t. Still not sure how to change that, but maybe it will change over time. But I do have two amazing parents and two awesome siblings. I’m not even going to try and do the tallies for my extended family because for Indians the line between friends and family is often blurry, if existent at all, but I am really lucky to have that kind of connectivity.
4) My opportunities. Not too many people can say that they have had the chance to work on something truly unique. I’m doing two things that are, being a part of the Inaugural class of Venture for America Fellows and working for the Downtown Project. Yes, this is similar to number 2, but it is different.
5) My fellow Fellows (NC and VFA). I’ve had great experiences of the last four years with Fellows in different contexts, and they have been great to the point that I am determined to find a group of Fellows where ever I go from this point onward.
6) Sort of related to the above, but sometimes distinct, my friends. As much as I say that I would be perfectly happy to go live in a cave by myself for a year (I still maintain I would be!), I have been incredibly fortunate to find myself in contact with the motley mixture of humanity that is my friend group. I don’t know if there is any common characteristic that is common for all of them, and I kind of like it that way.