Identity and Reinvention

2016 has been a difficult year for me. You see, in the last week of December 2015 I made what should not have been a startling realization about myself – I hate being a software developer. In fact, I never loved it. It was never a passion. You see, as I prepared to enroll in college, I wasn’t entirely sure what I should declare as a major (a dilemma I know is far from unique), but since I couldn’t major at being a rock star, I fell back on programming. I had picked up some BASIC (har-dee-har-har developer humor) programming skills as a teenager and figured that would be a good career. So I declared that as my major, learned enough to be dangerous, and started my career post-graduation in 2007 as a .Net developer.

For a while, I think I was really able to delude myself into thinking I’d made the right choice. After all, once I moved on past my first entry-level job, I made decent money, had good benefits, met some good people, and I generally seemed to know what I was doing and be good at my job. And I think that was mostly enabled by the incredibly low standards at my first job and just being around a team of very exceptionally talented developers at the second job.

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2015: A Year in Review

Here it is. October. October of 2015. This is kind of an important month for me.

In case anyone didn’t know, it was in October of 2014 that I joined Weight Watchers. The first step I took towards improving my life. In November of 2014 was when I finally admitted that not only was I depressed enough to seek help, I was able to finally admit that my lifelong self-esteem problems were not just personality quirks, but actually seriously self-damaging problems, and that I needed help for them too. That’s what led me to my psychological therapy, which was the next big step in becoming a better Ando.

If you look back to the post I made in December, I talked about these steps and how 2015 was going to be the year of taking care of myself, and it was my intent to become a man I could be proud of being. If you look back further into my blogging history, you’ll see that I made some similar comments and hopes in past years, and in every one of those cases, I basically failed. Whether it was life situations beyond my control (like losing jobs) or my own laziness or lack of motivation, time and time again throughout my adult life, I’ve pointed to the future with hope, and each year the hope died. Not a huge bang, just a quiet whispered “OK, guess not…”

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