SIGAVDI #41: Officially bored with winter edition

Hello friends,

“So will you stay here? How long? Where else might you go?”

I’ve heard these questions from a lot of friends in the past year. I don’t know the answers.

Back when I was raising a family here, and thought I was going to be continuing in that for the foreseeable future, I also thought that being adjacent to the Smoky Mountains for the next 5-10+ years would be pretty ideal. Now I don’t know.

I love these hills. I love hiking them. Something about the way the land works here settles my soul like nowhere else I’ve been (yet).

But one of the things I’ve realized is that my idea of what were “my activities” was constrained by what I could allow myself to like. Or dream of. Hiking was a “safe” pastime in the context of my former living situation. More social activities weren’t, and so I told myself I wasn’t that sort of person anyway.

This has been an ongoing theme of the past year+ of expansion and reorientation. Coming to terms with how much of what I thought of as “me” was circumstantial rather than innate.

Example: my whole life when I would take those Myers-Briggs tests I’d come out somewhere between INTJ and INFJ. I took one recently and came out ENFP.

My whole life I’ve identified strongly as an introvert. Lately I’ve come to question even this. I wonder if perhaps being raised alone in the woods simply gave me so much social anxiety and so few tools to overcome it, that I adapted to being alone. And told myself I liked it.

I used to think the crash that would follow social “highs” was a sign of my introversion. Now I wonder if it was just repressed extroversion going into a sulk after getting a taste of what it needed.

These days I feel like I’m growing in reverse. From settled old man to rolling stone.

One thing is for sure: there is no longer any talk of where I will “end up”. My life is a generator function. There is no known endpoint. There is only .next().

I spent the past week pairing, plotting and planning with my friends from Cohere. Most of the time was spent recording hours of pair-programming video with Betsy Haibel for their forthcoming Untangling Asynchronous JavaScript course. I know way more about JavaScript, Node, and Express than I knew a week ago.

But we also took time to make some concrete plans for working more closely together on my existing business. As I alluded to in a previous SIGAVDI, I am coming to terms with the fact that I enjoy and am good at only certain parts of my work. Namely the parts that involve learning, communicating, and working with people. I am not so good at the daily operations and upkeep aspect: the metrics-monitoring, optimizing, prompt-email-replying, bug-fixing, regularly-promoting parts. The Coheres and I have been hammering out a novel and mutually-beneficial arrangement which I hope will get those parts of my business on track while freeing me up to do more of the stuff I’m best at.

OK, let’s see how I did.

  • ✔ Record lots of course video with Betsy. Done! In fact we finished primary filming ⭐
  • ✔ Publish a RubyTapas episode, even if it isn’t the planned one. Done! I recorded a short-notice episode on exploring unfamiliar APIs in a REPL.

What’s next:

This week I’m preparing to travel to a nifty invite-only conference for most of next week. I would like to be excited about this except that I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO BEFORE THEN that I don’t have time to be excited ????.

  • Make preparations for a week of travel.
  • Get this week’s RubyTapas out.
  • Make sure next week’s RubyTapas is on track.
  • Tie up loose ends from the Cohere meetings.
  • Finish at least one new RubyTapas script and record VO.
  • Catch up on my email.
  • Catch up on my snail mail.
  • Somehow leave the house to see other human beings during this crazy week.

Wish me luck.

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