Dear Joseph and Lucia,
After my last letter, I’d like to lighten it up a bit and reflect on all the good things that I’ve enjoyed over the last year. It’s been a good one for me and I hope it’s been good for both of you, too.
The year started off with a bang when I was hired full-time at SpaceX. After spending the previous year as a contractor, I really wanted to stay. But, the logistics of getting hired were difficult. Given my lack of degree, the company had to create a new job title and position for me. The fact that they did really meant a lot to me. I spent the first month as a temporary employee until all the paperwork could be settled, then came on permanently at the end of the month. I’m honored and know I need to always continue to work hard, learn quickly and stay frosty to keep the momentum.
In February, I got to witness my company launch the biggest rocket currently in the world. Successfully. It was an incredibly emotional moment. Watching both side-boosters land right next to each other was amazing. Then getting treated to 4 hours of watching the Tesla Roadster orbit the earth with beautiful views was just awesome. During the launch, we all gathered out on the mezzanine in the Fab Shop and watched on the big screen. We cheered and whooped and hollered. I almost lost my voice. I even cried when I thought of my dad and how much he would have enjoyed to see this happen. I still tear up even as I type this.
During the summer break the family all enjoyed a great trip to Europe. I won’t go into too much detail here since previous letters talk a lot about it already. While I was there, I took my dash cam and saved all our drives. I’m hoping to do something with all that footage. I’ve got some software and was hoping to put together a time-lapse video, but first I have to learn how to use it. Maybe once I get it done, I’ll find a way to share it with you. I can’t with my account here unless I upgrade the page. We’ll see.
Around the same time I also achieved a really big goal and earned my Certified LabVIEW Architect (CLA) certificate. That was quite an accomplishment. SpaceX is one of the most exclusive companies that use LabVIEW and implements arguably one of the most advanced architectures out there. The work and the certificate put me at the top of the hill in my industry. It’s really pretty cool.
Also at that time I picked up my 2-year coin at AA. Two years of continuous sobriety. That for me is a major accomplishment. This fall was full of big things. I only know that all the other wonderful things wouldn’t have been possible without my sobriety. This above all other things I value the most.
Over the last weekend, we had the company Christmas party. For the first time I feel like I’m part of a family at work and not just a newcomer. I’ve earned my place here and have the respect and friendship of my co-workers. It’s new to me. I’ve spent so much of my life trying to hide my problems instead of enjoying the life around me. It’s a wonderful thing. Rachael joined me at the party and I was proud to introduce her as my daughter. I really look forward to having the same opportunity with both of you.
So in summary, I’ve worked hard both personally and professionally. I’m always working to be the best father I can when you reach out. Just know that I’m here… waiting. You have a whole family waiting for you guys. You can take it at your own pace.