Jack of all trades

I seem to oscillate between obsession and undecidedness most of the time. Either I have a hobby that I attack with full throated-ness, or I’m stuck flitting between one thing or the other in rapid succession. My wife jokes about my six-month hobbies, and whether she likes them or not: cooking, auto simulations, politics, crypto, and so on, &c… She says she like the cooking one the most. My mother is the same, going through phases of creativity in different projects: craft painting, stained glass, hiking, feltcraft, and so on, &c…

The problem was worse when I was a child in school. I never really had deep relationships with anyone, at least those with the opposite sex. Maybe in hindsight that’s not a bad thing, but growing up it felt like I was attracted to a number of girls and it felt like ‘going with’ someone closed the door on others, and I was always glad to be around any number of girls in school. Of course, there were always the ones that weren’t interested or otherwise unavailable that I always fell hard for. My wife, when we were in classes together, was always involved with some dude and I was like another one of her girlfriends, listening to her escapades and so on. It was part of pattern I seemed to be stuck in until my mid-twenties, when I got into pick-up culture. But that’s a story for another day.

The way in which I’ve been deeply committed to whatever obsession du jour has been has influenced my career in many ways. Since computers have been at the heart of many of them, I’ve been able to grow up with a set of skills that has benefited me greatly professionally. In a way, I still consider myself a jack-of-all-trades, as I can’t really say that there’s one thing that I excel at more so than anyone else around me. If I had to pick one, I might say that I possess a confluence of technical ability and business acumen, but I don’t really think that’s even my strong suit, given my failures in business and in technical projects as well.

I’m getting ready to head back to school in another week, to begin the last of two semesters I need before I finish my bachelors in computer science. I’m conflicted about this whole process. When I began going back to school after a 13 year hiatus, I saw a BS as a necessary box that I needed to check off to get past hiring algorithms, to take my salary to the next level. When I decided to take a ‘semester off’ all those years ago, it was because I didn’t know what I wanted to study, let alone what I enjoyed doing. It might actually have something to do with getting fired from my first tech job and being blinded by the quick money and glamorous life that I thought I had found during the heyday of sales and telemarketing at MCI.

What’s ironic is that now, after 5 years of part time schooling and tens of thousand of dollars in debt in pursuit of this degree, I am in no way interested in working for any company that would use it as a qualifier for hiring me. I have zero interest in going to work for a large corporation or other organization where people are interchangeable cogs in a machine.

Hopefully the groundwork I’m starting to lay will pay off, and that I’m not still scattering seeds that I’m hoping will pay off in one way or the other. Since politics has almost been completely shunted to the side, I can focus on school. But I still have a day job, and am picking up additional work still. I am handing off a project that I’ve spent dozens of hours on over the past year, as I don’t feel like I’m the one to drive if forward given my other commitments. It feels like another failure to be passing it on, uncompleted, but I have learned so much from it already, and was basically working for free on it anyways. Whether the promise of equity ever materializes or comes to amount to anything remains to be seen.

I still remain committed to crypto markets, despite all of the crazy action of the last eighteen plus months, and my stack of next actions and projects continues to fill and be sorted from next to later to someday. It will be nice to be able to close a project one day. Not one of the server implementation projects that I’ve done a million times, not something I’ve had to do to repair a car or a house out of necessity, but something that I thought of and brought completely into fruition. Until then, I’ll keep tucking unfinished projects aside, abandoning ideas, and plowing forward to the next thing.


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