Riding the waves of motivation and despair

I’ve always been interested in programming since i was a teenager and used to hack on visual basic with my friend Fredo. We used to setup our beige desktops in his room for the entire summer and write little trojan servers and send them to our friends in school disguised as images or other innocent files and then have access to their entire computer. We never did anything malicious, we mostly would mess with them by opening and closing the CD tray, flipping the screen upside down or changing the direction of the mouse. We never actually peeped through the personal files but never the less, everyone at school knew never to accept anything either Fredo or I would send them. Remember something called SubSeven?, pepperidge farms remembers

coding has always been part of my life one way or another, albeit not a major part for the longest time. I had other interests. Music, photography, sports. I wasn’t your typical computer nerd that only cared about computers, and perhaps this is why i have a hard time today with programming, because i wasn’t embedded enough into it from a very young age. i can get by hacking shit together but anything more elaborate than that, is beyond me.

Thank the deities for the internet, am I right? i owe my entire career to the internet and free knowledge sharing. What a wonderful miracle of humanity! The internet is truly a beautiful thing even though there are a lot of rotting spaces in it right now due to external factors cough late stage capitalism /cough

lately, as I’ve previously shared before on this blog, I’ve been fascinated by programming, but not your typical modern day programming paradigms, I’ve been very much attracted to the history, the heritage of programming. a thirst to understand the context in which all of what we know now has been born. I never liked not knowing the fundamentals of something that interests me, regardless of whether it would be practical to learn it or not. I don’t like to memorize things, i like to fundamentally understand it so it because just a natural thought process. This is likely what drives my insatiable thirst for knowledge in any field that remotely interests me. But sadly i’m no longer the young and carefree teenager i once was, having all the time in the world, no responsibilities and all the energy to deep dive into things and follow through. Between work, home life, the bills to pay, the chores to keep on top of, passion projects have very little time dedicated to them, and whatever time i have to allocate mostly gets spent just in rest from the mental strain of this daily life. it’s not pretty. Don’t grow up kids! they lied!

A side effect of this lack of time, and quite possible some undiagnosed mental conditions (a la ADHD with a dash of OCD), whenever i have some time off, some energy to spend, and the motivation to invest into a learning or doing something, my brain gets flooded with ideas and goals and desires. You would think this is a good thing, but what ends up happening is i get spread waaaaaaay too thin, i focus on too many things at the same time, i keep jumping from one thing to another, chasing the task that has the perfect mix of satisfaction/fulfillment and minimal time to accomplish.

Let me tell you, this is a recipe for burnout. i’ve been there a few times. Time management has never been my strong suite, i always went at the whims of my brain, and for the most part that served me well, but i’m coming to the realization that I am no longer able to function like that. Things keep getting worse, my attention span and focus keeps shifting with the smallest friction point, chasing a better path to get that sweet sweet dopamine rush that finishing a goal can give you, except no goals ever get accomplished, and you end up stranded there with a million open projects and nothing to show for all the time and mental effort that you spent.

learning 10 things at once will expend MORE energy than learning 1 thing but without any of the rewards and yet my stupid brain just keeps wanting to learn new things.

My Brain rides on waves of motivation and subsequent burnouts and despair.

I’m still on the lookout for the 1 project that will give me that satisfaction i’ve been craving for so many years now, perhaps some admiration from colleagues, or at least will reduce my incredible impostor syndrome that I suffer from every day.