It’s been four days since the state of California officially “reopened”, the last state in the country to do so. I ended my day on the 14th with a looming sense of dread, that the removal of restrictions would see caution thrown to the wind, setting up a future wave of disaster given all the vaccine hesitation and self-attestation policies in a country that failed to collectively meet the public health guidelines that would have largely mitigated the events of the past year. To my relief, I’ve not seen all the infrastructure and habits built over the course of the pandemic suddenly evaporate. In the last few days, I still see people largely wearing face coverings indoors, both public and employees. With everything we’ve learned over the course of the past year in regards to particle distribution and the possibility of infection even post-vaccination, there’s still a lot to be done before society can safely function again, and it’s good to see that things aren’t being rushed back to a state of “normalcy” that would only invite disaster.

Today is also the first national Juneteenth holiday. It’s bittersweet, given all of the anti-voter & education legislation being driven by the GOP, which in itself is utterly terrifying as it portends to the future of this country (and the world).

Yet, for all the hardship of the past year, one lesson to collectively walk away from is a need to focus more on the positive and celebrate the small victories along our way in this life. To that end, I draw my focus to one Mrs. Opal Lee, who relentlessly campaigned all her life to see the day recognized as a national holiday and saw her mission completed at the age of 94. It’s a sterling example of how passion and dedication can have a meaningful impact on the world.

It’s been almost two calendar months since my last update, back then a time of heavy introspection before anxiously embarking on transitional journey through the unknown. It’s easy to carry on a routine established under the mental and environmental trappings one is used to, and daunting to leave them behind as crutch explanations for things being the way they are. At last update, I’d begun spending more time in the WordPress backend in preparation to make more use of this blog, refining taxonomy and hierarchy while wrestling with what my final decision would be on keeping a separate “professional” site or just going all-in on my informal moniker here. Whatever time I wouldn’t spend on job hunting, I’d direct towards generating more content and reestablishing an online presence and building up demonstrable work samples.

Although I did lightly dabble in some LinkedIn updates for a while, I’ve instead been spending my post-semester non-employment-seeking time working out and catching up with friends. It was a real wakeup call for me when the world shut down last year and things didn’t really change much at all for me. Having both doses of my COVID vaccine has emboldened me to finally be able to get together with small groups of friends without massive anxiety, but I still don my mask indoors when out in public; a highly effective vaccine is not guaranteed immunity, and already I’ve seen articles—and have read first-hand anecdotes from trusted peers—of post-vaccination COVID infection.

These past couple weeks since semester’s close at the end of May have had a leisurely vibe to them, but there’s been movement on the productivity and career fronts. I’ve got a final interview for a place I was actively gunning for scheduled at the end of the month, and a whole summer ahead in this unexpected worker’s market for labor. Now that the world has been forced to embraced remote work, the past challenges of not owning a car and my disdain for traffic-laden commutes are rapidly becoming a non-issue by standard.

Until said interview, there’s some projects I need to wrap up before month’s end before having a clear slate to buckle down on all my personal & professional endeavors. Overall, it’s an exciting time, and far less fearful and stressful than anticipated just two months ago.