February 9, 2007

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Snuggle

Today was just way too intense. A morning of calling, an afternoon of
walking, an evening of panicking…

I’m exhausted. I’m going to curl up with a stuffed penguin now. Talk
to you folks tomorrow.

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What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

When people think of scary things, they usually think of flashy stuff:
sharks, heights, etc. The scariest things, however, aren’t those that
are outside you, but rather within you and because of you.

The next two weeks will be the scariest I’ve had because of the move,
because of New York, because of everything. I think I can do it (if I
can just stop blogging about it!).

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? What’s the biggest risk
you’ve taken? How did you prepare for it? How did you deal with the
results? E-mail me at [email protected], comment on my blog, or tell
me stories some other way – examples would help me keep sane!
<laugh>

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Is this what a trapeze artist feels?

This is a fascinating feeling. I’m not sure if I’ve blogged it before.
There’s fear, yes. I can feel the stress in the tightening of my
ribcage, the shallowness of my breathing, the tension in my stomach.

But there’s also exhilaration at the prospects in front of me: not
just in terms of housing, but other things as well. Can I do it? I
*will* do it… but can I do it as well as I plan? Can I have it all?
So there’s that excitement.

There’s more here, though. There’s the fun I had with programming
competitions and puzzles and problem solving… Taking a knotty
problem, pulling out pieces of it, simplifying it until it’s
manageable, and then going for it. This translates into a methodical
management of risk.

And there’s my trust in the safety net, my plans for the worst case
scenarios.

One more: the acceptance of both future versions of myself: whether I
succeed or fail.

If I can feel this way with small things, what more when I can trust
myself with larger ones? =D Am I making too big a deal of it? I don’t
know; I’m certainly thinking a lot more about it than I think others
do. If I make a big deal of it but still manage to come through, then
that’s cool – this trains me to work under pressure and for higher
stakes even though my actual stakes are low. =)

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Also, positive thinking means that…

… you put “Find checkbook” on your task list instead of “Look for checkbook”. ;)

Little things matter.

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Found my checkbook…

… zippered into the lining of my carry-on suitcase, practically
flush with the frame of the suitcase. That’s probably why I missed it
when I was unpacking everything. I checked every pocket, but didn’t
feel anything out of the ordinary. Small, flat, rectangular checkbooks
feel much like parts of suitcase frames!

Also, I’m getting *really* good at using breathing and mental
reminders to trick myself into not panicking (or at least to keep
moving forward while stresssing out)…

OKAY. Things are going to work out. The worst case is manageable. Now
let’s try to make the best case happen.

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I just have to ride out the panic…

Panic is natural. As long as I don’t act during it, I’m fine… I’ll
work out a plan somehow. What’s the worst case, anyway? The absolute
absolute worst case is that I either have to take advantage of the
university’s short-term immediate housing resources, or crash in
someone’s basement… Whatever it is, it’s going to be temporary.

This is not a crisis.

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Borrowed some time from my thesis…

… to scour Toronto for an apartment. I wrote down the details of
more than thirty ads, called more than twenty places, visited as many
as I could before friction caused the inner soles of my shoes to heat
up and the bottom of my socks to thin out.

I’m thrilled to say that I found one: right across the street.

Life is going to be a _little_ bit tricky. I’m taking some big risks
here, but I both think and feel that I can take it, and my downside
seems well-covered. I’m biting off more than I’ve chewed before, but
I’m confident that I’ll either be able to handle it or throw it up
without injuring myself badly. =) That’s enough for that
metaphor, thank you…

I’m also slowly teaching myself more about risk, too. I have to.
Better to make lots of small decisions with possible mistakes than to
play it safe all the time and find yourself unable to cope with the
big opportunities that come up. I’m not dealing with huge
opportunities yet, but I want to be!

I borrowed time from my thesis to go on this adventure. Like any kind
of loan, I have to now pay it back with interest. I have a new reason
to not only do well on my thesis, but to do *really* well. And I
*hope* all the pieces fall together neatly, because as much as I trust
that I have a good backup plan, I like it when things Just Work…

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