About – old 2

I’m Eric. Nice to meet you.

A couple decades ago, they might have called it a midlife crisis. But let’s instead say that Looking out Loud refects my middle-aged desire to keep figuring things out. Learn more about the LoL website and follow my Looking out Loud journey here.

And who am I? I figured that best way to get to know me is to travel with me. So here we go…

 

Trying to box someone in with descriptions and labels hardly does justice to the complex uniqueness we all accumulate over our lifetimes. There are always so many ways you can slice a person, so many different perspectives to look from. For example, I could tell you about the places I’ve lived:

I was born in a small town

– Rural, country attitude
– Outdoors, nature
– Conservative politics
– Protestant Sundays, Catholic holidays
– Some wild friends

The world just got a whole lot bigger

An overseas exchange program opened the door to:

– Different cultures
– Lots of languages
– Great parties
– Travel around Europe

And now for something completely different

Phase 1: Tokyo
– Social time: friends, izakayas, and afterhours
– Travel time: Hello Asia

Phase 2: Nagasaki
– Alone time: who am I?
– Wake up time: meditation, studying, and learning 日本語

A new phase begins

– Married: a Catalan stole my heart
– Language: living in multilingual environments
– PhD: cognitive psychology and language
– Kids: I’ve got two of them
– Home: I’m still here

Or we could talk about some of the odd jobs and career swinging I’ve done:

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I tried all kinds of things to make a few pennies:
– Newspaper delivery boy
– Babysitter
– Painter
– Lawn mower
– Officer cleaner
– Lifeguard
– Landscaper
– Beer keg changer
– Restaurant table waiter
– Restaurant cook
– Wetlands restoration worker

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Helping others learn

Japan – kids to adults
Fort Wayne, IN – tutoring
Barcelona – kids to adults
University of Barcelona – undergrad psych students

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Going in for a deeper look

– Masters: Cognitive Science & Language
– PhD: Cognitive psychology
– Research in thinking and reasoning, math learning, attention

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Coming back up to the surface

– Helped start Typeform’s online magazine
– Interviews with business leaders
– Research and write business guides
– Wrote: Siri is dying, long live Susan Bennett
– Co-created and co-stared in Typeform’s first interactive video

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My biggest challenge yet

– I’ve been married for 12 years.
– I have two boys, now 9 and 6 years old
– I’m getting older
– I’m busy at work
– I’m trying to stay healthy
– I’m trying to keep learning, always thinking that the best is yet to come.
– And it’s damn hard to keep it all in balance

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Or we could journey through some experiences that shaped me:

I was born in a small town

April 4, 1980

I was born in a small town
Born and raised in the middle of the fields and forests, in the middle of Indiana, in the middle of America. Family values, road trips, small town mischief. What else is out there?

Hallo Maastricht: the world just got bigger

January 8, 2001

Hallo Maastricht: the world just got bigger
A study abroad program sent me to Maastricht, in the Netherlands. A new continent was at my doorstep. Students from all over the world brought their languages, food, drinks, and music. New people, new interactions, new cultures. I liked it. Where to next?  

Konnichiwa Japan. こんにちは 日本.

February 3, 2002

Konnichiwa Japan. こんにちは 日本.
Our plane unexpectedly went down in Alaska, giving me 24 hours to reflect on life’s uncertainty before finally arriving in Japan. A year in Tokyo, a year in Nagasaki. Exploring Asia, sitting in Zen temples, dancing till the sun came up. So many ways to spend time.

All aboard the Trans-Siberian Express

June 30, 2004

All aboard the Trans-Siberian Express
It was time to leave Japan, heading west. Took a boat to China, rode horses through Mongolia, took a freezing cold dip in Siberia’s Lake Baikal. Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia, hello Scandinavia, thank you Italy. Then I shaved my 3-month-old traveler’s beard, and met my future wife in Barcelona.

New life begins in Barcelona

January 1, 2007

New life begins in Barcelona
My future wife became my actual wife. We backpacked, then backtracked to the same Barcelona flat where we first met each other. Then everything changed.

I’m a dad of two boys

February 22, 2010

I’m a dad of two boys
All of a sudden, the most important thing in my life—that didn’t exist before—just appeared. How the hell do I do this? Now I’m a proud papa of two boys, trying to figure out how to do the most important job I’ve got.

I poked at the mind

June 30, 2015

I poked at the mind
I went into a program on Cognitive Science and Language, curious about how the mind works. I finished with a p(H|D) in cognitive psychology. And I still have no idea how the mind works.

Goodbye academia. Hello startup.

January 4, 2016

Goodbye academia. Hello startup.
I joined a then-small Barcelona startup to help launch their original blog. I had little experience in marketing, and no experience as a writer at a tech company. But I loved to write, knew I wanted to work there, and worked my ass off to get hired. We’ve grown lots, I’ve learned lots, and I still have lots of questions.

I started Looking out Loud

January 1, 2020

I started Looking out Loud
What am I doing with my life? Why am I even here? When I think at Dadspace, I see my myself as dad, a husband, a friend, a coworker, a normal guy trying figure out daily life. When I think at Mindspace, I see myself as a brain and body coevolving with my environment since birth, part of the unfolding story of Homo sapiens, who’s end has yet to be written.

Next adventure: a year in another country

July 1, 2021

The 2020 pandemic jiggled the world. It reminded us of how much is outside our control, and how much we should take advantage of the things we can control. And it prompted us to move our entire family from cosmopolitan Barcelona, Spain, to rural Indiana, USA. Why? That will unfold as the days go by.
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