About Me

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Grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland. My time now is mostly spent getting better at being a person, refining my time management skills, trying to read normal people books and articles, and learning how to be a force for good.

T1D Life in full effect. 

I will never stop learning, nor will I stop working to make a difference for someone.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Move Back Home

Aloha, California!

It's been three weeks since I officially moved back to the Golden State (The California Golden Bear has returned). In that time, I have performed a wedding ceremony for two of my favorite people on the planet, have received more support, love, guidance and advice from those I trust than ever before, and got my motorcycle shipped, registered, and I passed the fuck outta the license tests. Also rode Amtrak for the first time ever. Met a couple new folks who I really dig. Have spent time with some of the people who are parts of the overall reasoning why I moved back, and will be spending more in the next week and a half. Agreed to jump into starting a business with another of my favorite people. Was invited back up to Bearskin which set my heart aflame. And that's not all...

Towards the end of my time in Hawaii, my perception of how things happened was pressured, so I've given it all some thought during the whole transitiony thing. I was absolutely disappointed about a lot things, but I don't usually talk about what I don't feel good about. Not typically my style, although I've done enough of that since getting back to last me months. I tried to work my ass off to earn a Ph.D. which didn't work out. Of all the reasons, I think the most important is that the place I was living and working in wasn't the right place for me. People have asked me a number of times, "so you miss Hawaii, don't you?" And I have to say, not so much. I miss many of the people I met, especially the folks with which I built friendships. They, I miss. Hawaii, with its expansive physical beauty, its stunning sunrises and sunsets, and brilliant snorkeling, is a fun place to hang out. All of this was overshadowed, for me, by the sheer nastiness of the cost of living. And why was it so expensive, you might ask? Well, my inquisitive friends, a great majority of the food, transportation junk, and everything else is shipped into the state.

Think about that for a minute. If shipping lines were disrupted, there's approximately enough food for the population living there for a maximum of roughly 3-4 days. This coming from the state gub'mint. I mean, holy grass skirts Batman! So yeah. There's the economic bullshit. Then there's the rent, which is somewhat comparable to San Francisco or Los Angeles, but is complicated by the realities of building shit in a tropical place: wood gets gobbled up by termites relatively quickly, metal gets nom-nom-nom'd by the salty air, and bricks don't make good windows. And the fuckin' Cane Spiders!!1! Those little bastards charge the shit outta humans! Fast! What the fuck?!!? Impressive little buggers, but what the hell, man. What, the, hell.

There were also some goings ons in my professional life that really sucked, but I'll leave out the details. I'm simply grateful that I'm for the most part leaving the larger thing of academia behind me. I'll always enjoy teaching, and I think it's something I want to keep doing in some form or another if possible. As a full-time gig it's brutal. Got mad respek for academics, as for the most part they are brilliant, interesting, and delightful after just enough booze. After teaching six undergrad courses in one bitch of a semester, I can honestly say that I love it, but I can also honestly say: fuck capitalism. Fuck it, right in its ear. That being said, I really loved teaching at HPU, and got over my reservations regarding private universities pretty quickly. I felt very supported in my work by the department administration, and really all of the administration I worked with at some point or another. The other faculty were welcoming and interesting. Also, the students were great! I enjoyed both the in-person and online courses there, and the folks earning grades with me were a lot of fun. My students at UH I will miss greatly, as they were very much my motivation for doing good work.

Also took the LSAT last week. Pretty sure I punched it in its solar plexus, although until my score surfaces from the depths of the LSAC intertubes I won't really know. So yeah, law degree or something. It's been an interest of mine for years, I just never pulled the trigger out of fear, anxiety, uncertainty, misinterpreted advice, yadda yadda. After getting through the professional shit-show that was my life on the island, law school and a startup: that I can and will do. Hell yeah.

My people are spectacular human beings. All of you. And to anyone thinking of moving to Hawaii: if it's really what you want, be prepared to kick some serious ass. Avoid acting like an entitled dickhead; Hawaii has a history, a relatively recent colonial history, and it would behoove you to read up on the actual history of the state we know as Hawaii. I never felt threatened or unwelcome anywhere, but I was challenged occasionally. I welcomed it, and it made me better. I'm a living sign of social privilege, regardless of my own challenges that I face. Be aware of what's been going on, and take it to heart. Avoid thinking you already know everything you need to know about being a good person in a given context.

The three years I spent on Oahu were perfect. I learned a shit-ton, possibly a metric shit-ton. Took opportunities as best I could. Worked my ass off both personally and professionally. Learned a lil bit of pidgin. Swam with fish who were literally eating each other alive. It was exactly where I should have been, until it wasn't. And that's a good thing to figure out; how to measure whether a place and space is working for me or not (and the complimentary part: whether or not I'm working for a place/space is just as important a thing to be able to see and internalize).

Alrighty then, time to get back to life. Or something. Holla atcha boy.

-Nick G.
a.k.a. The Golden Bear
a.k.a. Gibbey
a.k.a. Gibbo
a.k.a. Bigbo
a.k.a. Gibbs
a.k.a. Muthafucka
a.k.a. Haole Boy (thanks Shawn)

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