goldkin: ~ >^k (goldkin mysterious)
2015-10-03 04:42 pm
Entry tags:

Of MOBAs and materialism

While streaming art for friends today, I spent a good deal discussing why, after leaving DOTA2 for a long hiatus, I have no interest in returning. I've heard this sentiment echoed by several people close to me -- including relatives (!) -- so I figured I'd write a small thinkpiece about it on my most personal blog.

DOTA, along with its companion in crime League of Legends, is tremendously popular. Its gameplay is immediately familiar to anyone that has ever played an RTS, since they evolved from earlier examples such as Starcraft or Warcraft 3.

The problem with these MOBAs, compared even to their RTS forebears, is their communities are toxic. Extremely toxic. In some cases, nightmarish to the point where even a single 45-minute game becomes a highly stressful ordeal. Part of this reason is the availability of global chat within a game, which creates an incentive for players to be as evil to the opposing team in chat as possible. But let's not get too far off-topic here.

For this reputation alone, I initially steered very clear of these games. Not because they were challenging or failed to be interesting to watch, but because I would rather do without the tension of dealing with assholes in every consecutive match.

However, out of curiosity and the likelihood of a better experience, I was drawn in when my roommates started playing DOTA2. I was even rather decent at the game (by the standards of newer players), even though I never quite got some of the rhythms down for last hitting.

But, I noticed that for nearly every match I played, and regardless of whether we won, the game was emotionally exhausting.

Initially, I attributed this to not being especially good at the game. After all, many friends in social circles that played the game were quick to remind me that "it gets better". So I got curious and started watching pro games and popular Twitch streamers, observing how they played and what they said to one another. And while I found some improvements in quality (they were more respectful to the pause feature of the game, for example), matches were routinely filled with trash talk by all participants.

Now, this may be an experience some people enjoy: being emotionally bombarded in a zero-sum environment in which success relies on precise play by multiple allied parties. But while trying to emulate the behavior of better players, I found myself being repeatedly yelled at, including by people close to me. And even (and especially) in games in which I won, I found the process to be emotional junk food: leaving me craving more, yet consistently failing to satisfy the hunger of a better experience.

I find this qualia -- emotional junk food -- to be a very good parable to another problem I've been dealing with lately: materialism. While not materialistic myself -- I get along just fine on very little, as repeated uses of my small bug-out bag have proven -- I am finding it increasingly difficult to deal with people whose materialism is a considerable part of their personality.

This is because materialism always leaves you craving more. There is no solace or peace in one's intrinsic value or skills if it cannot be productized, and anything that falls out of that rubric is immediately called into question. By the valuation of observable wealth, this is seen as rational. Yet the materialists I have come to know, both at a distance via social media and in rare cases personally, have proven to be some of the most anxiety-ridden individuals I have ever known when not discussing a new toy.

My purpose in this discussion, then, isn't a scathing rant against DOTA or materialism. Rather, it's to point out the subtle danger of conditioning in situations that have a very small upside.

My reasons for not enjoying DOTA are the same reasons I am not a materialistic dragon: both habits have a woefully small return on my personal investment. Buying new toys and then forgetting about them is not dissimilar to the short dopamine-infused high of finally having a pleasant match of DOTA. And both experiences are geared towards holding a reward just barely out of reach, goading you to continue onward in an increasingly desperate frenzy for relief.

But the desperate habitual behavior to obtain these highs just isn't worth the cost of being made sad, angry, or emotionally listless on a regular basis. This is especially true when I can obtain happiness and a sense of accomplishment elsewhere: by the joy of creating, by the eustress of sharing my work on a nightly basis, and from the intrigue of learning new skills on a regular basis instead of seeking cheap thrills. And unlike a situation that promises value and never delivers, these deliver constantly, and make me feel good about having them in my life.

Much of our adult society seems geared towards producing cheap thrills as a means of building dependency. This is something that I have done very well to avoid over the years, and despite some missteps in recent years, I will be returning to a better pattern once I obtain my new home.

I suppose this all means that I try to make conditioning work best for me. And as I re-evaluate several decisions I have made over the past years and very pointedly separate myself from the emotionally manipulative people in my life (in multiple contexts, please don't stir drama by trying to guess who), I'm taking this opportunity to build better habits and reduce my dependency on this emotional junk food.

Edit: Due to an editing mishap, I'd lumped Heroes of the Storm in with games that support global chat and have toxic communities. From what I can tell, this is not the case with HotS, precisely because allchat is disabled and other substantive design improvements on the genre. As such, I've taken it out of the article's consideration of MOBAs with these characteristics.
goldkin: sketch avatar (sketch avatar)
2015-08-30 06:17 am
Entry tags:

More on what's been going on lately

I've learned to handle most of life's bumps and scrapes pretty effectively, so prior to Monday, I hadn't needed this space to vent for some time. I try pretty hard to not make habits of negativity and need for sympathy, because I have a pretty good life and much prefer using it to make things that people enjoy. Over the past couple years, the artistic hobbies of mine that you've seen on my other blogs have been really effective for me, and I'm going to keep doing those.

But, by gods, I've had a really awful week, and I need to get it out of my head. So please pardon while I use this space to do so again, and please only keep reading if you want to know the morbid details.

Last Sunday, I was shaken to my core when a friend of a friend tried to intervene in my home situation. They tried to broker a truce after some tension broke out over the weekend, and did so in a way that did not get the results they wanted. Specifically, they put themselves in the position of telling me that I'd not be able to continue my housing situation past the end of the year, and did so in a way that injected them into a complex situation that I don't believe they were prepared to handle. This conversation ended with me barely holding back tears -- after all, I care for the people I'm with very much and have been here for five years -- and I lost basically the entire remainder of the weekend to feeling unwell.

On Monday, my manager of four years announced his departure. This was, as you might expect, awkward for me -- I had just successfully wrapped up a major project and was hoping it would reflect well on my performance for the year. I can't talk about any of the details of it, but I can say that I'm very proud of how well this went... and having that success lost in the noise of transition-to-new-manager was a blow on my already low morale.

Compounding this, I communicated myself legendarily poorly to my friend-of-a-friend, upsetting them enough that it scared me very deeply. And so, on Monday evening, I checked into a hotel across the street from my home, and spent a great deal of time trying to emotionally care for myself and convince myself that everything would be okay.

Around this time, I picked up a Talkspace subscription for myself. While I have a therapist that I see once a month, I desperately needed out-of-band care at this point to keep myself emotionally together. This service deserves a very high rating -- the therapist I've been paired with has done a phenomenal job of helping me work through this. And at the time, being able to get immediate care on the "he said she said"*, allowed me to insulate everyone in the situation for long enough to allow things to cool off.

For the remainder of that work week, I spent my time at my ex's home, working out of their bedroom.** My work is portable such that I was able to do this on a moment's notice, with a few awkward rough edges that I hadn't immediately considered (ie, having to use my phone to load a specific VPN, because Chromebooks are lacking in that department). For meetings, I worked out of a conference room at our local business center, which also happened to be useful because of fire alarm testing in our apartment complex that week.

Over the course of the week, I tried to make peace with my roommates over IM. Some very good progress happened on Wednesday, in which we determined that we had mostly been talking past one another, due to a difference in cultural expectations and strategies of phrasing and de-escalating an argument. For those who read here, I generally construct emotionally persuasive arguments that are redundant in nature, which tends to cross wires when I should be operating in a more technical mode. I typically freely toggle between these, but when I'm stressed and can't remove myself from a situation, I tend to operate in the emotional mode -- which had been causing communication to break down and become worse without my being aware of it.

On Friday, I attempted to make peace with my roommates in person. That was, at least partially, effective. But for a home in which I felt to some degree loved and cared for, it was an emotional slap in the face to discover just how deeply the resentment had run over my own miscommunication.

Add to all of this the fact I had already been looking to buy a house, and the metaphorical floor has fallen out from under me. I'm still healthy and financially solvent, so that's good -- but pretty much everything I had hoped to accomplish this year was crushed in one week. I have been sort of reeling semi-competently ever since as I tried to handle it, taking each day at a time to make it through, while ensuring I had enough emotional and cognitive energy left to do a competent job at work.

The tl;dr of this is: I'm probably not going to be cognitively well again for at least another few days, maybe as far as a week or three. I'm also unsure if I can make good art in this state. Astute viewers have probably recognized that the quality and definition of what I put out has been erratic in recent months, and that is directly attributable to the amount of tension I'd been experiencing inside of my own home. I'm not sure to what degree I can or should communicate this better, but things will, as I see them, recover.

I guess I'm not entirely appealing for sympathy here; I'm just rather freaked out by all of this and trying to gain traction on it by writing my own thoughts. I just wish that things were not so socially treacherous for me right now, and I feel that getting the hell out of Dodge, so to speak, will do me a lot of good.

Until that happens, please understand when I seem quiet or distant on my personal blogs. I do that to stay positive, and to buffer actionless negativity from all of you, because no one needs that in their timelines. I like all of you very much, and the conversation I'd rather have is a positive one that, as things get better, I'd like to make more candid as I go.

I'll be okay. Just... fuck this past week.


---

* This idiom wants for a gender-neutral alternative. Does one exist?

** My ex lives in the same complex that I do (I actually share their lease on top of my own, because they needed a place to stay after their own bad situation), so this was something of a surprising windfall.
goldkin: umm... what I mean to say is... *CRASH* (umm... what I mean to say is... *CRASH*)
2015-08-25 12:28 am
Entry tags:

A Tale of Two Cultures

 

I am writing this from the luxury of a hotel room, booked on short notice. Tomorrow, I will be staying with a friend for as long as I need to. Don’t worry too much about me; there is no risk to physical life and limb, though nerves have definitely been jostled.


This post will refer to real people and real events, but the names will be withheld to protect the innocent. If you know the people in question, I strongly advise that you talk to them instead of me; they are upstanding and lovely people in their own right and in aggregate. Any facts that I articulate poorly are not meant to slur them or their name. Indeed, I see what follows as a disagreement of ideologies, not one of interpersonal strife, worth telling as a cautionary tale of how different personalities intermix together.


To my coworkers, the few of you that know of this account and read here: please respect that I’m handling this at home and home only. I am still functional for work. If I do need to take personal time, I will take it.


I will open with the most cited images from the concluded Gunshow Comic, well known in software engineering:


In engineering, this image is used for a multitude of handling failures. The most common of these is a scenario in which alerting has failed, such that operations thinks: “everything is fine,” as servers slowly melt into their component elements.


This is an apt analogy, then, for how I have lived for the past five years. For those five years, I was told that everything was fine. Everything was fine... as my emotional abilities, resolve, and hope for a bright future burned to a crisp before my eyes.


And at the same time, I am also not the dog in the comic. Instead, I am also fixed as the viewer of the image, fruitlessly calling the dog to pay attention, to acknowledge that their house is desperately on fire. The dog, then, represents my situation and my place within it, separate from me. I scrabbled fruitlessly to handle a situation in which I, as observer, only had vicarious agency.


This brings me to the situation: socially, my house is on fire. The blaze was kindled in the heat of a difference of personalities, and it was stoked by burnout, fear, anger, tension, and a heavy dose of stress and shame. And I have chosen to remove myself from the situation, peeling myself out of the pane of the comic as the blaze continues to burn.


So what started the fire?


To fully understand the situation, consider the following analogy*: two cultural heritages represented as lead gears in a cogworks. On the one side, a culture of Mid-Western and European collectivism, in which the greater good is upheld by mutually supportive behavior. On the other, a culture of Southern individualism, in which personal and inter-personal growth and selectivity are valued over managing the greater whole. Imagine this cogworks trying to turn in tandem, as certain gears fit improperly or inversely at the teeth. The sparks from this grinding, often kept at cinders, have finally become the forewarned blaze as gears shifted within the system.


I am the Southerner. I resent the ways of my upbringing: the rhetoric taught to me was one of isolationism and ableism, and it took me years to reprogram. I am not proud of who I was taught to be then, and it was only through the help of compassionate friends and family (both online and off) that I was able to become the person that I am today.


During this reprogramming, there was always the potential -- yes, this was only a few years ago -- that these gears might one day fit. Indeed, at the outset, there certainly appeared as if that might be a possibility: as pieces locked briefly into alignment, starting to turn, frictionlessly. But this page is from the universe in which a flywheel fell out of balance, causing the entire system to, irrevocably, melt major sections and all of the hard work that went into them in a resulting blaze.


And in the heat of this blaze, I am told “this is fine”. This is not, in fact, because things are fine. It is a very firm and insistent plea that things be made fine, by turning only one of the gears rapidly and ignoring the fire. By ignoring the blaze, and killing the power to half the system, and cranking just fast enough, things might just be fine for what remains after the fire.


I am the portion of the system shut down by this plan. And it wasn’t fine for me, because it leaves me with the blaze created by the clash, and leaves me in the fire, and leaves my system to burn. In the past, I would sit absent, allowing the sparks and cinders and minor blaze to burn my hardware. "This is fine." This time, I elected to go elsewhere, suffocating the fire for lack of additional fuel.


The point of this is that for the past five years, we have been trying to run a household with two incompatible strategies. As people were added and removed, and as information and situations changed, things looked like they might work. When they did not, being the more isolated system, I bore the burden of deactivation and excess heat damage to keep things running. But by pressing one of the gears, as I did today, repeatedly, to try to finally make things fit, I am the one that sparked the resultant blaze that followed.


And in its aftermath, I feel treated as if I am the dysfunctional segment. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Surely I am the cause of the fire, because it occurred as the result of my tweaking, as I desperately kept many of the gears in alignment. Surely I am the cause of the fire, because I am the one that tried the hardest to make the gears fit, even when all I had were substitutes at odd angles and ratios. Surely I am the cause of the fire, when the inevitable blaze sparked from a situation with too many interlinked moving parts to begin with.


Such a conclusion would be a bad postmortem, because engineers know that these problems do not happen in isolation. There are many contributors to the eventual fire. And while no contributor is themself blameless, the most valued result is to learn something about the whole so it may be better addressed next time.


And so I have learned that this is precisely why social interactions are designed to have few moving parts, and why relationships work that way too. The cogs that don’t work are simply left free to spin, while the ones that do work remain to power the rest of the system.


It is unlikely for me to return to my almost-working presence in my own home, and for me to re-engage with the system of cogs that, while still in need of oil and repair, turns more freely now from my own removal. I can no longer be the person vigilantly trying to make repairs, grinding the gears when I should not be, all in pursuit of a system that finally turns clean with all connected working parts. I have been removed from the system, and I do admit to feeling better for finally turning clean myself.


Much better except, I cry now, for not being part of something larger than myself. I cry now, because I wanted that system to turn clean with me a part of it. I cry now, more so than usual, because all I ever wanted was to belong.


But belonging, perhaps, is another story for another day than this one.

---
* This is borrowed from an analogy stated to me by one person in the situation, which fit especially well. I would normally cite them here. Instead, please recognize that this analogy is borrowed, and that for reason of not invoking them, the contribution is anonymous.
goldkin: snoooooooww! (snoooooooww!)
2013-05-06 04:45 am
Entry tags:

Balance

One of the biggest constants on my mind is living up to my full potential. This is, by and large, why I journal: it keeps me honest, and it keeps my thoughts flowing instead of sitting cramped in the back of my skull.

Perhaps most importantly, this journaling brings me balance, by helping me make sense of my emotions. I am a very emotional creature, prone to moods and intuition based on emotional cues and priming. This often leads me to strong emotional biases, which I often spend hours alone trying to understand and unpack. Through writing, I am able to give those emotions better context with which to work, relieving negativity, emphasizing positivity, and sharing my thoughts to keep them grounded in reality.

I think I need a bit more than this, though, for that last bit. Especially in the professional sphere, I'm hoping to find a mentor: someone with whom I can share my thoughts, sound off when I don't feel entirely confident in my abilities, and receive the occasional suggestion, brief lecture, or assignment from when they're more competent with a desired skill than I am.

This is possibly asking too much. But, it's a relationship I hope to cobble together with time and practice, potentially out of interactions with multiple people, sources, and media (like this journal).

It seems strange to wish to cobble together one's own mentorship. And yet, I see this as a desired state for me. I feel that I am a student of this world, and that I have much that I can learn from others. I'm simply trying to find better ways to listen.

(Author's Note: this was written while sleepy on an iPhone. As such, this may contain clerical errors or inconsistent content. In those cases, you have my most bashful apologies.)
goldkin: i has book (goldkin bookly)
2013-05-03 01:11 pm
Entry tags:

The Right to Live Bizarrely

Every so often, when I hit my darker moods on social media, you'll see something like this:

@Goldkin: I really wish my mind would stop feeling enshamed and self-deprecatory for my prior, years-past mistakes. It would do me lots of good.

‏@Goldkin: I fear the eternal albatross-around-the-neck. The result: I hide most information about myself, am ponderous to reply, and am less engaging.

@Goldkin: I think there's something to be said about safe harbors for promiscuous online sharing. The likes of what happens on Facebook terrifies me.

@Goldkin: ... insofar as it should be socially acceptable to share one's self without fear that it'll become a static data point. I'd like to do that.

‏@Goldkin: I see those assumptions of immutability as giving rise to resentment and bigotry, and I just feel it's too narrow a space to live within.



What this displays is a fundamental insecurity of mine that shapes many of my actions. I am extremely fretful of how my previous actions color how people see me, even if they may have no reflection on my future performance or behavior.

This is, for the most part, a product of my heritage. I grew up within a highly conservative, and for the most part judgmental, family. This same family has been known to take its facts primarily as immutable and at face value. Without wishing to do so, I internalized this view as a representation of how others would see me... and began to deeply fear resentment and bigotry as a result.

This makes me a security professional, because I've become really good at hiding and obscuring information. But this comes at a severe social cost: I don't feel comfortable sharing the details of my private life as often as I'd like to. I feel as if I am far less engaging in conversation with the people that I enjoy being around, because I fear creating poor quality, insurmountable, and immutable data. This fear actually causes me to realize exactly what I otherwise wish to avoid, because it affects my logical centers, my abilities to process information, and my abilities to speak eloquently, due to the applied, slow filter of withholding dangerous information.

This filter makes some sense to maintain, however. Almost daily, we're reminded of some "schmuck" that was too promiscuous on Facebook, Twitter, or other forms of social media. They'll have said something socially hazardous, or they'll have revealed some personal detail, that costs them a lot of credibility. And this galvanizes my fears, because I am afraid of precisely what people would think of me if I shared more of who I am.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'd like to be more open in general. This is very difficult for me, because the past few decades have taught me to be a master of protecting information. Information, I add, that I'd like people I do trust and care about to know and be able to share.

Basically, I'd like to be less envious of the people I know whom I do believe have healthy modes of communication. I'd like to transmute this into action that makes me feel supported and connected by those I care about... which is already difficult for me, given my introverted tendencies. I certainly don't aspire to be an extrovert, but for those small few I communicate with regularly, I'd like to feel as if I'm providing the best communication I can offer.


In a way, this post is sort of a form of social advertising. There's a lot that I keep trapped under the hood, and frankly, I'd like much of it to be less of a tightly-guarded secret. Because, for most of it -- my draconity and spiritual identity, my aspirations, my loves and crushes for others, my carnal desires, and my general zeal for life -- there's actually nothing to be ashamed of. It's frustrating for me to take such a Victorian stance about myself, when the specific predators I'm afraid of are no longer present. Furthermore, I find it highly cathartic to be able to get more of what makes me myself out there for inspection.

But, perhaps most importantly, being more open would alleviate the specific isolation that I've suffered from these past several decades. I certainly wouldn't like to share everything, due to the intersection of healthy secret-keeping and tl;dr. But, just being able to share more, and to establish a sort of safe clearing house for who and what I am, would do me a lot of good.

I'm not yet sure what form that will take. But, the thought of it greatly appeals to me.
goldkin: i has book (Default)
2010-10-12 12:45 pm

Asynchronicity

One of my biggest vices, if it could be called such, is my constant availability via synchronous* and social media. It's a habit I've long cultivated, borne by the fear of missing what's relevant.

While I sit here at the edge of Lake Union writing this on my Kindle, I'm reminded of how much easier it is to organize my thoughts when I'm alone with them. It also reminds me how much relevancy is internally driven, which is easy to forget in a world of near-constant access to new information.

So, in the vein of my earlier posts, and consistent with my wishes for more personal time, I'm going to take a partial retirement from synchronous media. I'll still be available, but my responses will be deliberately delayed and batched, and my refresh times will take the pattern of days and hours instead of minutes and seconds.

See you all on the other side of the change. Against expectations, you'll probably hear more from me here, since it's the most efficient way to catalogue my thoughts.

(I can't post what I'm listening to while using Dreamwidth Mobile. If I could, it'd be the low singing of a kayaker across Lake Union, and the thrum of airplanes from SeaTac.)

--
* Requiring time-sensitive response on my part.
goldkin: i has book (Default)
2010-09-04 10:18 pm
Entry tags:

A strange sort of happiness

Over the past few weeks, a strange sense of peace has settled its way into my life. I'm not sure what to make of it, but it's brought gifts and emotions that I'd thought long since forgotten.

This is due, in part, to reprising my spiritual practice, taking up meditation (read: picking up where I left off), and otherwise simplifying my outlook on life. It's also due to crafting a more relaxed schedule at work and easing my life at home. All of this has reminded me just how much I value simplification, and exactly why I care about Zen the ways I do.*


Most startling of all, I find myself genuinely happy. This snuck up on me entirely without warning, implying that I require surprisingly little to just enjoy my surroundings, my time, and my method of living life. And it's left me entirely without posting buffer as a result, implying I'd spent far too much time complaining and far too little writing posts like this one.


So, it's interesting that I'd be jarred out of this state of complacency peace-of-mind by an interview offer from Amazon. What's there isn't a bad fit by any means, but it's reminded me both of my weaknesses in the market, and the sheer fact that I don't care very much about them.

I guess where I'm going with this is, I'm finally seeing things from the other side. Whereas I spent the previous year looking down at everything I'd left behind, or forgotten, or generally failed to do in the past decade from an external perspective, now I'm spending time looking forward from right here and now. I'm finding that I require very little to just enjoy being myself, and in fact, I'm genuinely happy right where I am.

The promise of Better Things, Higher Income, or Greater Perks just isn't what I'm driven by at all. In fact, it's entirely antithetical to my outlook on life.


As I sit here typing this, I find that I have little or no drive for external reward whatsoever. I suppose I'm much more introverted than I'd originally gave myself credit for, and because of it, am more interested in the intrinsic rewards of healthy reading, meditation, and spiritual practice.

In other words, even though I have a pay raise waving in my face, I don't require it. I'm happy where I am. And even though I doubt I'd make it in (my algorithmic theory is depressingly weak by market standards), I find that I actually enjoy where I work right now, making the whole issue moot.


This isn't to say that I'm uninterested in mental or spiritual growth. Rather, I acknowledge that these goals have no tie to the externalities of that market and are entirely my own. I'm very interested in brushing up on my higher order math and algorithmic theory, for instance -- not because it'll gain me a high paying job at some future point in the market, but because I'm genuinely intrigued by the simplicity of complex problems and in working wonders with very simple tools. And I'm very interested in keeping my spiritual practices, not because I think they'll give me some attainable reward, but because they offer the balance, simplicity, and happiness that I've striven for my entire life.


In other words, it's no longer about benchmarking myself against other people. In fact, it never has been. I simply needed to inspect my life for its base elements and realize: I'm exactly where I want to be.

So, what's next? I'm not really sure. Whatever it is, I'm sure I'll enjoy it. :)

--
* Zen being my significant other. She rather likes the name, even though it causes Much Confusion as I bring other forms of Zen into my life.
goldkin: i has book (Default)
2010-05-12 10:37 pm
Entry tags:

On Moving

This week marks my third since moving to Redmond. In the interim, I've started a new job (reprising my role as a software engineer), packed, moved, and partially recovered from a communal living situation gone horribly wrong.

For the first time since I left my former employer, I have my own apartment, situated happily near work.* I also moved relatively close to [personal profile] kistaro and [personal profile] blackvoiddragon, both of whom were terrific in helping me juggle my personal belongings and sanity during the transition.

Thanks for that!**


This had originally been a much longer (and earlier) post. However, given the residual effects of social dysphoria and the general ennui of moving, I'm deferring the details for now.

Fortunately, I have all the time in the world to recover.

---

* Leaving a stable, reasonably paying job as an engineer, in this economy, wasn't easy. It was the right decision, for reasons I'll discuss at a later time.

** Okay, you deserve a bit more thanks than that, as you both know. ;)
goldkin: i has book (Default)
2010-03-08 11:10 am

Make plans, not drama

Looking at what I've posted in personal channels over the past few months, I've come to realize my situation isn't that bad. In fact, much of why I've been bitter was entirely on my end.

Sure, I temporarily live in a house with a screaming baby. Okay, my job situation didn't pan out over the past several months (a situation I admittedly put myself into, for personal reasons). Yes, I've found myself severely doubting my actions over the past several years when I pissed off in school and took a business degree with focus in computing, instead of completing my Engineering degree or taking a proper BS in CS.


The fact is, I'm intelligent and adult enough to fix those problems, even if they seemed insurmountable at the time. And that's exactly what I'm going to do.

I've begun talks to return to my former employer, under what I hope will be a telecommute agreement. Concurrent to this, I'm going to apply to the University of Washington for their Master's Preparation Sequence in Computer & Software Systems (their equivalent to a CS degree). Even if I don't go for the full degree, I absolutely require a foundation in CS theory.

And concurrent to all of this, I'm going to continue applying for full-time positions at Microsoft. I received two in-person interview loops for positions that were in my area but above my experience level. Given enough time and commitment on my part, I'll definitely get in.

Back at home, I've discovered ways to completely step out of the drama that's been flying back and forth between friends (here) and family (at a distance). I've established a Plan B if things go completely tits up, I've appeased family so I don't have them hounding me or complaining that I'm a failure, and I've settled my personal matters so I feel reasonably more secure.


In light of having broken down about this recently, this is genuinely good news. I just hope the high remains such that I can make this all work out.

And hey, getting another job offer wouldn't hurt, either. :)
goldkin: i has book (Default)
2010-03-04 12:24 pm

Breaking the silence

If you're reading this, chances are you have no idea who I am.

You may have met me, you might be one of my close friends, or more often than not, you're someone who has absolutely no idea who this "Goldkin" character is or why the heck he added you to [add service here].

(Lots of words after the cut)
Read more... )