My human changelog

I've decided to track my life like a series of software updates. It's my human changelog.

v2.8.9

Published on 2020-10-09

My key take away for September was: recovery is far from linear.

September was a strong reminder that recovery isn't linear. Far from it, in fact. I mostly abandoned every project idea I had, and have totally trimmed everything down to the essentials. Main job, family/friends and my health. I realized I had too many inputs from outside sources that pushed me in the wrong direction. As soon as I realized that, I decided to take a much needed break from social media. I don't visit Twitter or Instagram any more, and I feel much, much better without them. I've mostly gone back to reading books, which is a much better use of my time. Sure, I'm missing trends. But at the end of the day, what does that really mean I'm missing?

My mental health for the most part has been doing much better—mostly because of my input changes—but there are still downs that sneak up out of nowhere. Other things I feel like I'm not doing enough of, things that I should have or things that I need to have that can cause a panic / anxiety spiral of doom. I'm still learning my triggers, which is a nasty process unfortunately. Nasty, but ultimately necessary. There's some decade long shit I needed to deal with but haven't, and some newly discovered issues I've apparently buried for the sake of productivity. "Productivity" is often my downfall as a human.

I've taken to reading two books that have been game changing in reconnecting with myself: Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday, and the Tao Te Ching (Skylight Illuminations Translation). These two books have been forcing me to ask some powerful questions, some of which bring me to tears. A lot of them long overdue questions. Questions that are often contradictory to themselves—the best kinds of questions to get answers to. Balancing acceptance that the answer may never come, along with the quest to find one, is a fun paradox in and of itself. I'm still trying to practice more acceptance. Especially around my recovery, and the fact that I still have anxiety / panic attacks. It's harder than you'd think to ride those waves as they come without playing in to the feeling of impending doom. But, it's what must be done.

Features

  1. Removal of bad inputs to focus on better ones
  2. Reconnecting with philosophy and the self
  3. Moving towards better understanding my anxiety triggers & how to cope

Bugs

  1. Resistance in accepting certain fates
  2. Being too self critical
  3. Looking for more instead of looking at now (6th inclusion)

Bug Fixes

N/A this time around

v2.8.8

Published on 2020-09-13

My key take away for August was: don't let FOMO dictate your actions.

It feels like the second half of this year is moving at such a rapid pace. It feels like I sit at my desk, start working, and suddenly it's 4pm. Days are beginning to bleed together. It feels like May 2020 in a lot of ways.

I've largely abandoned the video-series idea at this point. It's just not me enough. I don't find much joy in filming myself, or talking to a camera. It's not my artistic medium. I have been diving back into crypto, mostly through NFTs. It might look like purely a hype thing, and that's undoubtedly part of my re-entry, but it's also a shift of mindset creatively. I've always been someone who saw programming as art, but I never put the pieces together that it can be a toolkit for artistic expression, too.

The boom in NFTs, especially in the generative space—with collectives like Art Blocks—has really highlighted this part of programming that I've never really thought about, or felt I could be good at. It's highly mathematical after all, which is a domain I'm far from being good in. I have, however, developed a better understanding of myself, and how I learn. So, I think it's time I give maths another shot. Plus, the work that's out there is so inspiring, and beautiful. The idea that algorithms can create complex compositions that evoke deep emotion is so exciting to think about. Especially when paired with smart contracts, and the idea of tradability. It expands the creative toolkit.

Outside of this, I'm planning on releasing some of my photographs as NFTs. I think it's the best way to understand the community and what it's like to be a creator in this new world. It's a really exciting time to be a creative.

Features

  1. Creative passion
  2. Deeper appreciation for visual arts
  3. 165 day streak of meditating

Bugs

  1. Hesitance to engage in online communities
  2. FOMO / Feeling of not moving fast enough
  3. Looking for more instead of looking at now (5th inclusion; this bug is hard to shake)

Bug Fixes

  1. Being shy about my creative work

v2.8.7

Published on 2020-08-01

My key take away for this month was: sometimes things are what they are; meta-analysis be damned.

July flew by. It feels like I was writing the entry for June last week. I guess it's because I've been busy taking photos almost every day, working on fun stuff with Fluent, and planning some video projects.

Constructing a visual narrative has always been something I've wanted to do, but I'd stop myself since it would require me to be vulnerable and exposed online. You know what they say, YouTube comments are a cesspool. Ever since I was a kid, though, I've wanted to make videos. I would film my family, make weird videos with friends, and just want to capture life.

Now that I'm getting back into photography, I want to capture that process, edit it down, and try to find the story in it. I've put a pause on the religious symbols project, and shifted focus to telling the story of the neighborhood I live in. Mostly through street photos I've taken. But, I want to create a mini-doc of what putting that series together has been like, down to the printing of a Zine.

One of my goals for this year, and the month of August, will be to get that book ready for printing, and have filmed the entire process. Ideally releasing a multi-part mini video series on YouTube by the end of it.

Depending on how much I enjoy the process, I might make it a regular thing. For now, though, I just want to validate that it's something I even enjoy.

Wish me luck.

Features

  1. Confidence returning in my professional abilities (programming, operations, product)
  2. Sense of direction in personal projects without the pressure

Bugs

  1. Being shy about my creative work
  2. Looking for more instead of looking at now

Bug Fixes

  1. Fear of judgment as a deterrent for experimentation
  2. Less ambiguity about my direction

v2.8.6

Published on 2020-07-13

My key take away for this month was: don't shy away from what you love to do.

Over June, I got started at my new role as Founding Engineer @ Fluent, and I couldn't be happier. It feels amazing to work with talented, optimistic people who're trying to change the world of learning. It hits very close to home as someone who mostly avoided traditional educational routes as a kid. The fact that I get to continue honing the craft of software development, which I love, and build something meaningful is an uplifting feeling. I'm excited to wake up and get out of bed again.

I've also gotten back into photography. I had a lull at the end of last year where life felt like it got in the way, but being able to find more balance recently, I can dedicate more time to photography as a hobby. So much so, I've decided I want to put together a cohesive body of work for the first time as a photographer. Outside of a photo 365 I did close to 10 years ago, I've never put spent the time to create a series that has a story.

I don't know how long it'll take to complete, but I don't want to focus on the end. I want this to be a journey, and for it to take me down paths I haven't yet explored. And to do that, I want to explore the religious symbols in/around Quebec. We used to be a culture, like many other places in North America, that was dominated by Christian/Catholic ideologies. And now, it's mostly faded to the background. The idea of going to church, your first communion, etc. have dramatically fallen in terms of adoption, especially within Montreal. Yet, we're still left with these massive spaces that occupy few in a given moment.

Outside of making photos of these buildings or symbols, I want to dig into the story of religion in Quebec. How it shaped our culture, and why it no longer seems to matter as much. I also want to document the entire process of building this body of work, as I think it'll be a great way to augment the narrative of whatever I publish.

Features

  1. Layers of confidence being rebuilt
  2. A stronger comfort with the unknown and uncomfortable

Bugs

  1. Fear of judgment as a deterrent for experimentation
  2. Looking for more instead of looking at now

Bug Fixes

  1. Lack of fulfillment in my daily work
  2. Letting financial outcomes dictate creative exploration

v2.8.5

Published on 2020-06-06

My key take away for this month was: find work that lets you create.

The reflective nature of April led to me leaving Cafune in May. I realized that I was burnt out on coffee as a whole, and it wasn't just the business I had tried to build. I needed to step back. On top of that, the work that I would be doing at Cafune—short and long term—wouldn't fulfill the creation-oriented nature I have. Thankfully, my partner and friend understood where I was coming from, and we parted ways amicably. Starting this week, I'll be going back into a programming role, which I couldn't be more excited about.

Writing out what I felt I needed to have a "successful" and fulfilled life led me to this decision, and I honestly couldn't be happier.

For this next month, I want my focus to be on fostering long-lasting relationships and to try to find joy and laughter in as much of my life as possible.

Features

  1. Have a clear-cut picture of my new criteria for a fulfilled life
  2. More easily letting go of things out of my control

Bugs

  1. Letting financial outcomes dictate creative exploration
  2. Fear of judgment as a deterrent for experimentation
  3. Looking for more instead of looking at now

Bug Fixes

  1. Grasping for control
  2. Tying self-worth to work

v2.8.4

Published on 2020-05-03

My key take away for this month was: fulfillment comes from creation.

I've been doing a lot of reflection on what it takes for me to feel fulfilled. The thing I keep coming back to is that I need to live life, and create, on my own schedule. I'm a maker at heart, always have been. Doing things at the whim of someone else's schedule shackles me mentally, and often has me looking for an escape route. It's not a unique problem, but it feels great to recognize in myself.

This next month, my goal is to establish my new criteria for a "successful" life, and start building momentum towards it.

Features

  1. Built a consistent morning ritual (meditate, vitamins, workout)
  2. Discovered joy in cooking as a hobby to compliment baking on weekends
  3. Relinquishing old desires/goals to build new ones

Bugs

  1. Letting financial outcomes dictate creative exploration
  2. Fear of judgment as a deterrent for experimentation
  3. Looking for more instead of looking at now
  4. Grasping for control
  5. Tying self-worth to work

Bug Fixes

  1. Living in the future, not the present

v2.8.3

Published on 2020-04-04

My key take away for this month was: there is safety in surrender.

I joined Cafune.ca as a partner in March. Getting up to speed has been an interesting shift in mindset/habits. Having worked in pure tech for most of my career, moving to e-commerce has been a huge shift. Lots of new stuff to learn, lots of new stuff to try & optimize. Thinking in margins/revenue tied to physical goods & processes is very, very different from software.

I've noticed it's easy for me to get caught up trying to fix, scale, and change things before I've lived with them long enough to fully understand them. So, I'm doing my best to take things slow, be a sponge, and wait to shift mindsets to growth until after the initial slow period of understanding. It's wild to think how far I've come mentally since January, where everything seemed so bleak and impossible. It feels great to have my mindset shift towards optimism again. I feel myself coming back to an equilibrium.

Features

  1. Building in practices to let go and surrender to life
  2. Baking as a regenerative hobby
  3. Leaving work at work

Bugs

  1. Looking for more instead of looking at now
  2. Living in the future, not the present
  3. Tying self-worth to work
  4. Grasping for control

Bug Fixes

  1. Letting work be the only thing on my mind
  2. Finding regenerative hobbies outside of work skill set

v2.8.2

Published on 2020-02-25

My key take away for this month was: recovering from burnout is a lengthy process.

I spent most of the month dealing with my anxiety and depression. It led me to really self-reflect and analyze what I want to spend my life focusing on. Thankfully, I had just enough savings left to give myself space before diving back into work. Through this process I've laid out an ideal balance I'd like to find, and I think an opportunity with that right balance is available to me starting in March.

Features

  1. Deeper understanding of what I need to feel fulfilled
  2. Better able to identify & quell anxiety before it's a problem

Bugs

  1. Tying self-worth to work
  2. Grasping for control

Bug Fixes

  1. General directionlessness
  2. Worst panic attacks of my life

v2.8.1

Published on 2020-01-31

The main take away from this month was to be kind to yourself.

After 3 1/2 years working on Firstbloom, I finally called it quits. It wasn't an easy decision but I was running myself into the ground. Had I pushed forward and continued, I think I would've ended up hospitalized. This situation has forced me to take a good look at what I need in a personal & professional context to thrive.

Features

  1. Started therapy
  2. Learned my limits/boundaries

Bugs

  1. Worst panic attacks of my life
  2. Anxiety / depression
  3. General directionlessness

Bug Fixes

  1. Removal of problematic situations / entity