I am a software engineer. I’m also an amateur photographer, a writer, and a dabbler.

Or, at least that’s how I view myself. That’s how I simplify who I am to a stranger. And it’s such a gross simplification: it will never capture an entire lifetime of experiences and quirks and oddities, and it will never be able to reflect the shades and nuances that defines the real me.

That being said, writing a personal blog is an ongoing act of introduction, in many ways. I am telling you about myself, more than you are telling me about yourself. It’s a way for me to at least color the shades of me.

I’ve been quite busy at work these few weeks. I’ve been settling into the rhythms of writing code, and it’s quite wonderful, honestly, to work on software that provides our customers such leverage on the massive scale of the problems they face.

I wish I could talk more about it though, and to be honest, I’ve always felt that openness about my work was an integral part of me. I mean, I have always been able to balance the requirements of non-disclosure with the desire to write about stuff.

I’ve been blogging on and off for at least a decade now – and admittedly, blogging started out as an offshoot (in parts) from my writing a journal/diary when I was younger. I still see myself as a private person nonetheless. I’ve always kept to myself in one way or another: I grew up in southern parts of Metro Manila, in the Philippines, as an English-speaking know-it-all kid who would quickly get bored with class – half-paying attention to lectures, doodling on my notebooks, while being able to still eagerly and earnestly answer teachers’ questions. You could see why I didn’t form friendships early on.

Now that I’m in another country, I feel keenly that my decades of learned social conventions seem strangely inapplicable in some ways. Sure, the basics are there – after all, being a social creature can be boiled down to the single maxim of “don’t be an asshole” – but I still feel somewhat untethered when the details I don’t quite get right, seeing as those details are what lubricates things (so to speak).

Anyway, it’s all gotten me thinking of my place in the world: who the hell am I, anyway? When you’re faced with the fact that all of the things you’re used to are gone– when you’re faced with having to relearn stuff, you realize that what you thought made you you, isn’t what makes you you.

It’s all exciting and scary at the same time. Here’s to discovery.

Previously: Ask Your Local Emacs Guru