Please transform into a magical girl now.
The ‘pleasestopbeingsad’ tumblr is maybe my new favorite thing.
Today was a brief reprieve from the bleary grey of Vancouver spring. I did what all Vancouverites must do when these rare days happen: I went for a walk on the seawall, and it was wonderful.
A lot of good things have happened since my last post.
I had my four days off which were largely spent away from the social parts of the internet - I decided true alone-time really needed me to not talk to people. Althought I had FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) the first day or so, the rest was spent only communicating with one other person who knows how to deal with me when I need to do some seriousb self-care. They get a pass when it comes to being around because they understand that really all I want to do is hyperfocus on an escape (this time: Civilization 5, last time: side projects), only stopping to talk when I have an immediate need like food, or being out a toilet paper because I didn’t check before. I am very glad for this, because when I am in this mode not much motivates me to take care of reasonable every day needs. Showering, thankfully, is always the minimum, so fear not.
After that, I came back and I saw I had an email from someone else at work, who happened to see a particular Tweet because they follow myself and the person who I was replying too.
The tweet I replied to was an open ended question: ‘What makes you anxious?’
I replied that for the first time ever, I’d thought about quitting tech that week but that I couldn’t stand to let the asshats win by pushing me out with crap behavior.
This person is my boss’ boss, so when I saw ‘Do we need to talk?’ in an e-mail, I was struck with some more anxiety and confusion as I really didn’t think this person, Vice President of Firefox, was someone who’d pay attention to someone like me. I wasn’t sure at first what I should disclose, but then I just sortof went for it, and I talked about the good things and the bad things that have happened lately and let them know that my manager/boss is awesome, and helping work out the social issues so that my co-worker and I don’t have to deal with the same sort of garbage that we had to at the work week I was at. The response was thoughtful and appreciated on so many levels. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to say in an email other than ‘I’m relieved’. Because, really, I am.
My boss gets it. My boss’ boss gets it. And.. my boss’ boss’ boss gets it. By ‘get it’, I mean ‘sees the systemic problems in tech, and wants to fix them’. I’ve never worked at a large company where I could say that about my immediate chain of command, and so I feel… relieved.
For a long while I was naive and I was one of those people who thought that because bad, sexist things hadn’t happened to me, that others were exagerrating. I’m immensely ashamed of this position now. I get it now. I mean, I got it years ago when this stuff became an influence, but I mean I really get it now that it finally beat me down. I’m very sorry I was ever that dismissive. It was a classic case of ‘not caring unless it affected me’ and ever since I realized that I’ve been trying to make sure I have less of that attitude. Scrubbing out that feature, turns out it’s more of a bug than anything. It makes me a shitty listener and it seems like I thought I somehow knew better or my experiences were ‘the most valid’. Barf!
…This is what self-reflection looks like, I guess? Huh.
Anyhow, all of this thinking has ended up being a good thing. All the time dumped into Civ 5 was a good thing - I’m working my way through all of the types of vectories. I finally did a Tourism victory which is not so hard against the AI, but I think it’s the most difficult one considering you only get a fraction of the Ages in which to shine.
Okay, so good things to far include people at work who want to make our working environment more inclusive, and a lot of time in a damn good video game.
I also had many brunches! They were great.
I spent time in the softest blanket I’ve ever wrapped myself in. On the couch. Just laying there and taking in the sounds of the downtown hustle during the day while people went to work. I laid there and every time work crept in I’d tell myself to let the throught slide by and get back to the moment I was in. It was a nice meditation to fall into.
The next 2.5 months are going to be a bit stressful. I’m hoping to use some of my days off to take long weekends this summer. I did that with my vacation time a few years ago and it made for a great summer - three days weekends are the best for side projects. You get one day to cool down from work, a whole day to yourself without any regret, and then a day to run errands and prepare for work again. I’m more productive on a four day work week like this, I focus a lot better on what I’m doing because adequate space for rest and personal projects has been accomplished.
I feel better than I did in the last post I wrote, but I still feel like there’s more to go ‘up’ from; beyond GDC I have three conferences all in May and they are all unique talks I have to write, prepare, and rehearse.
Feeling less depressed, but now it’s complicated by feeling a bit overwhelmed.
The good news? I’m spending a week and a half off in Scotland at the beginning of May before all that talk stuff. I’ll prep the talks before, then ignore them for a solid ten days, play some music, and then: BAM! Come to them. Maybe they’ll even be better for that. We’ll see.
So that’s that for now, really.