robert xu

good programmers are masochists.

mental health is important.

when your mental health is damaged – whether it be worrying about too many things, anxieties skyrocketing (something i have particular trouble with), or just personal, family, or work issues, there needs to be a process to stop and step back.

i can already feel a personal day coming up, but some of the things i've learned to do when i've not had any sort of opportunity for utilising a personal or vacation day is to try to compartmentalise the situation and determine what's important or what isn't.

then, i try to tackle the things that will be the quickest so that the list doesn't seem so long. yes, there are still big and longstanding things, but making the list not seem so long is also a huge benefit.

the key thing there though is that there are a lot of people telling you what's important and what's not – and at the end of the day, those opinions don't matter. the most important thing is your mental health, and everything should take a backseat to that.

stress is a strange thing to measure.

when it comes to stress, i've gotten a myriad of opinions on what exactly the level of stress i should be experiencing is necessary for me to call it stress. some people have said small things are too much work for me; others have said that i'm clearly not doing nearly enough for me to be stressed out about anything.

i've come to realise though that stress isn't something that you can measure on a measuring stick – something static. it's ever changing. i think it's easier to weigh it against happiness.

when you're stressed but happy about something, suddenly that stress doesn't seem so bad and it feels more rewarding. likewise, when you're not so stressed but also very unhappy, that stress feels a lot more backbreaking.

i think in the end, i should just stop listening to people about what they think should or should not stress me out – and focus on whether something makes me happy or not.

because that's all that matters in the end.

#happiness

given recent events, i'm going to try to encourage myself to write more.

it gives me a structure for me to frame my thoughts around, and helps me to better shape my viewpoint on the world, whether through my lens or others.

i have a list of topics linked from my front page that i'd like to write about sometime. if there's something that you'd like me to write about, let me know.

#writing #meta #life

sometimes we don't get to do things on our own terms.

for all the freedom that we have, sometimes the things i want to do get preempted by something else more important, or a discovery that someone else has made has forced me to react in another way. things like secrets coming to light, or sudden issues in the family, etc.

for all the planning that can go into things like these, it still never fails to surprise me when all of it goes out the window in a split second and you just have to react and hope it doesn't make things worse.

two weeks ago, i gave one of those secrets out after a pointed question that was very definitely probing for that secret. it was unplanned, sloppy, and two weeks on, is still having resonating effects on all affected parties.

it's not a harmful secret; it's just a personal one that i kept close to me because it was part of me. but it's been forced out and my anxiety has shot through the roof. some days it's just hard for me to think.

on the one hand, i had planned for this eventuality. people with these secrets usually don't get the luxury of revealing them on their own time. they're usually stuck debating what the best scenario is to reveal these secrets and what the ideal location, time, people to know would be. it usually never goes to plan, either. i had anticipated it, and so when it happened, i felt numb for the first 24 hours and then recovered afterwards.

but the resonating effects is spreading beyond who knows now – and a secret is a secret if you don't tell anyone. but it's been told. all i can do is brace myself for the eventuality and prepare for the worst.

i'll survive though. hopefully.

#comingouttofamily

i got a new macbook pro two days ago. and wow does the keyboard feel weird.

in a way, the keyboard feels very fragile – like if I typed too hard, the keys would just fall apart. there's no travel distance on these new butterfly keys and that's just... really strange to me.

i'm used to typing very quickly and hard on any sort of keyboard, so using a keyboard like the ones the previous macbooks had is really really good for me because i know when i'm hitting keys and when i'm not. i emphasize again the travel distance the key has to go to hit the bottom because i use mechanical keyboards when i'm not using a laptop, and i really really need to feel the distance.

oh, and the touch bar. can we talk about the touch bar? it's weird for me to reach up and hit escape, only to feel a screen there. i've had to double take a couple of times already because i thought it didn't work, and it's so jarring.

there are some good touchbar presets for bettertouchtool, though, and thankfully I had a license for that before because bettertouchtool was the only thing that could snap windows for me correctly on a mac. i plan on trying out goldenchaos-btt and aquatouch-btt and seeing what works for me.

docks: why are all the docks so expensive? in a way, i kind of get it, but man this really hurts. also, i'd really like a dongle that could give me a 85w pd charge that could also pass through but also i realise how much that won't happen. i saw there was an anker one that could do that but required a 100w pd charger that seems to be no longer sold, so that sucks.

arq isn't backing up, because for some reason when it makes the ?lifecycle call to s3 it thinks the date is 1398. i remember when i initially started the laptop the date was far back in the past, but NTP should've fixed that. resetting pram/nvram didn't help. no idea what to do. emailed arq support; let's see what happens.

i've only had this mbp for about 48 hours, so i'll probably document more of my thoughts as i get them.

(i didn't write this post on that macbook though – i'm using my old one. i'll have to try it sometime.)

#computers #laptops #macbook #macbookpro #mbp

for those who are observant, i've moved to write.as.

i really really wanted to keep using hugo, but there were two issues that arose during my usage:

  1. i used to keep everything on my macbook pro, especially at university. that doesn't happen anymore – i use a windows computer (mainly for gaming) at home and that laptop is relegated to light browsing.

  2. i tried to solve that by using forestry.io, but honestly motivation on trying to upgrade hugo without breaking my theme constantly (this was an issue a couple of times) was rock bottom.

so i've abstracted that out. honestly, i was thinking of hosting something like ghost, but i didn't want to deal with the issues of self-hosting + the price.

i tried svbtle, but lack of custom pages + ssl on custom domains was a dealbreaker for me. i really liked their ideas to posts flow, and i wish write.as had a similar ideas page which i could create posts from (they have a notebook mode, which is nice, but that'd end up on another blog).

so here we are. let's see how it goes this time. maybe, just maybe, this will encourage me to write enough. i hope.

#encouragement #meta #write.as #motivation

it feels like it's been forever since I last blogged; even moreso when you actually count the years. life keeps moving fast paced and when everything's just coming at you and trying to wear you down, you spend all your energy trying to withstand the tide; and then where's the motivation to blog? stress release was better served then by reading, gaming, or just – sleeping.

but recently i've had some major life changes, and it always seems like i blog whenever something major happens. in a way, my life is very boring if i've found nothing to blog about; but that was actually because i could adequately explain what has happened in my life and that suited me fine.

recent events, however, have left me utterly speechless and reaching futilely for words which i couldn't define. trying to form a sentence left me floundering in a word puddle that, frankly, didn't make sense and just irked me, because I thought, I used to be better than this! but it turns out no, not anymore, because I haven't written in ages.

so when these recent events hit, i was kind of at a loss for words. and it's been extremely hard for me to even begin to figure out what was happening. so i'm going to try to motivate myself more to blog more; to speak more; to write more clearly and contextualize what i could not before.

hopefully it'll work.

#beginnings #meta #life #events

Enter your email to subscribe to updates.