I’m thrilled to begin this blog — thanks so much for finding me here! As the months get colder, and we’re inside even more, it feels like the perfect time to get started.
The seed of this blog is my almost 5 year old daily journaling routine. Starting in February 2016, I’ve been writing a page every morning (or occasionally, later in the day). Sometimes I miss a day, but in general I’m surprised how consistent I’ve been at this.
This 5 year period has seen big changes in my life: getting married, solidifying my career, family life shifting, meeting many new people, the onset of wicked food allergies that have shaped my lifestyle, and a lot of travel. It has been at times very stressful, very exciting, all around chaotic like an earthquake that has reshaped things for me significantly — I’m still looking around and figuring out how things have settled. And I have so much of this change documented, day-by-day, in 9 (going on 10) notebooks.
At one point, I re-read some of the journals from the beginning. It was a bit cringey at times, reading what I wrote sometimes very sleepily with no filter (which often comes across as whining, detailing my morning multitasking, or writing out the things I plan to do that day). Evidence of personal growth in these pages is tangible, even if messy when zoomed in too closely. Throughout the pages, I see strength during difficult or confusing times as well as joy and appreciation of wonderful moments. I see the evolution of new confidence and ideas, some of which have already manifested into projects or experiences. Other positive notes are gentler, like — in a page written the morning after a family member passed away — my writing about my appreciation that my now-husband Phil was putting coconut in the oatmeal at breakfast.
At this point, things are a lot more stable and I continue to look around and reflect. I’m psyched where I’ve landed, having carved out a unique life that is meaningful and completely my own. That being said, nothing is (and I doubt it will ever be) as solid as I imagined it would be at age 30: confidence and creativity levels ebb and flow, there are times when I feel perpetually behind, stuck, or that what I am doing feels irrelevant. My hope is that I can, over time, learn to more masterfully surf the ups and downs of a creative life. I’m sure writing this blog will serve as an introspective space on this journey.
What will this blog be about?
I’m open to where it might go naturally, though for the time being I’ve identified three threads to weave together:
- The intersection of personal and professional. This is a recurring format in my journaling, and feels like something I could write about for a while. Multiple sub-threads will weave together:
- How things I come across in my daily life influence my work
- Humanizing my career in software development — talking about my projects and technical concepts in a way that anyone can understand
- Demonstrating diversity in programmers and types of software projects, with a focus on art, design, and my non-traditional career pathway
- How I optimize my life to do the best work possible
- Delightful, inspiring elements in my life. I will showcase the interplay of delight, rigor, creativity, and kindness by sharing things that make me happy.
- Mentorship. I have a longstanding interest and participation in mentorship (particularly, in the realm of tech focusing on underrepresented groups). This blog will integrate mentorship within personal stories and projects shown. In this blog, I will be transparent about my struggles and how I overcame them, as well as areas I’m working on where I may feel stuck or vulnerable.
And with that, I’ll close with the first sentence of one of my favorite books:
Embarking on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands.“When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron, p1
I return to this often, especially when starting a new project. I find the ripest mindset for beginning creative work to be this bare bones, solitary experience of exploring with nothing in view yet and the openness and fearlessness to encounter what is to come. I find myself more in-tune with myself and my current surroundings, situation, and environment (which results in more meaningful, detailed work) rather than obsessing over the end product or comparing myself to others and their work.
Even in the days leading up to finishing this introduction post, I admit found myself caught in a spiral of “not good enough” and “why bother?” and needed to refocus (the quote above helped). The process of doing was a reminder not to forge ahead too quickly and to start from a grounded, inwardly focused state. Now, I’m ready to begin.