Current status: Barbershop Quartet

A few weeks ago Omar and Joost said to me: “You really need a vacation, you haven’t had a week of since you started.” They were and are completely correct. It would be silly to suggest I didn’t need a vacation. After being in crunch mode for several weeks preparing for two exams and after that releasing Yoast SEO 3.2, while in the same week giving two presentations within Yoast on different subjects I was really tired.

And then you are free to do anything. The void that is left will be filled with a rollercoaster of emotions. There is a place in my life for a meditative practice but I have not been able to stick with it for longer than 30 days. This means that I don’t listen to my emotions enough while in crunch mode or while working normally and they all get released when there is a moment of free time.

Whenever I am in an emotional rollercoaster it is always filled with sentimental music. This time, it is the barbershop quartet from Bioshock Infinite. It got triggered by this video from PAX. Cosplayers are awesome! So this has been on repeat for a while now. Other instances of this featured Baba Yetu, Hide and Seek, and even Meet the Medic. All these songs give me goosebumps when I haven’t listened to them for a long time.

I am very proud of everything I have done over the last years, from someone that woke up panicking to the sound of being called about a missed appointment to someone that can give two presentations in a week while being super nervous for both of them while having just done two exams. While I write this I am amazed and proud of the turnaround.

Except for the fact that in a lot of cases it doesn’t feel different, I still feel anxious, I still feel scared, I still feel like I don’t belong to be here. And all this is multiplied when I am not busy.

I haven’t really found a good way to deal with weeks like these. Any tips or guidance is welcome.

3 thoughts on “Current status: Barbershop Quartet

  • Sometimes actually allowing yourself to be nervous, and just feeling fear without having to solve it by preparing more is the key. Just breathe and have faith in yourself, you’ve survived this far with all that extra stress. And if you have any specific nervous thoughts challenge them by asking yourself if that thought is actually true, if you can prove it to be true and if it actually helps you feel better. Hope this helps, Im so proud of how far you’ve come 🙂

  • I don’t think any of us ever have it together 100%. Everyone has their own problems, their own things that they like, and their own insecurities. There’s nothing against improving yourself, but you also have to remember that who you are is okay. ‘Normal’ is just an act that all of us perform.

    And I think if you work on something you really enjoy and you gain success with it, there is a tendency to not believe it is true. I know a lot of people who feel that way. I do too sometimes. It’s hard to deal with, but something that works for me is to remember why you do what you do. To remember what you like about your chosen hobby or profession, why you choose to do it. Try to capture that, be it a bunch of images in your dropbox, a youtube playlist, a collection of badges on your wall, or quotes in a text file. Something that brings you back to what inspires you. And look at that when you feel confused. Strive to add to it regularly. It’s like pressing the right stick to re-center the camera.

    You’re doing really well man. Keep it up.

    p.s. that God Only Knows cover is great.

  • Anton, you are an amazing person. You totally rock!

    Regarding the fear, the anxiety, and the feeling of not belonging, welcome to the club. 15 years in my career, and it’s still there. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. You’ll get used to it, just keep up the good work!

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