Two years ago I move to Tennessee.
We moved because I was taking my dream job as a senior software security engineer. I was sitting with developers as their security resource and improving their security in the software development life cycle. It was the culmination of two and half years of stress, frustration, and putting my family second.
I went to my first BSides in November 2013. It was in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. I remember it as an overcast day. I went with a buddy from work. The visit would kick of a five year tour of security conferences, two local user groups, and two podcasts. I've put a lot of time into the infosec community, because I knew it would help me advance my career. The reason I found my dream job was at one of the two local user groups I helped get started. The reason I got hired was because of the conferences I attended, the local user groups I helped start, and the podcasts I produced. My experience working with developers helped too.
After getting settled, I started to feel a little lost. For years I had pushed towards the goal of putting our family into a better situation financially. For me to find meaning and feel like I was making a difference. I accomplished both of those goals two years ago. For the past two years I've been struggling to figure out my next goal in the infosec community. I've been lost. I've spoken at multiple conference. I've given training. I've helped organize. Nothing has re-ignited that passion people say I have for the community.
I've thought about starting another local user group in middle Tennessee. I have talk ideas. I have new podcast ideas. I have training that I've started and thought I wanted to continue. None of that is keeping me engaged. I know a lot of good infosec people who aren't on Twitter. They're not going to multiple security conferences a year. They're still doing a damn good job. I envy them.
I've started to spend more time with my family. My kids are at the age where we can play board games. My wife loves playing Splendor. She recently went and saw The Ant-Man and The Wasp and thought it was a good movie. I think I can get her to watch Ironman and the other Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies.
We moved into a new house last year and we couldn't have asked for a better set of neighbors. Four households are hanging out regularly. We're barbecuing together. We're doing date nights together. We're planning future trips together. All of this is eating into the time I put into the infosec community. I missed putting out a podcast because I've started to focus on things outside of the community.
I'm starting to come to the realization that's okay. It's okay to to focus on things outside the community. I've never had a passion for the infosec community. I've had a passion to provide the best for my family. I could have done the same in another field. I almost joined the military as a paralegal. I believe I would have done just as well in the legal field as I've done in the infosec field.
Going forward, I plan to spend more of my time with family and friends. I still plan to be involved in the infosec community via the podcast, and conferences. The idea, is that the reason why I've struggled to find my place is because I've been focusing on meaning from the wrong area of my life.