36/339 — Goals
originally published at http://ragingnexus.com/blog/2016/04/10/36-339-goals/
I think visually, for work I draw imaginary boxes and I follow values that go through mechanisms that transform them or create new ones — or just the latter to please The God of Immutability, not the Immutability of God. I think in terms of particles flowing and they have direction and live within the constraints of a geometry, they can go up or down, left or right, heck, occasionally they might even go forwards and backwards. Things split and spawn off completely independent processes that have their own little flow. The imaginary boxes have fixed positions and they occupy their own space, so I map them over a plane and move my thoughts to the place I want to look at, but I have to come back and find other boxes, so I have some degree of spacial knowledge and I practice my landmark guidance and path finding as I go. If I move to a different project, I archive this map and I find another one — or start to discover it from the beginning, or rather, from whatever entry point I was given. I also consume a lot of information through my eyes, even when reading, I’m mostly taking in the shape of characters and sentences and a specialised part of my brain transforms those into concepts, people, objects, locations, feelings, sound, smell and colours.
I take pictures, it would be my number one hobby if I were keeping score and I wish my eyes were cameras because I could always take those pictures of people that I never take because people are there and I don’t know them, but I know, because I can see it, that it’s a magical moment worth capturing for eternity — or the day a freak accident destroys a bunch of independent hard drives and all the digital copies of that image are wiped out.
I imagine and manipulate complex systems in my mind, but I have to describe them in words. I take pictures that I love but I struggle to name or describe them. I read books — sometimes I devour them — but I can’t reproduce important phrases or give you specific details, I can only give you a wide angle picture and I can reproduce what I felt when I read it. I find my way through new cities or places I visit for the first time, but good luck getting directions from me.
In other words, I struggle with words. I struggle with writing, I struggle with people or place names, I struggle in recalling what people said word for word. I cannot reproduce an important conversation, I cannot quote people from memory. I have a very hard time naming things and part of my job is to name things, name them in a way that other people who don’t know these things can sort of understand what they do just by how it’s called. I have a hard time giving short explanation for things as I know that context is important and a picture — generally the picture in my mind I’m trying to explain — is worth a thousand words, so I don’t think any less will work. I struggle with hints and half-words, I don’t like ellipsis because people throw those in and let you fill in the gaps and I can think of a million ways to fill those gaps and I don’t know which one is the right one — and sometimes I suspect there isn’t one.
I cannot get the hang of To-do lists, Evernote, OneNote, Google Keep or similar because they force me to structure things with words. To this day I haven’t found a better replacement for my own work organisation than an empty sheet of paper. My tasks are in boxes and I can connect the boxes, and sometimes I need to work out a problem and I draw a system and I can work a list of tasks from there, but for the life of me I get incredibly bored when I try to extract this into a Trello Board that I need to consult and update everyday, while a piece of paper is always on my desktop — the actual top of my desk — and I scribble on it, complete tasks by ticking a box I drew and I archive everything by throwing it out onto the actual recycling bin. I don’t write User, or Message, or Payment on my sheets of paper, I draw a stickman, and possibly a mock paper with scribbles on it and a Euro Sign on it, and I connect them with lines and arrows and I group them with circles or rectangles with rounded corners because that was all the rage in 2012.
I also have a blog, and I’m traveling through life, and I guess I need to find the things I struggle in and work on them. I’m a father and my kids are too young to understand what I am and when they’re old enough, I won’t be Present Day Me anymore. My wife accompanies me on this journey, but I come home late and I can’t make small talk if my life depends on it, nor can I shut down the Prime Directive that tells me every word must count and be relevant and that the particular weather conditions of that day — one or ten because this is Dublin, in a pool of a mere few dozen choices — or when I had coffee or what joke or conversation I had with my colleagues is simply not worth telling or recalling, so I guess there’s a chance that she might get something out of this too. And I guess I’m not the only special snow flake in the world, I’m actually a stereotypical example of a human with my general characteristics, so similar beings might find this amusing and throw their thoughts in — I’m all for improving myself wherever I can.
So I have a blog and I can’t write so I guess I might as well acknowledge that and write regardless, with my usual laser sharp focus, which is none because I didn’t really buy laser lenses, I probably learned how to make glass from sand and as soon as I had something resembling transparency I called it a day, but it’s fine, because this is me at this point in time, and there’s no point pretending I’m not.
Hello, I’m David, I have a blog and my goal — a-ha — is to write on it!