July 31, 2014

Poem: The End of the Day


By the end of the day,
My eyes are smeary,
Slatternly,
Sloughing off
Their layer of pretense.
Too tired to maintain
The mask of wakeful youth,
I let it fall and crumble.
I wash my face,
Anoint my eyes my cheeks my brow
With Oil of Optimism.
Perhaps in the morning
Things will look better.

March 26, 2014

Be Awesome


There are a lot of things I'm good at that I don't necessarily enjoy doing. I'm good at running meetings. I can get along with difficult people. I can troubleshoot IIS and a MySQL database connection.

But if you offered me a job managing a group of sysadmins, for instance, I'd turn you down so fast your head would spin. (Unless you offered me a million dollar salary, in which case I'd do the job for a year, then quit.) I don't want to spend every day mostly doing things I dislike. There's no incentive for me to excel, and I would spend most of every day annoyed.

Recently, some of my coworkers invited me to connect on LinkedIn, so I took the opportunity to update my profile to reflect my current job. I get a lot of messages on LinkedIn from recruiters for jobs that I wouldn't consider unless I were truly desperate. For example, javascript programming jobs with a two-hour commute. I decided to fix my profile so I don't get any more of these messages. I like my current job a lot and don't want to be bothered by any proposal that isn't staggeringly attractive (e.g. the aforementioned million dollar salary).

I went through my list of skills and thought about each one: if this were the only thing I did in my job, would I still want to do it? If I couldn't answer yes, I deleted it. I also deleted things that I can do but am not actually very good at (e.g. public speaking). What remained were the things I am good at and that I want to be good at. Plus javascript, which I left in there because a lot of people had already endorsed me for it.

I want to be awesome at these things. I aspire to do them well, and feel a great sense of accomplishment when I do. These are the things I want to learn more about, the crafts I want to hone, the passions I want to discuss with people who have similar interests. I'm at the point in my life and my career now where I can choose to focus on these skills. Paring down this list was a good reminder of where I need to focus.

I don't need to be good at everything. I just want to be awesome at a few things.

February 22, 2014

Poem: Identity

It's not your weakness that makes you special.
Honestly, your weakness is common,
Ordinary, dull.
Strong, maybe, and terrifying, yes, 
But also 
Exactly the same
As the fundamental weakness
Of every other person on earth,
Since people first began.
Your weakness doesn't make you unique;
It makes you
Human.
Everything else,
Everything that's left
When you look beyond the weakness,
(There is something there, I promise.)
That is what makes you
You.