In my earlier entry, I explained the mechanics of my impending move to an in-house role at D-Wave. This entry is all about why I’m making the move: the factors I considered and the balance I tried to strike. I had a lot to think about – it took nearly six weeks to come to a decision.
I get asked about the whys of my departure a lot – by my colleagues, by the partners, by my friends (lawyers and non-lawyers alike). It’s hard to condense into a couple of points or a brief sound bite. Fortunately, this is the Internet; we’ve got all the time and space in the world.
I am naturally suspicious of change. I think that this is a trait that a lot of lawyers have, since precedent is often the only safe road in a world of dangers and liabilities. I’m a firm believer in progress by increments, and I prefer to chart course adjustments in arcseconds rather than whole degrees.
So I might be the person who is most surprised to hear that I’m changing career tracks. I’m leaving employment at my long-time firm and starting up somewhere new. I am excited, sad, hopeful, and terrified.
The second trimester started with something that we unashamedly call a babymoon — a trip to Hawaii! We had travelled to Hawaii five years earlier for our honeymoon, and we’d wanted to go back ever since. The pregnancy seemed like as good an excuse as any to go (and it occurred to us that this might be our last chance for some time).
We were not disappointed.
Imagine, for a moment, that the title of this post is not “The First Trimester”. Imagine that you have no reason to suspect that this story involves a pregnancy at all. Imagine, having cleared your mind of all preconceptions, that the story begins thusly:
Amelia’s vomiting started out of nowhere. Well, not nowhere exactly — she had developed some spontaneous stomach issues a few years before, and so this had the smell of a recurrence. The symptoms quickly worsened, to the point where she was heaving up all the food in her belly a dozen times daily. Not even water would stay down. This was a severe episode, even by Amelia’s standards, so we scheduled an urgent appointment with our family doctor. Our urgency only got us an appointment next week, though, so for a few days we were on our own.
Our remaining days in Hong Kong were spent on school and socializing. It was a pleasant shift from the pell-mell touristing and travelling of the previous few months. Our little apartment on the eighth floor of a low-rise (for Hong Kong) waterfront building had begun to feel like home.
Among our friends, we were living in one of the more luxurious apartments — its spacious 550 square feet somehow managed to fit two separate bedrooms and a “dry” bathroom (i.e. a bathroom where the shower is separated from the toilet and sink by a glass enclosure). We paid handsomely for this privilege — our monthly rent was HK$22,500, which (at the time) was roughly CA$3,000.
Our visit to Cebu followed in the grand tradition of our adventures through Asia — Amelia and I slept in while Kat went off adventuring. Specifically, she set out at a truly unpleasant hour to go scuba diving. Amelia has a deep mistrust of the briny deep (she’s still upset about the time I threw her into the surf during our honeymoon in Maui), and I am skeptical as to the moral justification for alarm clocks, so we were OK with giving this one a pass.
It looks like she had a pretty great time, notwithstanding our naysaying. Surely the psychological cost of facing the malevolent seas with leaden-lidded eyes was a great one, but Kat overcame the odds and returned to us alive and in good spirits.
[Editor’s note: The previous post, detailing our last days in Japan, omitted a rather crucial detail — our nearly-botched mission to return Shawn to Canada. The first few paragraphs have been updated to include that story.]
Our last big trip during our time in Asia was to the Philippines, the source of half of Amelia’s genes and a startling variety of deep-fried foods. Unlike our previous trips, we didn’t have much planned beyond “show up in Manila and see what happens”, which is Amelia’s preferred method of itinerary construction.