Pandemic mind states and stalemates
Published on 2/22/21, 2:45 PM
My binary mind states of existence during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting stalemates.
The COVID-19 global pandemic started in Q1 2020, and as of this writing has continued into Q1 2021. It is anticipated to last most of this year, and may spill into 2022. My experience during the pandemic has been surreal, sometimes unbelievable, and many things all at the same time.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was unemployed and had been since the end of October 2019. "Terminated without cause" from a job I loved. For most of the beginning of 2020 I had to battle depression, poverty, stress and tension internally plus with my own girlfriend. A girlfriend who has stuck through it all with me, and continues to do so. I am always too stubborn to give up, I didn't then, I won't now, and I don't plan to in the future.
I eventually got a job, a "good enough" job. I did that for about 3 months, and near the end I was given a job offer for a "holy shit this job is really for me?" level of awesome job. I gave appropriate notice to the first job, we all part ways as respectful adults, and I then did about 6 months of contract work for this amazing job. I finally was earning enough money to get ahead in life. End of January, the contract comes to term, and they do not create a budget to keep me on (despite my work being declared "amazing" etc). Leading up to the end, and after the end of the contract, I began receiving so many job opportunities and interviews, it was unreal. DevOps/DevSecOps was proviong to be the amazing "in-demand" area of the industry I thought it was about 1.5yrs ago, when I started the journey. As of right now, I do not yet have a job, but I have savings to ride.
And yet, life is not exactly as flawless as it may seem from what you just read.
Me and my girlfriend have been taking the pandemic seriously the whole time. We generally are self-imposing limitations that exceed what our regional government asks of us. We want to be part of the solution, not the problem. And this has taken its toll on us. We are stronger, and weaker, as a result of it. I'm proud of us, we are making it through. And yet, I am still weak.
Throughout this whole time I have experienced a constantly fluctuating sense of experiences, emotions, thoughts and "what the fuck do I actually want?" times. I'm both satisfied, and unsatisfied at the same time. I realise that while I have received unreal fortune with employment during this time, there are countless around the world that are experiencing the worst time of their lives in many different regards. I am proud of my hard work, what it has accomplished, but I also repeatedly remind myself to not waste it, to stay humble, and to help others in any way I can. And so I slap my wrist a bit. Shame on you for lifting your head up when so much suffering is going on! I deserve to be proud, and don't deserve it, at the same time.
This quantum existence of experience is something that has been continual with me the whole time, but on many different aspects of my life. I am in an awesome relationship, but there are times we get really upset at each other, and that can often derive from our cabin fever. Or that we can't go out and make more friends, watch movies in theatres, go swimming, or any number of things. It's either not possible, or just plain reckless to do. So we must sacrifice for the greater good. We can go swimming later.
But it's more than that. I'm in a position where I'm the ONLY person able to drive LANified! forward right now. Do I resent my staff? Do I think they aren't doing enough? Hell fucking no. They are awesome people, and their work is hella apprecited. But I have had to take the website development by the horns because 7 years of trying to get help with that has honestly gone nowhere. The outcome is we're so far behind, that I have to be the one to do this, because nobody else will. Or at least, nobody else will to the extent that we need it done... without money, the money I don't have, because we're not big enough. Catch 22 Mr. Bond.
So I have this big burden on me that I've been working through, all of 2019, 2020, and now 2021. Progress is being made, but there's lots left to do. It NEEDS to be done right. It NEEDS to be incredible at launch. Or it won't have the massive impact I want to see from it. It's a lot of work. It could succeed, this could be my ticket to building my own big leagues. I could be rich. I could fail. What if it fails? What if all this work I've done just ends up going nowhere and it isn't the world-changing outcome that I've been planning around? I have a fall-back, it's my day job. But I don't know if I will fail until I actually finish this, run events, and FUCKING DO IT. But what if I fail? So much time lost, effort spent. Sure, I can put so much of it on my resume and reap rewards, but it's not the same as being at the helm of a growing organisation that just might change the world.
Or it could succeeed. It could play out like so many strategies I've come up with before, and not only JUST WORK, but be earth-shattering in the impact. I could be rich. I could stop having to worry about money, and shift my focus to "let's make awesome gaming things happen in the world". But I don't know until I do it. Both outcomes and other permutations run through my head continually. It won't go away until I either give up (which I won't), or I do it and see the outcome (which I probably will do).
But wait, there's more.
I miss my friends, I miss xPooHx, and so many others. One part of me wants to bring them into my heart, and game with them lots. Another part wants to push them away. I create excuses in my head, and most I don't even tell anyone. "Not now, it's not the perfect time, I said I'd watch something with F1ggy", or "maybe tomorrow, next week, whatever", or "I need to work on the website instead", "I'm too busy", "I don't like that game" (maybe I would actually like it). I have friends (Tingles) who are plenty stubborn like me. They want to be my friend, want to game with me and such, and they put up with me being a flake, and they may not even realise what I go through. Almost. Every. Day. I miss my friends. I wish they knew that I care even though I keep my distance. I hope they do.
But there's other things going on too. How long before I'll get a job? Will it be another 8 months of unemployment before I get my next job? Will I have to compromise and go back to a lower job just to make rent? Will I get the job and be making mad money again, able to save up for a house and have spending money again? I march ever forward, taking every single one seriously, because I never will know which one is the next job I get, until it happens. Every opportunity, never slacking. My future cannot afford me to half-ass this.
And then there's the MJ. You're a smart reader, you know what that is. Sometimes I have days where I complete something and I have this glowing sense of accomplishment. I need to have some MJ to "relax" with, my brain convinces me it would be nice. Sometimes it's right, most of the times, I regret it the next day. If I'm experiencing MJ regularly, and I suddenly stop, it takes 3-5 days to fully clear from my brain, and then I can get back to operating at an extremely high "braining" level. My operating level under the effect, or even during the day once it has cleared up, is so much higher than that of most anyone else. When my head properly clears up (3-5 days later), it's like my third eye opens and I can see through time and space. I battle this. On one hand, I like the relaxation, sometimes it gives me inspiration, and it's cheap. On the other hand, I often (not always) get headaches when I wake up the next day, or I do a touch too much than I originally wanted, I kick myself in my ass because it's going to be another 3-5 days before I can operate at "peak efficiency" again, and I curse my name. But then I also realise the world around me and the state it's in. It's not like I can just go swimming, or do something outside the residence at-will. Part of it is I'm doing it to just progress time, getting closer to a vaccination. But what are the long-term effects on my brain and body doing this? I don't know. Should I risk it? Should I just do it anyways? Some days, it's the only thing that can get me out of a deep depression and funk. And that's no lie. I'm not fooling myself here. It has helped me lots.
But then I want to play games, and yet I don't. So many games I can play, and I have fun with, but then I'm "not in the mood right now" for this or that game. This kind of connects to my friends thing too. I want to play with them, and yet I don't. At the same time.
These are just a handful of the experiences I have been going through the last while. They often lead to many stalemates, and inaction on my part, despite there's times I take action anyways. It is really hard to stay stable. My stubbornness prevents me from losing my mind, at least mostly. But sometimes, "I'm bored" just doesn't even come close to explaining it well enough.
I miss my friends. I wish they knew.
Time and time again I encounter people who don't understand why I choose Linux and not Windows, gaming or otherwise. Here's why.