My Fine Alter Egos – Or – Reminders to Live in the Present

Those who have spent some time around the Plastiq offices have probably heard me refer to one of my favorite alter egos – “Past Dan” and “Future Dan“. It all started as a joke when a co-worker and I were digging through some old code, and I just couldn’t decipher why I’d written it that way.

Past Dan must have been out of his mind when he wrote this,” I mused. Laughs all around.1

Since then I’ve been increasingly using the monikers to refer to both decisions or actions that I made in the past (Past Dan) and things that I’ll have to deal with in the future (Future Dan).

Examples of usage include:

  • Hmm… we can leave that one for Future Dan to figure out.
  • Well, Past Dan clearly didn’t know what he was talking about.
  • Alright! Looks like Past Dan already covered that case in the documentation here.

Over time, I became aware of an additional psychological benefit that arose from referring to my past and present selves as separate individuals.

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A “Bill of Rights” for My New Reports

Starting a new job can be both exhilarating and nerve-racking. As a manager at Plastiq, I view it as one of my most important responsibilities to – with the help of our excellent talent team – onboard new reports in a manner that instills within them the context and confidence to do a good job, as well as set the tone and pace for our on-going working relationship.

To facilitate this onboarding, I thought it’d be valuable to compile a “Bill of Rights” that all my new reports can read, refer back to, and – most importantly – hold me accountable for during their tenure at Plastiq. It is my hope that these guidelines will provide a welcome centering influence as our work and roles continue to evolve over time.

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In Spite of it All

I know that repeating this to myself
doesn’t make it mean anything more.

But I once made a decision
that you would be someone
I would do anything for.

And it’s still true.

Insta-photo: #sf

It may not be the hottest joint in town, but my God if I didn’t learn why La Folie is a 30 year old institution in SF. The BEST meal I’ve ever had was five courses of Dungeness crab, butter poached lobster, mushroom & lobster risotto, and a transcendent 4oz of Miyazaki A5 Wagyu. (+ a very respectable chocolate ganache to close out the evening) If you love food, I can’t recommend this spot enough. #food #sf

It may not be the hottest joint in town, but my God if I didn’t learn why La Folie is a 30 year old institution in SF. The BEST meal I’ve ever had was five courses of Dungeness crab, butter poached lobster, mushroom & lobster risotto, and a transcendent 4oz of Miyazaki A5 Wagyu. (+ a very respectable chocolate ganache to close out the evening) If you love food, I can’t recommend this spot enough. #food #sf

Quietude

I must confess, I’ve never felt moved
to shout this love from the rooftops.
To demand the world take notice.
To let it reverberate in the ether.

Your love grows on my being
like a moss in the wood.
Quietly, do I stay my root
so as to know you more.

Role Models

Some of us are hoping to recreate
whatever it was that made us believe
our parents were meant to be.

Others of us have only learned
to recognize the warning signs
of conflicts which drove them apart.

Both are burdened by perspective –
one with great expectation,
the other with cynicism.

A Curious Nostalgia

I used to love imagining
what her smile might look like
with a few more wrinkles,
seen through eyes that didn’t bend light
quite like they used to.

And now,
strangely now,
I find myself unkempt with memories
of a future that will never come to pass.