I’ve had a bit of a slump the last few months, working through what feels like deep mental fog for totally unclear reasons. The lack of clarity on causation is one of the most frustrating parts of this, and one of the most familiar too - this isn’t the first time I’ve felt like this, and I know (rationally at least, if not emotionally) it won’t be the last. Probably a combination of intensely avoiding making some decision that seems too big to be made by me without actually knowing what it is and fun brain chemicals stuff. Who knows, I’ve given up on trying to figure out causality for these things for the most part.
One of the effects has been a distinct lack of drive, at least to the extent I am used to. Another is that it is difficult to remember being in a different emotional state in the past, and difficult to imagine being in a different emotional state in the future. Time dissolves, and I believe how I feel now is how I have always felt, and how I will always feel.
Hence, am trying to make external records any time I feel or encounter something that seems to give me a good boost, and a sense of ‘wanting to do it again’. That in a loop feels like drive to me - A feeling induced in you by external stimuli, and then you wanna find things to do to feel that again.
I felt some of that a few days ago! I built something, put out a quick message about what it is that I had built on a slack. Someone responded with this message:
And that felt really good! I could see how responses like this have driven most of my software development projects, for good and ill. It has been a driver in picking which communities I can be a part of, what I find interesting, and what feels like a slog. I definitely find communities that are at intersections of various fields, and I try to find them early - so things I could do that would feel ’normal’ in one of those fields feels mind blowing to the other. I joked to a friend that my ‘anxiety response’ is to start (or get deeply involved in) a new open source projects, but the more I think about it the more it seems to be not a joke at all.
Not unique to myself in any way or form I would assume. But feels great to know this is true for me, and I have come to value explanations for my emotions quite a bit of late :)
Anyway, great to remember that I can feel this!
Author Yuvi Panda