Six Years Since Naturalizing

It is hard to believe my wife and I became naturalized US citizens six years ago! It was a long journey filled with uncertainty. I had friends while studying in England who were on similar journeys and while I empathized I had no idea what it was like. We held off from buying a home until we got green cards, and even then felt some apprehension at times and naturalization represented the final step where I finally felt like I belonged.

I wrote over six years about about my last day as an immigrant, and many months later about updating one of the last remaining things–our social security cards. We did all the things including getting passports, registering to vote but spending hours at the social security building was perhaps the one we just kept putting off as that place is no fun!

Selfie of the whole family right after we naturalized

There we are right after naturalizing and the photo at the top is from when I received my naturalization certificate. It was a bigger day than I thought it would be for me, and since then I have tried to take an active part in my adopted country. I have changed jobs twice since then and moved from upstate New York down to Long Island.

I have spent most of my life working for the US government at Kitware on many contracts with the Federal government and then at Brookhaven National Lab in a more direct sense as part of the core funded staff at the NSLS-II. For the last six months or so I have had one of my first jobs in a very long-time as part of the startup community working on exciting open source and proprietary software projects.

Science and technology brought me to the US, and they are still what drive me. I owe so much to open source, science and some amazing communities. I am in my first fully remote role and enjoying some of the additional flexibility it affords me and I feel more driven than ever. There are definitely concerns, uncertainty in the startup world, elections coming up, and raising children in what is increasingly familiar but still quite an alien school system I was never a part of as a student.

Superbowl party snacks

We hosted Superbowl parties most years in upstate New York for our friends having the biggest screen on the street (it was an awesome 125" project screen I had to leave behind). This year was the first year since the pandemic hit where we hosted again with new friends on Long Island. It has been nearly five years since we had the chance to get back to England to see family and friends. Hopefully we will be able to make it happen this year as things have finally started settling down after my last job move and the craziness of the pandemic.

My team didn’t win this year but we had a great evening with friends. We got lots of snow over the last few days too. Enjoying work and looking forward to the summer with beach time!

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