This post was written 2024-01-01 00:00:00 -0600 by Robert Whitney and has been viewed an unknown number of times since unknown time. This post was last viewed an unknown length of time ago.
Another year has come and gone, and as I bid farewell to 2023, I reflect on how far I've come, though I'm not quite where I want to be yet. Contemplating the challenges faced and sacrifices made, I feel fortunate for friends and a partner whose support is unwavering when times get tough. Despite the progress, I acknowledge there's still a long way to go and plenty of work ahead.
I've stumbled on past goals, particularly when it comes to publishing projects or writing more blog posts. My harshest critic? Yours truly. Being a perfectionist, satisfaction with my work remains elusive. While I hoped to overcome this, the struggle persists, even on the most basic tasks.
Opening up publicly about these struggles isn't my usual vibe, but honesty is vital. It's been a longstanding battle, and finding a starting point to fix it is a challenge in itself.
My fascination with technology dates back as far as memory serves. From gaming to websites, the intrigue never waned. High school marked my decision to delve into programming, with a burning desire to create websites and video games, even though I knew zilch about programming back then.
Enter internet chat rooms on YahooIM and AIM, my go-to for programming discussions.
However, they were often plagued by spam bots and trolls, and so I sought out alternatives until..
Excuse the crude language, but if the internet had a butthole (and a butthole within that butthole, and so on), the chat rooms that I found myself in by 2008 would be that disgusting pus-filled wart-infested spot. By 2015, things escalated – encounters with ISIS, 99.9999% probability that I had landed on at least one government watchlist, and a downhill spiral without the much-needed support from friends and family. Multiple "SWAT'ing" calls, doxing, constant harassment, and threats ensued, with people even pretending to be me to escalate the torment.
To protect myself, I developed various compulsive behaviors, intensified by a cocktail of antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety medications over six years as result of bipolar misdiagnosis. Borderline agoraphobia set in, aided by the likes of Doordash, Instacart, and the COVID pandemic, enabling a decline in my mental health. Living in a constant state of fear and paranoia, I was afraid to leave home, talk to people, or do anything. Yet, I was also afraid to do nothing, fearing wasted time and a wasted life. The cycle of writing down project ideas without finishing, or even working on, them became a relentless loop.
Therefore, as I step into 2024, I'm wholeheartedly devoted to revisiting my old projects, striving to complete and share anything that has seen significant progress. Adding to the plan is a commitment to penning more blog posts about these experiences. My resolution for 2024 extends beyond personal growth; it's a pledge to cast away fear, to cease being daunted by the prospect of putting myself out there. In doing so, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to those who've stood by me through thick and thin, and to those who I know will continue to do so for many years to come. I aspire to embrace failures as much as successes, viewing them not as setbacks but as stepping stones towards invaluable learning experiences. 🚀
Your life will prosper only if you acknowledge your faults and work to reduce them.
A fortune cookie that I got from a Chinese restaurant in 2023