Personal Musings: Through The Dark

Greetings once more,

I know I’ve been a little quiet but apart from the Microsoft debacle things have been fairly quiet since E3. Understandable as dev teams are just getting on with making the games that they have promised. However, today this post is somewhat different. In fact it is an entirely personal post.

So the last few weeks I’ve had somewhat of a rollercoaster of emotions. Usually when this term is used you picture highs and lows. Well this is much more of an underground rollercoaster where it is most beyond standard “downs” and the ups are barely hitting the regular lows. Melodramatic? Probably but that is what I am feeling. Why is this I hear those who are still reading and not wandering off say? (Side-note: It is entirely valid to be wandering off. I am not asking nor expecting people to read my drivel at the best of times but I made this blog to offload my personal thoughts on things and it WILL relate to tech soon, honest! If you want to skip to that part it is after the —-‘s)

Here is the deal, I suffer or have suffered from bereavement, self-depreciation, confidence issues, self-worthlessness, self-harm, excessively beating myself up for my failures, massive trust issues and (sure this one will be a surprise) depression –even though I was signed off as okay it still feels a part of me. Throw in a pretty large helping of really “bad” luck and it is very rare that I’ve felt that I have any control over what happens in my life.

I’ve dealt with most of this things but not dealing with them. I can’t comprehend how to so I just don’t. I try and do the best I can with what I have and end up throwing myself into what other people need because I can’t control my own fortunes so I do all I can to enhance their fortunes, their lives and to try to help them be happier people. Of course there is a cost to this, and over the last 3 years especially the more I’ve done the higher the price, but it is what I have always done and likely always will.

To illustrate just how far my fortune fails I am a guitarist by nature. It is how I make my “living” for want of a better word because it is my only income. I have worked incredibly hard for 17 years of my life to be the best musician and teacher I can be. Naturally as a guitarist my wrists, fingers and hands are the most important part of me. My left wrist contains a cyst with comes and goes. At its best it hurts to play guitar at all, at its worst it makes me physically need to scream. My right wrist is arthritic so when I move it shooting pains go up and down my arm and all five fingers swell making it difficult to do most picking. Good times, eh?


So why the Hells am I just saying all this? Because I think I have actually realised where my love of technology and hardware comes from. The last two weeks have been especially difficult and I have been quite reflective on my life. Computers play a massive part in my internal coping methods. I can write words to people and change them before I let other people see them. I can look and reflect on the words I say. I can just escape from it all and remove myself from social interaction and it is easier to say that you’re okay when people can’t see that you aren’t.

It goes deeper than that for me. The humble PC is crafted from individual parts. All logically separated in their function. They all connect to separate locations within a centre location. They all draw power from a single source and then together they create something that is greater than the individual parts.

When I build a system I have researched each part and weighed the options against performance, price, reviews and my own feelings on what I know from experience. I then take these parts and put them into a system. Sometimes I mess up –I still have 4gb of memory that I need to shift because of one such cock-up-  but I can look at it, take my time, think about the problem (probably with a cuppa) and then take a course of action which I decide. There are no outside curve balls to ruin things, no stupid little worries or fears, no people to be hurt by my stupidity or words that can hurt me.

Just a problem. And a solution.

In the end there is something tangible that can be taken away, that is usable and can be used in an infinite number of ways. When I create my own systems they become reflections of myself because, like music, they are an outlet for me to express and control my own emotions. When I am happy or sad I build computers. My current computer was build while I was very happy and that reflects has been an unbelievably solid system. My previous system was when I was really self-conscious and sad –this system crashes on occasion and sometimes just needs to calm down before it works right- and the one before that would completely stop working until the motherboard had been removed, reseated, tested rigorously and then put back in… Just the mood there folks!

I spent last week in a school as part of my PGCE Pre-course and I was observing ICT for the week. I never did A-level ICT or even GCSE ICT but because of the love and knowledge I have on tech I had the confidence to talk and discuss technological goings on and most were really surprised to hear that I was a musician and nothing to actually do with ICT. Even with my confidence problems I was able to talk to these kids about something I am not even qualified in.

I am lucky that I have something that helps me fight against my own head –or at least creates a world where I can just escape and be away from it all- and a lot of people, really amazingly strong and good people, don’t have this and feel helpless. Helping them find something positive to battle their demons shouldn’t be underestimated and I have lost some close friends because of this. Please, try and be there for those who need it but understand that sometimes the best thing is space. Some people try to force others to be “better” and it doesn’t work like that. Just try to be there when they need it and one of the best ways I’ve found is to convert things in to positive ways.

On that note, I need to find some of my own positive ways to deal with these current emotions. Feel free to share your own. Take care of yourselves.


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