The Crossroads of Life

Note: This is a rambling article and probably not worth a read. I was going through a point in my life and just needed to write how I was feeling.

There’s no denying that 2020 was a rough year for most people, including me. There were a lot of things in the year that I neglected or ignored just because it was easy while also dealing with the effects of the pandemic. Both my physical and mental health were largely ignored because it was easier to mask it with substances or distractions. It’s easier to mask it than to deal with it, and sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes that is what you just need to do to get temporarily get through to the next day.

The problem with temporary solutions though is that they have this problem of often becoming permanent ones. The longer that it goes on the easier it is to just self medicate or distract than it is to address what is really the problem. The actual solutions start moving further and further into being too difficult to address and perpetuating the continuous negative feedback loop to avoid it.

The interesting thing though is, as you transverse down this path, life has a tendency to bring you to crossroads. They can be hard to identify sometimes, subtle little signs here and there that are so easy to miss. Sometimes they are obvious but one path is rocky and over grown and the other is smooth and inviting. Then sometimes you are just trucking along so hard that you just blow right through it.

It’s easy to choose the easy path – it wouldn’t be called the easy path if it wasn’t. Sometimes though, you really need to stop and look at both paths that life is presenting to you. You really need to sit and mull over the choices you are presented. Sure the easy path looks good now, but maybe it’s just because you can’t see further down the road to understand where it’s going to lead much further down – and it’s very likely not a place you want to be.

I feel that’s where I am at after last year, sitting at a crossroads looking down the easy path – the comfortable one I’ve continuously followed. The one that I feel I know so well. But it’s different this time. In the distance of it I see the sky darkening. The comfort of it weakening and a subtle tinge of apprehension in my heart.

It’s at this point, at this crossroads, I’ve decided it’s time to go down the other path. The one filled with rocks and trees, the one I have been avoiding to go down because of fear. I know it will be difficult and treacherous at times, but most things worthwhile in life are.

So don’t be afraid when life gives you a crossroads to sit for a second and look at both directions. Maybe right now the easy path is just the one you need to take – that’s okay. But be on guard for when the allure of the easy route is just hiding the difficulties further down the road.

New Year, New Goals

I’ve never been a big “New Years Resolution” person, but I do like to set new goals every year. Mostly these goals tend to be more about learning new things and expanding my experience – rather than the usual “Get Healthy” (shouldn’t that always be a goal?). I like to then end the year to review what my goals were and reflect on how I did – so without further adieu let’s do that. 2020 Goals and Progress

In 2020 I really had two main goals:

  • Learn to sew
  • Learn networking fundamentals

So how did I do? Well to be honest, I picked up some basic sewing projects but never even started them. Honestly I didn’t work towards that goal what so ever – which seems odd because pandemic time should have been a good time to start working on it, but unfortunately I got busy and it just got pushed down the priority list. I really still want to try this one though.

Learning networking fundamentals is something I have wanted to do for years actually and I did actually make some solid progress on it. Before I started I could maybe vaguely explain to you what a VLAN or subnet was and now I know how to use them and what CIDR notation means! I would actually generally consider this goal a success because I feel so much more confident in this aspect.

So overall I was 50% successful in achieving my goals in 2020, and honestly I’m happy with that. 2021 Goals

And now with 2021 right around the corner (and soon my application to join the Sealab 2021 crew going out) I am setting some new goals.

  • Learn 3d modeling
  • Finish at least one of the house remodeling tasks
  • Bonus: Learn to sew

I’ve been looking at getting a 3D printer and it’s kind of renewed my interest in 3d modeling. I’ve never really been a very artistic or creative person but I’ve always enjoyed the art of 3d modeling but never had time to really get into it. I’m hoping that this year I can find the time to start picking up the basics on it so I can build things with a 3d printer as well as learn some character modeling for game modding.

I also have three big house renovation tasks that need to be done and one that has been started but kind of stalled out. I want to try to set a goal for myself to finish at least one of these because it would make our living experience much nicer and it’s become even more important with the pandemic quarantines happening.

The last one is a bonus but I still really want to learn to sew and design clothes, and so I’m going to tack that one back on to this year as a bonus if I can get to it. If I can’t I won’t be upset but maybe I can push myself a bit this year!