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Stephan Meijer
Stephan Meijer

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Conflicted

A LOT has happened over the last few months. And yet, I haven't written about any of it. I wanted to, but I've been unable to find the time, the words, or maybe mostly the right mood.

I wanted to write about my adventure with Kent C. Dodds. We've created one of the first, if not the first, full-fletched website using Remix. It was lots of fun. Little did I know that the animations and transitions that I implemented for Kent would lead to my current position at MagicBell.

Together with the launch of his new website, my "Chat with Kent" got published. Again, something worth writing about. I remember thinking back then that I should have said things differently. But I still haven't listened to the recording.

The launch of his site lead to a chat with Hana Mohan. Not long after, I signed for a role as Founding Frontend Developer at MagicBell, and ended my partnership at a firm that I co-founded but got never recognized for. I've sold my 10% and moved on.

As the cherry on the pie, we had a company retreat in Miami. It was a fantastic way to get to know my new coworkers. I'm truly grateful for that experience. That trip alone is worth writing for.

Since I started working for MagicBell, I've added several features to the product, the dashboard, the SDKs, and launched MagicBell Playground. A little side project under business hours.

But then the conflicted part.

While working on Kent's new website, my step-dad got diagnosed with cancer. He is unlikely to make the end of this year. Doctors have given him months, and he's running out of time.

While I quit my partnership and transitioned to my new position at MagicBell, my wife booked a last-minute flight "home," as her grandma was hospitalised with Covid, and doctors gave her a 50/50 chance of survival. Luckily she did.

Only to be abruptly awakened by incoming Russian artillery on February 24th. Two days after my 35th birthday. While I launched the playground, grandma hid in the bathtub. She's here now. Safe with us. But it took us two weeks to get her out of the country.

We managed to extract six more friends. Or, well, one friend with her two kids and their grandma and one aunt with her grandson. Other friends fled on time or are still stuck in this dirty war. Some because they don't want to leave their home. Others because they simply can't.

As I'm writing this, grandma is crying again. She received a photo of her apartment earlier today, and it doesn't look nice.

The last few months have been an emotional rollercoaster. My professional life has been nothing less than amazing. Sure, there are some frustrations, but that's nothing. On a personal level, I do my best to be happy and positive for the kids, while I'm heartbroken for the lives of our friends.

In a few days from now, my kid turns 2. He'll get his first bike, and we'll eat pie. And then again, one of the guests will be our friend with her kids, who lost their home, miss their dad, and wear our kids' clothes.

I'm grateful. I'm happy. I'm terrified. I wish I could do more.

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