Why I Came Back
Well, I’m back. I spent two weeks in New York, two weeks in Italy and France,
two months in Sweden, two weeks in Boston, and have now arrived back in the
Bay Area, probably to stay for good.
I’ve been through a lot, seen a lot, enjoyed a lot, read a lot, and thought a lot. I have not coded much, or done too much email, or even that much writing. I think I have grown quite a bit.
Of course, none of these plans were what I indicated I was likely to do. Life works like that. I’d like to share with you a bit of what happened, and why, and how things are turning out.
First off, you probably are wondering when I’m going to Tahoe to join the California Conservation Corps. Many of you have even emailed me to ask how my time is going / has gone. Well, I’m not working for the CCC in Tahoe and probably won’t for some time; it’s not that I don’t think that they are a superb organization, but there are a few reasons why I
don’t think that that would be a good step for me right now.
The brunt of the reason why I needed a break is that I was suffocating in technology by the end of my senior year; I had been increasingly involved in high-tech for the prior six years of my life, without any break at all. I was too far ensconced in my own coding pressures to realize that it was a choice. It wasn’t until I got a chance to separate myself from it and open myself up to the possibility of doing anything I really wanted to do that I realized that my true desire is to be involved with technology. That this has been my calling since I started programming at the age of five. But without a proper sense of balance in my life (at the end of senior project, I was quite literally doing 18+ hour workdays for days on end), it was hard to see that and hard to appreciate the true joy that coding and innovation
But my time abroad gave me the time I needed to understand this, and I
began to slowly feel the pull, the desire to program and think, growing
steadily within. I realized that I couldn’t run from technology any more
than I could run from my feet: life without programming and technical
thoughts would be lacking many of the joys that life could bring to me.
But an unhealthy immersion (in anything!) just causes resentment,
frustration, and disappointment – balance and moderation are required in
all things. (Eating nothing but ice cream won’t make you happy.)
I then reconsidered my need for further time off. I couldn’t figure out
how I could do the CCC and be involved with technology at the same time.
Likewise, I was feeling less and less like the CCC was really designed
for me: further investigation showed that the organization is essentially
tailored for high-school dropouts with a strong need for discipline and
something to put on their resume. While I certainly think there would be
an interesting crowd of people there, I’m not sure it’s a group that I’d
find fulfillment in.
So perhaps I’ll do something like the CCC before long, but in the interim,
the itch I’ve got to go back to programming is stronger than ever before.
I’m figuring out what I want to do, where I’m going to live, etc. I was
really incredibly scared at first because the enormity of facing LIFE
with its infinities of possibilities hit me. But now, having come back to
campus to visit Vanessa, I realize that I’m now empowered to do all the
things I dreamed about doing but couldn’t do as a student. The late-night
essays I’d sneak in, the business meetings I’d schedule around sections,
and the side-project coding jobs I’d be working on I now not only don’t
need to hide, but are the things I am supposed to do! How very cool!
So I’m back, I’ll be unfreezing my website, and I’ll be in the Bay Area for the forseeable future! As soon as I get a home, drop on by!