Icebergs and other things

I spent last week at the most important developer conference for Apple’s software ecosystem and met my Apple developer family, including “family members” that I hadn’t seen in years. They all wanted to know how I am doing either because we had a lot of catching-up to do, or because people have been in-the-know about the rollercoaster ride of 2019 (I post pretty much everything that’s going on on Twitter). They REALLY wanted know how I was doing and how I am “holding up”. It took me a bit to understand that they really wanted to know this because I couldn’t understand how they would ask such a question among the chit-chat of such a large conference. Eventually, I realized that people were actually expecting a long and maybe complicated answer, and I found myself chatting rather lightly about what has been going on and what I’ve been up to. Truth is, I had actually stopped being conscious about my feelings. This was a tough pill to swallow, as I pride myself in being honest to my friends and to myself. For the past few days, I haven’t been entirely sure if my answers during the “dubdub” week have been completely honest.I have spet this past weekend trying to figure out how exactly I am doing “with everything that’s been going on” and I realized thata) There is a simple answerb) It’s sort of an iceberg situation, where you only see the tip of what’s going on and the majority of “stuff” is underneathc) The question should be “where are you and how do you feel?” and that now is the time to write about 2018 and 2019. Let’s start with the simple answer: I’m OKAY. Seriously, I’m alright. I’m pretty resilient to this stupid rollercoaster; and it surprises me a bit. It means that the years of behavioral therapy through my 20s, my exercises in awareness and meditation made me a stronger, (mentally) healthy person. This feels very liberating and comforting.I typically — and this is what I often do without thinking — behave according to a “protocol” that my behavioral therapist taught me, and that my wife wrote on a note that she gave to me for my first day on my new job. It reads: Pause.Breath.Smile.Communicate.You can do it! It helps in situations where I don’t feel okay, or where I feel like things are too much. It literally is my secret to being OKAY. Now that this basic information is out of the way, let’s talk about the iceberg’s size below the water. It’s March 2018, it’s Sunday afternoon, I’m sitting next to my wife in a café in Boston and we’re chatting with a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in almost 10 years and we’re having the best time.It’s 5 minutes later, and my wife returns form the bathroom, tears running down her face. Her brother had had a fatal accident. I cannot believe it and hug her. It feels surreal.The next morning,[…]

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