THERE IS TRULY NO SUCH THING AS A PROBLEM, THERE ARE ONLY SOLUTIONS.
The steering wheel starts to shake, the tires feel off, just slightly imbalanced, and something feels odd – you as a driver go to the mechanic, then you have them realign things to get you back on the road and driving smoothly.
That’s how my life felt for quite some time – you know, just minus the actual fixing the problem and getting aligned – just driving down the road shaking, no direction, in need of a tune up.
To be as honest as possible, my personality is one of chasing things that make me happy – or trying to find things that make me happy, even if only for a brief moment in time.
We’re not talking about big things; it could be as simple as taking photos, it could be drones, it could be racing RC cars, it could be anything – but none of these things ever made me feel fully aligned; they still left me feeling hollow like I was still searching for the “right answer” or “bigger picture.”
Life is weird like that; you say things like “I’m so competitive,” but really you’re just repetitive and running on repeat or like you’re a robot on a major sedative…. plain and simple – numb.
The root cause hasn’t been found – the alignment hasn’t happened, and you still don’t know where you’re going or what you’re doing.
I do now.
It’s taken a great deal of time to process losing my mother, it’s taken a long time to get past imposter syndrome, coming to terms with massive changes with my day job / team; it’s taken therapy, long talks all day and night with those that understand, but I finally am in a place where things feel like it’s on the right path.
ONE CANNOT BE PRESENT WHEN LOOKING BACKWARDS
The visit to the mechanic happened, the tune up was applied, the ECU was upgraded, and I feel like a brand new machine running on all cylinders, race slicks equipped, and ready to run the track & nail the apex of each corner.
All that to say, it’s time for more – not more endless hobbies or random things to try and fill voids, but time to chase what actually matters and what I actually want vs what I think I want.
Thus the title of this entry; bringing alignment (and my love of champagne).
You see, I’ve pigeon holed myself into a strange position career wise – while I’ve built some amazing things for clients over the course of my career, I still just look like an “agency developer” versus anything more than that which has been disheartening to hear/see.
For years, I’ve built anything and everything for everyone around me, but my notebook of ideas sat on the sidelines – and while I have zero intention of leaving my day job as these guys are like family and I love our clients, it is time to bring out a bit of well… me.
For those of you who don’t actually know me; I’m an oddball to say the least – I have an unhealthy obsession with my cats, I have tattoos all over (with plenty more to come) which all mean something to me, fingernails constantly painted random colors, random rings & bracelets, bright and colorful Crocs, I collect vinyl records, I dig every type of music, I put my family above all else, and I like being me; I like being weird – I like being the oddball out in the sea of normal.
What I don’t care about though is being famous – years ago, success meant a beautiful car, a Rolex on the wrist, giant house, etc, but here’s the thing – none of that means anything when you still look down at that watch and know lunch hour is ticking down or you’re racing back to the office in that fancy car.
I want what I want; which might not match others or the ideas some around me think I should be doing, but I want to build; I have an obsession with taking something from a blank slate into something people use, people profit off of, people are proud of, as it’s just who I am.
I’ve just never taken the risk to do it myself out of fear of failure – what if it costs me too much to do this crazy idea, what if it doesn’t play out, what if no one uses it, what if it’s time wasted?!
The realization is that this doesn’t matter – it’s education, it’s community (that one open source project might inspire someone else to do something so much better), it’s truly the art of pushing myself out of my comfort zone on a day to day basis.
But I want to circle back for a moment; why does this “just an agency developer” concept bother me so much?
As someone who has been coding since being a wee little lad starting with BASIC and then C/C++, my resume and throughput doesn’t quite showcase that; what you don’t see is all the late nights building insane projects like a fantasy stock trading platform (which even Mark Cuban tested), the Roku channels used by thousands, the product helping get kids active in classrooms, the excitement/fear of scaling a website on Shark Tank, etc.
At the same time, I got stuck in my ways – I did become an “agency developer” to an extent where I wasn’t pushing the envelope and using the newest / best technologies available as sometimes… it’s just not what a client needs (or can afford to invest into).
This is why 2022 is so important to me on so many levels, and yes I’m late on the “new year, new me” bandwagon – it’s the first chance I’ve had at stable footing in a long time and a chance to PUSH the envelope.
The reason I’ve failed for so long is simple – the list is large, it’s massive, and if not 100% completed overnight, then I’m a failure in my own mind. I put so much pressure on myself that I was almost guaranteed to fail – but the solution is simple, and it’s been right in front of my face:
If you put every ounce of pressure onto yourself to complete 1,000,000 things a day, yet you end the day only accomplishing X percentage of your goals, it feels like failure – if you truly break those items down into smaller pieces and focus on becoming 1% better every day, in 100 days, you’re already 100% better than you were 3 months ago.
This seems “slow” progress wise, but if you’re building gradually and succeeding, you’ll become faster, more efficient, and always growing & learning – which is the end goal – be a better version of yourself.
We also have to give ourselves credit for successes – as well as for making it through failures. While this notebook’s intent is not to be personal or form of “diary,”, and instead focus on code, for an “intro” post it’s important to be real, be honest, set the tone for who I am – and I’ve been through hell and back over the past few years on a personal level.
Feeling alive, feeling free again, feeling like it’s time to define the next chapter of my life, it’s just an insatiable feeling that I don’t want to stop chasing; eating a frog off my list, having one ounce of weight removed, freeing my mind to focus, allowing myself to “have fun” while still chasing goals and dreams – I am ready.
So if you’re still reading this, please know this isn’t the tone of the future in regards to “woe is me,” instead it’s a playground – it’s about being woke and ready to be in the battlegrounds, starting over, feeling refreshed, and ready to take on the world.
Whether it’s Python, NodeJS, ReactJS, PHP, WordPress, or [insert any other random keyword / trend here related to coding], I’m here for it – I’ve got several projects in the pipeline, tons of tutorials to help people get started and get involved in the community, and I’m ready to start networking.
The goal at first is to keep GitHub active, with projects listed on the site shortly, along with one long form tutorial/article per week on this site – pushing myself, pushing new content, and just growing 1% every day of my life.
So, the paper is clean and empty, the pen is ready, and it’s time to write…