To Be Consistent


It was the spring of 2008 and our condo was supposed to be finished in the fall. In the meantime Emily and I moved back to my parent’s house in Connecticut. The train ride helped me to carve out time to work on my programming project. Each step was harder than I thought. But with each step I took I could feel the possibilities for my project expanding. Of course, these new possibilities would require further work to realize. But being able to see them made me want what I was creating even more.

I remember the moment when I realized that finishing it would not be easy. That I was into something way bigger than I had thought.

It was one of the three to five gorgeous weather days that arrive between the freezing winter and the sweltering summer on the east coast. And this one happened to fall on a Saturday. But I was in my parent’s basement anyway, slaving away on the parser, trying to get it to handle my new syntax for declaring attributes.

I had been investing nights and weekends in this for about a year already. I still had the goal of being able to analyze financial information. But I was far away from that goal. How far? Six months I figured. It seemed far enough in the future that I could credibly hope to achieve something significant, but anything longer than that seemed unacceptable to most people when I would talk to them about my project. So that’s how long I told them it would take.

And to be consistent, I believed it.

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