First off, happy belated birthday to my good buddy Hao Zhang.

. . .

It seems my latest rash of posts are all negative, but don't think I've become a Negative Nancy and all I do all day is wallow in my self-pity. These online journals have a tendency to be negative, mostly because if I'm in a good mood, I don't really feel like writing about it. It's like that saying, "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone" (Ella Wheeler Wilcox). Since I don't particularly feel like burdening any one of my close friends (except a few that I really trust to listen), I tend to vent mostly through this journal (which is somewhat amusing - I'm too shy to tell in-real-life people about my problems, but I have no problem ranting about it to a group of strangers).

Going through college, I always believed that circumstances would become the victim of my grandiose plans for life. I would graduate college; get the new Tabulas out in a few months, work for Mindtouch to launch an awesome product, and generally live a very charmed life. I wouldn't feel bound to the job out of any necessity; I could work at the job because I enjoyed it and respected the people (which I do), but wouldn't feel shackled to it for the sake of a paycheck. Sure, I would spend the first year or so living at home with the parents, but this would only be to save on rent so I could buy a (town)house in the area once my mom moved to Kansas City with my dad and my sister went off to college.

It's been a completely different scenario; I've lost control over my life, and it's leading me to feelings of inadequacy (not of the ED variety though, my friends!).

With this job, I'm quickly falling into a trap where I'm questioning my self-doubt and my skillset while generally not happy with the compensation. I make no illusions about this though - I did not major in CS or anything, and I'm pretty sure any webmonkey could do my job effectively. At first the salary wasn't that important because the money wasn't why I signed on - but now due to some family issues, I feel a lot of pressure to be earning more for the sake of making my parents a bit more comfortable (supporting a house and and apt for my dad in KC is not cheap, and my dad's pay at KC is commesurate with what he made here).

Tabulas, Tabulas, Tabulas. Tabulas has defined who I am for the past year. It got me my job. It gave me hope for a better web. It gave me great excitement to see people use my product. But as the blogging industry seems to be consolidating, I don't really see a future for Tabulas in this growing field. I've been using Blogger, TypePad, LiveJournal for some time now, and Tabulas 3.0 was supposed to bring Tabulas up to a level where I could at least be happy with a comparison. It was also supposed to revamp the architecture of the site so I could support caching (which is really a huge technical feature missing in Tabulas). But I'm a sole developer (and not even an experienced one). I have control issues which prevented me from working with people (this also stems from my inexperience in working in teams, although I've learned a lot from MT about this). I cannot expect myself to write a whole platform that's backwards compatible with the existing system for 70,000 users, while doing the marketing and designing and usability testing ... while paying for the whole project out of my own pockets.

Honestly, the pressure got to me. I knew the release would be buggy, so I kept pushing it back and back, and then I just gave up. There was so much I wanted to do, but with MT being so draining on my day, I just couldn't muster up the energy to do it. Meanwhile I see press releases from the rest of the blogging tools who are doing a kickass job of keeping their products ahead of the curve (cause they make $$$), and it makes me depressed. It's not their ideas which are unique (I was never short on ideas for Tabulas) ... but just the fact they can execute. Ah, the bane of capitalism.

Then there's the personal pressures in my life. Seeing people around me getting hurt, being confused ... it's quite painful.

Maybe this is why I've experienced such a reinvigoration of my faith.

These past few weeks have been incredibly trying. I've tried to maintain a positive attitude and tried not to get down; my motto's always been to "keep on truckin'", but this weekend was just the tipping point. I gave up and tried to drown my sorrows with Borst (thanks, by the way) yesterday night, but ended up not doing much drowning as I wanted to do.

I thought the toughest part of the post-college life was the loneliness from the removal of your social network - but it's really the loss in the faith that you can change the world that's the most damaging to myself.

I just wish I was at the steering wheel once again.

Currently listening to: Cure - Love song
Posted by roy on October 9, 2005 at 07:29 PM in Personal | 6 Comments

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Comment posted on October 16th, 2005 at 12:07 AM
great post.
Comment posted on October 11th, 2005 at 12:19 AM
"...but it's really the loss in the faith that you can change the world that's the most damaging to myself."

can you elaborate on this quote please? how did this loss in faith come about? i'm genuinely curious.
Comment posted on October 10th, 2005 at 09:45 AM
I feel for you buddy. I never had the aspirations you obviously have, because I only did 2 years of college and knew that I was going to be limited in what kinds of jobs I would be eligible for, so I stayed in the Navy as a safe bet. My regrets are more retrospective now, because I know I could have done so much better. When I see the kinds of people that are millionaires now and successful in business, I know I could have done that. I try to make myself feel better by remembering that you can't take it with you anyway, but that is little comfort to someone as young as you. I will remind you, however, that time passes amazingly fast (not while you are young, but when you look back) so try to keep the prize in mind (eternity). Not much help, I know. More pragmatically, why not work a little less on Tabulas and more on your career as a future president of a .com company. :-)
Comment posted on October 10th, 2005 at 11:06 AM
That is definitely true. I've tried not to become so burdened with the world things in this life - I just want to feel a level of satisfaction in the sense that I accomplished everything I set out to do. I've been blessed with so many good things in my life that I feel almost an obligation to use all my talents towards a greater good...
Comment posted on October 10th, 2005 at 05:32 PM
Pretty rare that we accomplish everything we set out to do, but it is a lofty goal. As for using your talents toward a greater good, you are already doing that with Tabulas. May not seem like much to you, but to a lot of us it is. Actually, I like Ralph Waldo Emersons measure of success. I won't quote the whole thing, but the final line is "To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived -- this is to have succeeded."
Comment posted on October 11th, 2005 at 11:17 AM
Wow that is a GREAT quote. Thanks!