Aways Successful: the Tale of Truly Excellent Sheep

Aways Successful: the Tale of Truly Excellent Sheep

Caught in between my fingers, the hesitancy wraps itself around as spindly ligaments congealing, holding in place. My hand hovers above the to be clacking tiles. Hesitation suffocates me. Perhaps another day, I think. Another time. Perhaps later, the right words will flow. Perhaps later, the fist in my throat will unclench and the words fighting in mind will unravel enough to spill out. Perhaps, one of these days, I will be strong enough to listen to myself. Again.

Today, it is mid-September. It has been six months since I quit my job to work on my own project/start-up. Let’s refer to it by its current not-really-a-code code name: Mosaic. Four months since I wrote the post committing to chronicling and pursuing the development of Mosaic.
Continue reading “Aways Successful: the Tale of Truly Excellent Sheep”


Life Changes

When I was in elementary school, I had a wall of clippings from magazines. Actually just from the Times Magazine Kids edition.

The Era of Awe: 1995-2000
Everyone says childhood is a time of fairy dust and magic, to me, it was an age of the wonder and discovery. My wall was a mosaic of tributes to the construction of the International Space Station, discovery of fossilized eggs and feathered dinosaurs in Asia, Mars Pathfinder’s first images of our neighboring planet, Jane Goodall’s life and discoveries among the prides of Africa, the cloning of Dolly, Nelson Mandela’s release, Gandhi’s quote “be the change you wish to see in the world”. I got to go to the national lab at Berkeley during their yearly open house and a poster of their Cyclotron joined my collection. Little did I know, it’s description of how to smash atoms together to reveal the mysteries of the nucleus would hold significance in the next decade of my life.

When I started writing this, I had thought the change occurred at the epoch most think of: 9/11. But really the birth of a nation wrapped in fear, the death of awe and wonder started a few years prior. I remember vaguely the death of Princess Diana and the condemnation of those who did nothing, more vividly the anxiety of India and Pakistan’s nuclear weapon tests, becoming afraid of cow meat, confused on what could lead someone to commit the Columbine shooting, and the yearlong insecurity of whether or not Y2K would crash our economy and the world as we knew it.

I remember my early childhood, playing in the streets, garage doors left open as neighbors gazed on, front doors left unlocked and open. I remember not being afraid of running down the street two blocks over to see if my best friend was around. I remember garage doors coming down, windows blinds now always drawn. I remember being told I had to call to make sure they were home before I headed out and to call again when I had arrived two streets away. I remember streets emptying of children and friendly neighbors. And then there was the tragedy. Continue reading “Life Changes”

I have not written in a year

A year and three days ago marks the last post I published. A post of venting, frustration, confusion, guilt, and embarrassment. Embarrassed because though I did indeed publish it to the interwebs, I did not draw attention to it. I was embarrassed and confused, drawn into my head by thoughts that perhaps I was indeed wrong.

Self-deprecating and confused, I withdrew from any situation that could bring down judgement. I saw around me, the fruits of social media, the beautiful pictures of successful lives, posts about great experiences at new jobs, new schools and I felt despair. And I became afraid.

Of admitting that I was a failure, of posting my undecided life, of sharing my thoughts or confusion in fear of judgement or recriminations. In my mind I was caught in inward condemnations that people do not wish to read about failures. That the sad little ramblings of one miserable human being is undesirable noise. Yet to add to the mix was the recognition that I was privileged. That my complaints though important to my life, were really not that bad.

Among a generation of college graduates, over 30% unemployed and back to living at their parents, I had a job in my discipline that I was interested in. I was underpayed and undervalued, however I had no debts and could live on my own. I was too embarrassed to ask my former classmates, to admit that I had been used or worse that I should expect or deserve such treatment. I was too embarrassed here, after the last ranting, to flush out the circumstances and continue to write, to share in some corner of the internet what I had experienced. I was scared of writing the full details in some paranoia that they or my future employers would somehow come across this blog and reprimand me for the impropriety of my thoughts and reactions.

A few days ago, I found out xanga is going out of business and shutting down most of the old blogs that had been hosted there. Though I no longer used it, the site contains somewhere around 8+ years of my life in writings, starting sometime during my middle school days. In a fervor I hunted down my old passwords and accounts so I could download the archives to my teenage writings and then I started rereading them and the comments.

One of many things that struck me was how alike my personal writing is back to my high school days, before the world of academia taught me that every discipline has a manner of writing, usually dry and pedantic, to signal one belongs and the paper worth reading. And how often those styles of writing was a mark of how convoluted one can make something straightforward “sound academic.”

Another was how unabashedly unafraid I had been. How fearless I was in questioning the world, questioning assumptions, questioning authority and not apologizing for my thoughts. How unafraid I had been to ask for judgement, for opinion, for rebuttals. How I had been unafraid, unapologetic to assume that I could be right.

Thus I am here, a year plus a little over, and I will write and publish this today, unlike the drafts in hiding started and forgotten from the last year.

I have quit working for others once again, this time to work for myself. I have decided that for the next eight months (until the end of 2014) I will try to create a product that serves a need, to learn how to use my education to make a change in the world, to explore the world as a participant and not an academic. I do not know what is the right path, the correct next steps, however revisiting my pre-college writings, it reminded me that the value in writing is not always in telling others how you succeeded, but also the human experience along the way.

In short, for the next eight months I will write (and publish!), not on how to become a successful entrepreneur, but on my experience in striving to become an entrepreneur.