Quick Life Update


I apologize for the massively decreased posting here. I’m not leaving. A lot of things are in the way right now. So there’s a few reasons for my seeming silence here…

The first is the fact that the publicize feature is broken. In the past, when I published a post, it automatically got sent out to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and even LinkedIn. Now I have to do all that manually. I don’t have a problem with this for APotW and GGS, but for more in-depth posts I want people to dig into, the extra step of manually putting these out on my social networks is kinda annoying.

The second is that things in my life have taken an… interesting… turn. I work at Teavana, and Starbucks has announced that it will be closing all Teavana’s by Spring 2018. Unless I’m working at Starbucks by that time (they will have to hire me as whatever their equivalent of a team lead is, or as an assistant manager, and at a higher hourly wage than what I’m making now, which is $10), I’ll post my thoughts on all of this, on Teavana, and stuff like that. I’d call it a “tell all”, but it’s just going to be my opinion, others will disagree, and, well…

Teavana is, perhaps, not the most popular place in the tea community, and there are good reasons for that. But there’s a lot of good at Teavana, as well, not the least of which is that it has actually served as a reliable stepping stone for people interested in giving up soda and coffee and the like and want to move beyond the bagged stuff… so it won’t all be bad.

As for the third thing…

I’m 30 years old, and I realize that I’m in limbo. I was extra excited about getting my Bachelor’s in Anthropology, convinced that studying fanaticism was what I wanted to do. Now…

Well…

Now I’m not so sure.

I feel kind of stuck and lost. I’m living with my parents, and that’s not really a situation I want to last much longer. What will change it is getting a higher-paying job, but… what? I really don’t want to do retail anymore, but I can never seem to get a job anywhere else. I know part of that is my resume, which I really could use help with, but I can’t afford to pay for help, either. And don’t ask me what I’m good at or what my skills are… I’m literally the worst possible judge because I genuinely think I’m good at exactly nothing and that I have no skills worth writing about… don’t you just “love” Jerk Brain?

There’s music things, as well… I have written at least an album’s worth of songs, all in Guitar Pro (well, actually, a hell of a lot more, if you count the unfinished stuff and stuff I’m not happy with), but I’ve not recorded any of it. I want to… believe me, I want to. But I need to find back-up musicians who either wouldn’t care about the socio-political views I write into my music or would in fact agree with them (I actually want to call the album “Social Justice Warrior”, if that’s any indication). But even then… I write music good for a 5-piece band: two guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums… and it assumes that the band has more than one or even two singers.

Plus, although I do write some guitar solos I can play, I also write solos I can’t play, and would hope that the other guitarist is better than me. The keyboards, bass, and drums I write assume lead-quality ability for each respective player, as well (my bass lines especially aren’t simple, and my drums are written by my brother who I consider one of the greatest drummers of all time… seriously… yes I know I’m biased, but still… my keyboard stuff is either really simple or you need to be Keith Emerson at his best to play it… depends on the song). Basically… my shit is simple, but it isn’t simple, either.

Plus there’s the thing where I’d be much happier with a band in which I’m the only cis-het white dude, to be honest…

There’s also the factor of money… again… I have almost none. And it can cost a decent amount to record, even at home.

Then there’s just my infuriating lack of motivation to do much of anything. I can’t seem to get out of my own way, and it’s bad enough that even the platitudes and “techniques” and all that stuff that seem to work for others just don’t work for me. Like… I know I have the potential to be an amazing guitarist, but I can’t bring myself to practice or learn the required theory and I fucking hate it. Every time I do sit down to practice something, even a guitar solo I want to learn, in less than five minutes I just get bored and start surfing the web again…

I’m also attempting to learn code via Code Academy, but I’ve been getting so frustrated with my complete inability to retain what I learn from lesson to lesson (to the point of not remembering any of it by the time the test comes around) that I’m starting to fight with myself over whether or not I should just give up.

It’s almost like there’s a part of me that just wants to sit at home behind my computer being a keyboard warrior for the rest of my life while relying on my parents… or something… and I honestly hate that idea.

I want to have a disposable income! I want to live on my own! I want to have a steady, salaried, non-retail job! I want to record my music and put it out in the world! I want to be social! I want to fall in love! I want actually experience an actual life!

Right?

I mean… I think I want all that…? Maybe?

I get so comfortable in whatever current situation I’m in that the thought of changing it quite literally paralyzes me with fear. And so I procrastinate. And don’t even get me thinking about the idea of moving… I hate that.

I’m still trying to figure out what my future is and I’m 30. And yeah… I know… I’m technically still young. But it doesn’t feel that way anymore. I feel like “too late” is coming up really fast and I don’t know what to do with it.

At the moment, moving back down to Georgia where my brother is looks promising. I’d hate to be a drain on him, though, so I don’t know if I’d want to be roommates because he should have his own life that doesn’t involve me at least sometimes. Although that’s entirely up to him. Plus I do love my solitude… not having to worry if somebody else is home is really nice, because when I do have roommates (or, lately, parents) around, I’m so worried about whether or not anything I’m doing is a problem for them that I can make myself sick with the stress. Plus… what are my job prospects in the Atlanta, GA area, anyways? I’ve also thought about moving to Colorado or Washington State, and I’d probably end up in the exact retail job you’d expect someone like me (who enjoys a certain plant currently legal in only some states) to get out there. And then I’d probably stagnate again…

I still want to eventually get a Masters and PhD. I think I still want to go forward with the studying fanaticism thing, because it does fascinate me, but then… I’m just not sure.

Oh and I love to cook! I have dreams of having a house with a modern, bluetooth-connected, chef-style kitchen where I can make nearly everything I eat from scratch, up to and including flour, condiments, chocolate (yes, I’ve researched how to make chocolate at home from whole cocoa beans), growing my own spices and herbs, and all that jazz. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of The Food Lab at Serious Eats is my fooding muse, and I even bought his massive book “The Food Lab” when I did have a tiny disposable income… and I love it… but I don’t make enough money for those dreams right now. And the thought of working in a restaurant kitchen terrifies me because I know for a fact the stress would kill me…

And… wow…

So this update got real and long and personal right quick… sorry about that, but it’s honestly my head-space at the moment. Stagnation, lack of motivation, unsure of myself, worried about my future…

This is not a resignation from FTB letter or anything… despite my relative silence, here, I do enjoy blogging, because I often have thoughts and rants and ideas and stuff that I really just want to get out there in the void so it’s out of my head and I don’t end up talking to no one in my bedroom about it all. So that’s not what this is…

Just an update is all… I’m in limbo, trying to figure out what, exactly, is next for me.

Oh… and I guess this is as good a time as any to note that I set up a Patreon a while back. I’m not properly advertising it yet (obviously, since I have zero backers right now), but there’s the link anyways… I’ll properly advertise it in the future when the publicize feature is working again and I have more solidified preliminary goals in mind besides “paying my bills”… and I have more consistent and high-quality posts…

Oh yeah! High-quality posts!

So a long time ago I promised a post about the US Police Force and White Supremacy. More recently, I promised a blog post about ableism and ableist slurs. Both are still in the works. However, they have both turned into heavily researched essays with citations and such, and I’m not really big on writing such things because I can’t just type them out stream-of-conscious. They involve planning and mapping and research and quoting and verifying sources and developing a thesis and the like… and that kind of stuff causes me to procrastinate because I’d rather… I don’t know… check my email and browse Facebook groups and rant about pointless shit like how so many people don’t understand how to properly brew tea and laugh at people pissed off that the next Doctor is Jodie Whittaker, instead of yet another dude…

But I am working on those posts and I promise they will be posted. The ableism post will probably end up being posted first, in part because it will go up simultaneously with a commenting policy (finally!). The police post will go up later. When exactly I’ll post them is… still sort of flexible. I really don’t do well with deadlines, because despite the procrastination, deadlines actively make it worse. That said, I actually have given myself a deadline for the ableism post… I’m just not going to say when it is publicly, because I need to be accountable to myself, and I almost guarantee that if I post my deadline date publicly, I’ll miss it. Giving others deadline expectations causes me far too much stress, thus procrastination, thus… missing the deadline. So I’m trying to hold myself accountable to me, and hoping that it works.

If I miss my private deadline, then I’ll actually publicly post a deadline for everyone else to hold me accountable to.

So anyways… that’s it for now. Sorry for how this turned out, and I will continue posting while I figure out what my future holds…

Comments

  1. says

    I’m also attempting to learn code via Code Academy, but I’ve been getting so frustrated with my complete inability to retain what I learn from lesson to lesson (to the point of not remembering any of it by the time the test comes around) that I’m starting to fight with myself over whether or not I should just give up.

    How long did it take you to learn to write English, and to do it well and fluently? It’s a comparable level of effort. I’m not up on how they teach programming nowadays, but: it’s hard. On the other hand, so’s playing a guitar. That’s also a language; they’re both problems in bringing something into existence that is nowhere but in your head; the easy part is finding the vocabulary and stringing it all together.

  2. Claire Simpson says

    I’ll add to Marcus’s comment and say (as a coder who has forgotten more languages than most people ever learn) that the only way to actually learn to code is to code. If you’re doing the lessons and not coding in between the lessons with small challenges, then I’m not surprised you’re having trouble retaining what you’re learning.

    I’d also ask you what language you’re trying to learn. Some have steeper learning curves than others, and if you’re new to it, there are concepts you’re having to learn at the same time, that are true (ish) across multiple languages. But some languages make grasping those concepts easier than others.

    I feel your frustration in this post and I see it frequently in students and postdocs. I’ve played with CodeAcademy (checking it out as a teaching tool) and although I thought the idea was worthy, I’m not sure it works as well as a didactic class or even a well-written book. Let me know what language you’re learning and I can maybe make some recommendations.

  3. says

    @Claire Simpson

    Sorry for the late response.

    I decided to start with basic HTML, because I I kind of know what it looks like since I’m a bit familiar with the basic HTML text formatting stuff. I’m starting to think that was a bad choice…

  4. tbrandt says

    In case you want to exercise your math/programming brain and see if you want to get more education in that (which is extremely marketable), I heartily recommend Project Euler:
    https://projecteuler.net/
    It’s a bit advanced, and I don’t know your math background, but it may be worth a peek. And it’s something that you could post about on the blog, problem-by-problem (one a week, say). I’m an astronomer by trade and most of us are using python now, which is reasonably user-friendly and easy to learn, and is a good language choice for Project Euler. Python coding ability also happens to be pretty marketable at the moment. Even if you struggle with the problems, trying to work through them and then reading people’s solutions in the comments might be fun and interesting. Hopefully it won’t be to overwhelming and you’ll enjoy the experience.

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