I'm trying to juggle writing content for the site with adjusting its formatting. I have to reconcile myself to the fact that I'll be fighting with the layout for months. I went with one of these Gatsby starter themes, but it's not at all what I want, but I figured it would be easier than writing the entire site from scratch. I'm not so sure about that now, but whatever: it's an excuse to work on my frontend skills, which are ... meager.
Today I decided to make some changes, push them to Github, and write this while I let Netlify do its thing. That seems like a solid workflow, if a bit slow.
So, writing: I've been giving a lot of thought to my life lately and what I'm doing with it. I'm getting older every day, and I've spent a long time thinking I was just trying to survive, only to realize I was always doing just fine. I was competing with someone that didn't exist, and now that I realize I'm not in a competition with anyone, that I'm just a man out here in the wilderness living his life, however he chooses to live it, I'm somewhat shocked. There's an excitable void when something begins or ends, and that's how I feel these days.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. I'm still working at my - excellent and well-paying and completely mismatched with my personality - employer, and I'm not planning on leaving right now, especially given the pandemic and overall global instability, but it's clear now that I will have to leave them at some point in the future, and maybe leave technology altogether, at least in a traditional role. I've been very unhappy with my career and my life for a very long time, like I was living another person's life - and quite poorly at at that - and the possibility of doing something different has been filling me with ideas. Ideally, I'd find a way to leverage my existing technical skills in a way that I find more exciting, but I doubt I'd be able to make a go of that, honestly: technology is technology, regardless of industry; on the other hand I don't want to starve (not that I'm living a particularly luxurious lifestyle), so I'll probably split the difference and work in tech as a freelancer or consultant, in a way that's less moored to a particular location, while I travel, write, and explore the arts. (That sounds really selfish when I write it out like that.)
That's one of those big realizations, right: the only things that really give me pleasure are creative endeavors, yet I devote very little time to them, focusing instead on practical job skills or other obligations (that really aren't, when I stop and think about it). It's creating a psycho-spiritual blockage that needs to be dislodged. Maybe it's just a phase to go through before I get back to heavy technology use, maybe it's a total reformat of my life. I don't know yet, but it's clear I have to do it.
So now I'm going through and listening to all the old records I've been meaning to listen to and haven't, learning how to play piano, writing here (and elsewhere), and generally giving myself space to experiment without judging myself too harshly. At some point this year I'd like to take up drawing and painting more seriously, but I doubt I'll have time. Maybe in 2022. On the practical side, I'm still spending an hour a day learning new tech skills and building some full-stack portfolio sites that I can parlay into freelance work on the side. I'm saving up money for a camera, and maybe I'll learn Photoshop, too. I can roll that into the site development, too, so it's a win-win.
I'll post the results here, and if I'm lucky maybe they'll even become good after a few years.