Yes to all

radio room

They say one of the best things you can do is say yes to all kinds of plans. I’ve been doing that for the past month recently and my results say… yes you should. For the most part. But definitely not all the time.

To give some context, I spent the past week and change visiting family and doing the things that comes with visiting family. In that time frame, I had two interviews, a Python code jam to work on (with a video I made for the team’s presentation), and my personal projects.

It was absolutely one of the most productive and fun weeks I’ve had in a good while. That being said, it came at the cost of saying no to a few things in the process because I was just so incredibly busy, whether with code or with enjoying family time. That’s when began to I understand the limits of saying yes to everything, and these limits are not necessarily bad.

The way I see it, you’re going to be saying no to plans regardless of the approach you take. If you’re someone who typically says no to new things, you are denying yourself life experience. If you say yes to everything till you’re full, then saying no to things feels bad, but it’s because you’ve been saying yes to everything else. And that’s good.

That all being said, it’s easy to take the approach of saying yes to everything and then realizing it isn’t physically possible to follow up on all the things because of poor planning. Yeah, try not to be That Guy. I was pretty good at not being That Guy but sometimes certain things slipped through, whether through poor planning or other reasons. That’s part of the learning process though. How much can you handle at once? It’s hard to say ’till you try.

One thing that’s hugely important too, is to occasionally take a break from saying yes to everything. Reflect on it. What yeses did you enjoy? Which ones weren’t worth it? That’s where I am now, and that’s also why I have the time now to write this post.

So in return for a late (by my standards) post, you get some wisdom in addition to the reason for the lateness! We call that a win I think.

That’s about it anyhow. Thanks for reading!

Tired, but free

Alrighty, so it’s been quite some time since my last post. For what it’s worth, it’s not entirely because I was lazy. There’s slightly more to it. Some good, some bad.

It’s frighteningly easy to go on autopilot sometimes and to think that life is one big routine that never changes. To some degree, it’s definitely true. But, once in a while, you’ll smack right into a brick wall to shift the balance. We tend to forget how tenuous the conditions of maintaining our equilibrium are, then when things are shaken up, we can get shaken up too. We begin to question reality and quickly recall that the universe is actually uncaring.

It’s easy to see that as a bad thing. And a lot of times it is.

In my case, let’s just say I have a lot more freedom now at the cost of stability. Thankfully, knowing the universe, I prepared for a time like this. I’ve been focusing a great amount of energy to figuring myself out and understanding the potential that I have. Guess what? It turns out I learned stuff about myself and the rich possibilities life has to offer.

Programming is still pretty neat

Firstly, I still like software and writing stuff for it. I like the process that goes into the problem solving for it. I like having a sick playlist in the background as I’m slamming out some code to bring an idea of mine to life. Yes, it’s hard some days. But everything worth being paid for is hard some days.

Being lost is fine and in fact encouraged

That’s basically it. I think being lost is the next step to being slightly less lost. From there it’s slowly chipping away at the ground you want to explore next, while mapping the ground you’ve covered.

Results-oriented retrospection is a slippery slope

With any decision you make, there’s almost definitely a better one. Probably. But nobody’s psychic and can come up with that optimal path. What matters is PICKING ONE. Seriously. You’d need all of the world’s information as well as the ability to process it in order to make the most optimal decision. Yes, maybe you’ll regret the decision, but it’s better than doing nothing.

In my case, I started learning the Django library in Python. At the time of writing, it is an absolute work in progress. I didn’t think too much about it when deciding to learn it. I just saw Django a decent amount in job descriptions and I kinda like Python. Plus, I’ve messed around with Flask in the past. Is the choice to learn Django the most optimal? No. Is it a waste of time? Absolutely not. In any case of doing software engineering, there’s something to learn from. What matters is I just pick something and roll with it because otherwise I’ll just sit and overthink things instead.

Maybe I won’t like Django. Maybe I will. Who knows? If I don’t, I definitely learned stuff. If I do, then I win. I’ve done enough overthinking.

It’s not about not failing, but rather increasing chances of success

I previously took the approach of getting by. It’s not sustainable. Yes, you can do it while technically growing, but there’s a lot of potential learning left on the table when you don’t try things that you know you’ll fail at the first time.

Some things, you basically just have to constantly fail over and over. As your failure counter rises up, throw the stupid failure counter in the garbage because who cares? If you learned from previous failures and applied them to future attempts, then you can sleep just fine.

Sometimes, you can do everything perfectly and still not succeed. Refer back to when I mentioned the universe and its relationship with people. All you can do is say, well, I am trying to just increase my chances of success with each new iteration. Sometimes the odds are stacked against you or literally at 0 and you’d just never know.

/ramble

That’s about it honestly. I will be making attempts to post on here weekly to have as part of my routine. I have had a lot of opportunity in the past month to grow as a person and reflect on what I like and what I do. Maybe this can help someone else do the same.

Stay safe; make good choices!

Pixel art, its community, and my findings

I never was a huge creative. I made my attempts but it was easy to go back to old habits. Within the past few months I’ve been doing pixel art and it was kind of an accident. I started out with trying to make a game with Rust and Bevy (see Games and Experiments, namely the Avoider Game) and then realized that in addition to programming, pixel art is actually pretty neat.

After just trying to get some basics down for the sake of making something that looked functionable, I started to jump down the rabbit holes and eventually I could only think…

huh.

Now I’ve got a gallery and I can’t stop! This revelation made me realize that I had deprived myself of a creative outlet for quite some time. While I have tried creative endeavors in the past and didn’t care for them as much, I didn’t give myself the opportunity to continue looking. Thankfully, I’ve found a method of expression that wasn’t just typing at people or sending sick Rocket League clips.

Another surprise I’ve run into is that the community is pretty supportive. I’ve done some posting on twitter myself and it’s nice to see people sharing and liking each other’s work. Plus, hang around there long enough and you start to see the same people after a while; it feels like a wholesome little neighborhood of sorts.

I’ve also joined a pixel art discord that has a variety of channels, including one where you can post your work for feedback. In my time spent there, people have been surprisingly helpful as well.

Initially, my subconscious perception of the art community as an outsider seemed like it was a difficult-to-penetrate sphere where only the highly skilled dwell. That could not be further from the truth. People in the community understand the amount of work that goes into something that actually looks good and all the difficulties that you inevitably find along the way. Plus, looking at the work of others helps to inspire yourself. A little bit of support goes a long way when you want your favorite artists will keep making more stuff.

Overall, it’s just nice to be heard. If I make something, really enjoy how it came out, and others feel the same, it’s really validating. Sometimes I’ll make things that I’m not exactly excited about and some people people may still enjoy it nonetheless. Much like in the “real world,” people can still like what you do in spite of, or because of, your blemishes. I’m learning how much better it is to put your ego to the side and just create, instead of being afraid and doing nothing. As long as the process and the rewards after are worth it, That’s what matters. If you share your experiences or creations, there will be like-minded people out there that would like to see what you’re doing, or at the very least, help make it better.

‘Till next time. Make good choices.

Low times

It’s been a bit of a tough period since my last post. I had been dealing with some work stuff and thankfully that’s over, but it’s been really difficult to create on my free time.

I started on a small Rust program recently to learn a bit more about how Cargo works. In addition, the tool was supposed to help me with some of my other hobbies. After some days of spending time on it, I noticed that it was increasingly harder to press my fingers on the keyboard and make the code do stuff. I did learn more about Cargo, but I just couldn’t be bothered. I think it’s temporary, but we’ll see. I’m thinking of greatly down-scaling the project to make things easier. I may have also recently ran out of coffee but surely that can’t be related.

Pixel art has been more of a consistent interest for me at least. Even though I am still having a hard time producing stuff there too, it’s at least because it’s novel and I don’t have it figured out yet, and not because I’m just like ugh. It’s hard to explain, but it may be because I regularly code at my normal day job. It’s much more difficult to work on code stuff on my free time when I’m also spending 5 days a week programming at my job.

I don’t really have much of a point to the post. I think sometimes it’s good to reflect on accomplishments when you’re down. I’ve done a lot of stuff the past couple months! That’s neat. We take those. It’s easy to beat yourself up when you want to push yourself at low times, but honestly it’s not worth it. People who do that to themselves end up pushing themselves away from their interests.

I think what helps too is that I don’t plan to make money with what I do or make on my free time. There doesn’t need to be good enough writing, good enough art, good enough whatever. I finish and submit whatever I think is presentable. The void I’m filling with all this stuff I am doing is a creative one. I’ve kinda deprived myself of a creative outlet for long enough, so the fact that I have many of them now is worth its own celebration.

For anyone reading, thanks and stay cool ?