Stale thoughts on ups and downs

Shit. I mean shoot. It’s February. Hi. Having (re-)started this blog, literally hours before my first day at my new job, and having not yet returned to Earth from the 4 weeks of vacation in Japan I got to indulge in, it doesn’t surprise me that I somewhat miscalculated how much energy I’d be able to bring to bare vis-a-vis blogging. I even, adorably, imagined I would come right back and finish the styling and stuff for this site. You know, stuff like an about page so you might even know who the hell I am. From where I stand now, the prospect of making meaningful and (critically) positive changes to this site’s css feels like standing at the foot of a sheer cliff. And the perfect thing to get 1/8th of the way in to as a way of deferring this writing.

So anyway, what’s this blog all about? I can’t just blog indefinitely about how it feels to have a blog. Or can I?

As much as I miss posting weak jokes on twitter, I can’t bring myself to do that here. I don’t think I can use this venue to talk about the joy of seeing Will Arnett talk about Canadian slang. Maybe I’ll create a sidebar on here where I run my own private one-person twitter? Like the original “tumblog”. Seems like a bad idea.

This blog is not about working at Shopify. Per se. I’m sworn to secrecy.

This blog also isn’t about my personal life. I see no way to write about my personal life that wouldn’t either be boring, humiliating, poisonously self-deprecating or all of the above.

I’m pretty sure this blog isn’t about technology, or people management, or self-help, or anything else. I do not want to write think pieces or click-bait. I don’t think I’m good enough to be able to sail those seas, but also those seas are bad.

What’s left?

Well, I’m going to try self-help. Not like the above, as in, here’s advice for you, the reader. This is help for me. Myself-help.

I had a sort of rocky January. I felt frustrated about my job. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, but I also didn’t know if I cared enough to climb the damn hill and do the actual learning. It felt like (and still sort of feels like) some combination of a) I’m just going to fail, and b) I bet at the top of this hill is another hill.

I’m resisting the urge to inject half-baked elements of mindfulness or pop-Buddhism in here. Not because I don’t think those things are useful, but because I don’t think I have anything interesting to say to myself about them.

Well, except to say: you’re the sky, not the weather. Sometimes stuff feels achievable and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes stuff feels worthwhile and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes your heart is ready to hear Will Arnett say “hoser”, and it lifts you up!

I don’t know if being a manager in a software company is fulfilling for me. It depends when you ask. But also, I think I might find myself on the top of a hill one day and realize I can saunter across some plank and find myself on some other grind altogether. Who knows!

Whatever happens next, I wanted to make a note for myself and whoever’s watching: January 2020 felt pretty hard. The idea of having enthusiasm for my derpy life and my wonky job seemed pretty theoretical, like high dimensional space. And just a couple days ago, I had some conversations and suddenly the energy’s back, positivity exists. I’m even blogging!

I don’t know if this will be useful, to me, let alone anyone else, but I feel like this is one of those things where you keep getting a chance to learn the damn lesson. Which is: don’t forget you can be happy when you’re sad, and don’t forget you can be sad when you’re happy.

[TODO: Add beautiful contemplative emoji]