Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Sunday, June 29, 2003

  A Year of blogging

A year of blogging



A year ago I wrote my first blog entry. I was neurotic, single, depressed, overweight, stressed, tired, out of shape, confused about my role in the world, working too hard, and burning out. I didn't understand why I was doing what I was doing anymore.

I was rigidly following a program I'd laid down for myself in early 1993.

I'd achieved every goal - save two - I'd set out for myself.

I wanted to have a stable relationship and a family back then. I've since learned how hard that is. I am amazed, and delighted, by successful parents, and their children tire me out. I view the world through a child's eyes - it's easy for me to relate to children. Still,
after all this time, I'm still unprepared for my own kids, and I'm unprepared to get along alone in the world.

6 months ago everything came to a head. I have spent this time clawing my way out of my own navel, dealing with issues that I should have put to rest 10 or even 20 years ago. And...

Today I'm glowing with physical health, happy with my gf - Still neurotic, stressed, confused about my role in the world, and newly unemployed.

That's a big improvement! I've learned that



A couple weeks ago, when the surf was up, and I thought I was going back to work, and that the insurance would kick in - I'd achieved some balance. I thought I was going to go back to my old ways, much wiser for the benefit of this experience.

I am even wiser - and much more cynical - for the experience. Everything external to me has gone to hell. The world is howling to tear my doors down, and while I'm now fighting back as best I can - the tune from "Life of Brian" runs through my head:

"You came from nothing - you've gone back to nothing - what have you lost? Nothing!"

All my efforts of the last decade - my stock, house, car, assets - all may vanish now that I've spent so long fixing myself. But I know that I'd rather be healthy inside than be as sick as I was a year ago. I'd rather have friends than assets. I'd rather have inner peace than money. I'd rather have someone to hold at night than all the stock options in the world.

I stand before a critical juncture. A very large part of me, wants to just let go, get rid of everything I've accumulated - everything - hop in an RV and go looking for the America that I've read about, and never seen.

The other part of me wants to hold on - hold on to my house - hold on to california - hold on to everything I've fought so hard to gain.

As I've said elsewhere this blog is the story of my encounter with 40 at an early age. While I know the inside of my mind a bit better now, these two parts are in a titanic struggle as I write, today. I feel the need to commit to something, to some goal, rather than be pushed into a corner by overwhelming circumstances.

My life is half over. And the world is rife with new possibilities. I'd like to take all of them. I'd like to stride, to step confidently out on the road I choose, but what road?

My only other goal - left over from 1993 - was to write two books. One, about an asteroid named Toutatis, and the second about creating portable, reliable software. Software reliable enough to get humanity to the stars.

Either I need to come up with new goals and a new path - and invent my own job - I've done that twice before. I can restart PicketWyre Labs, which I closed in 2000, and go off in search of consulting work that fits with what I can do and how I work. Somewhere in the world today exists an opportunity for a Class A Unix/linux programmer/writer/trainer/presenter/speaker/manager/geek... Or I can start something new.

Or I can return to the asteroid belt in my mind, and dreams.

Or, perhaps, there remains another option yet unexplored. I'm going to spend some time unplugged soon, and think about that.

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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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