I ended, or finally allowed to end, a toxic and harmful relationship. I'm not proud, but also not hesitant, to say that I was the one being abusive. I won't dwell on the details of that - if you've heard those details from the other party to that relationship, believe what you've heard. Many of the changes in my life since then have been directly in the service of making sure that I never allow myself to get near that space again.
I've finally put down deep roots in Seattle, and at the end of 2014, I bought a house and moved in. It's a larger space than I strictly need, and I live alone here except for the cats, but I have space to fill with my favorite people, throw parties, or just let a friend hide here and still not be in my way. I have a luxurious, spacious kitchen, a giant garage, and a hot tub on the roof. I also have the hassle of maintaining all of these things, of course; right now there is a hole in the ceiling and the hot tub is out of commission.
Qualcomm closed the Seattle office early in 2016, laid off the team that was based there, and told me to go work from home, with no network or IT support, and oh yeah, they wouldn't support a Linux workstation offsite so I would have to ship that back to San Diego and remote into it. I was skeptical of this choice, and of my own ability to work effectively from my own house full of distractions, but I know better than to make permanent decisions in late winter or spring; after sticking it out for almost six months, I quit in June and gave myself my first real summer vacation in over a decade. It was glorious. In the fall, I joined the Android Security Response and Review team at Google. I hadn't actually done any security work before then, but apparently my Android experience was what mattered and I've done a fine job of coming up to speed on the security parts, because I've now been there six months and people seem to trust me. In any case, the Kirkland-based team trusts me enough to work out of the Seattle office most of the time.
(In an adjacent alternate universe, I ended up at Glowforge, and am almost certainly much more stressed and anxious than I am in this one. The startup life is not for me.)
I've grown comfortably into an independent, saturated, solo-poly lifestyle, and it suits me extraordinarily well. I have five partners of various degrees of intensity, each one of my metamours is a delightful person that I don't get nearly enough social time with, and I still get to spend enough time alone (or with the cats) that I feel centered in my own life. I have lovers of all genders (or lack thereof), of diverse backgrounds. And those relationships have been stable and durable - the newest of them is now eight months in, and deep and intense and enriching. Not that I haven't had my share of heartbreak - at least two breakups stand out for having devoured my attention for weeks - but even those won't let me regret this life I've lucked into and embraced. I have a rich and supportive community around me, and space in my house to throw parties that only begin to give back.
And finally, this year, I ran hard into the question of my own gender. It's not the first time - I've reviewed it periodically over the years - but this time I have the vocabulary and experience and support and self-awareness to express that binary masculinity simply isn't for me, anymore. In February, I started coming out to my closest friends as genderfluid, and nonbinary, and transfem, and was greeted with a resounding, "Yeah that makes sense." I've been expanding that outness, asking more and more people to use "they" and "them" pronouns when referring to me, and at this point I'm out to pretty much anyone that might be using that information. For myself, I've only just started to explore that rabbit hole - once I allow myself to embrace that new thought, I can't let go of it, and whole worlds of options (and anxiety and dysphoria) are open to me. More on this as it develops.
Oh, and my hair is blue and purple now. If I do actually post more on Dreamwidth, I'm definitely going to have to update some icons.