today i want to give up.
today i want to leave the office, pack my things, fly somewhere warm and start a new life, never to return to tech.
if you didn’t know me today and you looked at my google searches and bash log and listened to my conversations… you would expect to find, probably, a small mentally disabled child with no programming experience or even a basic grasp of the english language. What you would NOT expect to find a 32 year old professional, salaried engineer at a silicon valley tech company trying her _fucking _best.
today i can’t find the patterns. i can’t rely on any of the ways i reverse engineer the answers because every new problem completely changes the rules i know. i can’t ask my friends because this is internal config stuff. i’ve had a few hours of people messing about on my computer trying to help but they confused me more. trying to troubleshoot side-bar problems, then giving up, backtracking and hacking solutions before saying they had to run to a meeting. and i scramble to retrace what they did confusing myself more. and after i ask again if they can help me close the loop and it’s met with frustration. “i’m busy can’t you just figure this out” looks. So I give up and spend hours oscillating between ” I WILL do what it TAKES even if i have to read an entire book on Vagrant” then getting buried in web of CS theory, then feeling my face get flushed with the heat of desperation, then deciding to take a walk to calm down, determined to own the space between the stimulus and the response. Then sitting back down with another hour having gone by without progress, starting over again with slightly less optimism and a slightly lower breaking point.
if i were the photographer in the photoshoot of my life i’d be yelling “you’re upset! you’re inadequate! you’re at the end of your rope! show me hopelessness! show me total anguish!”
4 Diet Cokes, 6 walks, 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (the true sign of a stressful day), 8 hundred million stack overflow threads, 10 thousand billion internal hackpads and i have to call it a day having made negative progress.
“you’re pathetic! show me disappointment! show me worthlessness!”
switch over to my other project as a last ditch effort to feel valuable. desperate to feel like i belong here. cut to me reading borderline condescending code review, which was probably meant to be constructive “tough love” but instead it comes off as “you don’t know what the FUCK you’re doing, do you?”
“show me a broken spirit! show me shattered confidence!”
cut to me swallowing my pride (and trying not to cry cuz god KNOWS I’d set back women in tech a thousand years if I cried at work because of a harsh code review) and blocking off some time to have someone hold my hand through this part.
“you’re useless! you’re actually making this team less productive! show me guilt! show me fear!”
what they didn’t anticipate was how the pressure not to fail at this, to never let them doubt giving me this chance, is making the learning process excruciating. it’s making me hypersensitive to the lack of social grace that’s typical in this field. it’s making it hard for me to LEARN the right way to ask for help because it feels tied to failure.
today i feel like i don’t belong here.
today i really wish someone would tell me how hard this is and it’s okay to not get it right away.
today i wish i didn’t feel like there was something wrong with me for needing some support.
today i wish i could be completely fearless.
but i’m not.
2 thoughts on “flash”
Thanks for this, Kari. I don’t think I’d have as much courage to be so vulnerable and honest. But I *definitely* have days where I feel like I have made net-negative progress, *especially* when Vagrant is involved.
Thank you for sharing exactly what I’m thinking today. I don’t even know how I stumbled onto your blog, but it has been a relief today to know others are still making the decision to leave the known behind and strike off to a destination that we “think” we can see with few specific directions..