Reflecting on my life and career paths on my 38th birthday
It’s my 38th birthday today. Happy birthday to me.
38 isn’t a nice round age like 30 or 40, where most people reflect on and ponder about their lives. But I’ll do it anyway because I have a lot to reflect on.
15 years ago, I was a consultant in San Francisco. I traveled a lot for work, made some decent coin out of grad school, and lived a single guy’s life. I had a great group of friends, got drunk at least 3 times a week, and pretty much did whatever the hell I wanted to do at any time I wanted to do it.
10 years ago, I was in business school in NYC pursuing a career in sports marketing. I was learning a lot and making some great connections. I was also having a lot of fun with my b-school friends as well as my childhood buddies, whom I hadn’t lived close to in a long time.
My head was kind of fucked up though. I lost my Dad to cancer a few months prior, and wasn’t sure how to deal with that loss (I drank a lot). And I was pursuing a non-traditional, low-paying career while many of my friends expected to make loot pursuing their banking and consulting jobs. This was difficult to deal with and I many times doubted my choices.
5 years ago, I had my dream job in sports marketing, working for the Washington Capitals. It was right where I wanted to be and I was doing really well. I was fully settled in to DC (it took a while after living in San Francisco and NYC) and started to really dig the city and what it had to offer. I wasn’t quite married yet, but was well on my way.
Now, I’m married to my soulmate, have a wonderful daughter, and own a beautiful home. It’s a lot of fun seeing my daughter grow up, but it’s still odd to me that I’m responsible for this little person’s life. It’s really awesome and rewarding, though.
Career-wise, I’m kind of this hybrid employee / entrepreneur. I work for a software development firm, but the CEO is my co-founder in our startup ribl, which we’re barely working on nowadays. I host my own podcast. I volunteer my time organizing Startup Weekend DC events. I’m not exactly where I want to be, which is working on our startup (whatever the product may be) full-time, but we’ll get there. I think.
Except for my Dad’s passing, my life arc is going pretty much as planned, and I am exactly where I want to and should be.
What does my career arc tell me? It either tells me that 1) I like change, or 2) I have no idea what the fuck I am doing with my career, or 3) both.
I’ve been open to taking the road less traveled with my career; it keeps things fresh and exciting.
But there are still so many things that I want to do.
And there’s a lot of doubt about whether I’m making the right choices and going down the right path. One day I’m confident, other days less so.
I’ve had 38 years to figure it out, but I guess I need more time.
3 thoughts on “Reflecting on my life and career paths on my 38th birthday”
If someone is going through their mid 30 crisis, this article does the magic of giving life to life again, as it did to me. Wonderful, yet simply put forward with simple words. Goodluck Mike Chan
Great to hear, Ashok! You’re never too old (or young, for that matter) to do anything. Good luck with your endeavors!
Your 38 year journey has taken you really far giving you loads of experience, knowledge and a beautiful family. Just keep pushing for all the things you love in life and it will lead you exactly where you are supposed to be. It may not meet your expectations but that’s what goals are all about. They are there to keep driving us forward. I am so proud of all your accomplishments. Work hard play hard and make your millions and give some to me. hah! Happy bday, bro! Love ya!