The Download

Good Morning. My name is Tom, it's April 2018 and I'm done laying low. It's time to download all this 'stuff' that's been on my shoulders for so long. I feel like I'm just coming out of a long funk that has had the combined effects of burnout and a mild depression. Yes, I was/am burned out and mildly depressed. Why? It's probably because of several tumultuous years, both professionally and personally.

A lot has happened since July 2016 that I'm going to write about over the course of the next few posts. I'm doing this because I'm finally feeling like I want to write again. I NEED to write again. Sure, I posted a few things on this site but it felt too mechanical, maybe too forced. I missed the joy of waking up at 5AM every morning and belting out a blog post in the early days of Neural Market Trends. It was mostly about my $100 Forex Experiment or some RapidMiner tutorial video, but I utterly loved it.

There's no doubt that the blog has evolved over the years. I've evolved too. I got the chance to parlay my writings and passion for RapidMiner into a full-time gig @ RapidMiner in 2014. It was an amazing time in my life and I wrote this post about it. You might be wondering, if I loved being a part of RapidMiner so much, then why did I leave in July 2017? Good question and I plan on telling you why shortly.

Personally, things have been stressful for me. Some of it 'good stress' and other 'not so good stress.' The not so good kind had to do with my parents. They're getting up there in age and we had a spat of health issues. I won't go into detail about it, but for right now everyone is doing well. My parent's mortality is staring me in the face and I'm trying to spend as much time as I can with them now. Lesson to be learned: don't take your parents for granted. The majority of the good kind of stress came from purchasing a new house which we closed on about a year ago. Add into this the general life commitments, and my plate was more than full.

Two things that has kept me sane over the past few years has been my family and karate. My wife and kids remain my bedrock and life is so much better than because of them. Without them, I'd be lost. On top of this, two years ago I started martial arts again. This time I joined a local Karate Dojo to help burn off the mounting stress I was experiencing and combat my expanding waistline. It's helped me and I've come to think of the Dojo as my second home. There's something therapeutic about getting your ass beat and thrown about that makes you forget about any problems.

Take a deep breath, everything will be fine.

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