Hello World (again)

January 31, 2020 • 3 min read

I’m going to open this maiden post with some straight up honesty (we could do with more of that in the world)… I’m not quite sure why I’m blogging.

I’m lucky enough to read through plenty of material online throughout the week. Consuming thoughts from an exhaustive list of sources seems to come for free with the profession. Reddit, Twitter, StackOverflow, Medium (eurgh…), LinkedIn and Instagram just to name a few. To me, the majority of it represents a shouty, overly large pool of organisms trying to figure things out for themselves. Some look for their view on the world to be heard. Others are just looking for any kind of direction.

As human beings, I feel we naturally look for advice, guidance or reassurance when in the unknown. One thing I can say is that it’s hard to find information on things we struggle with every single day but (for a variety of reasons) we won’t raise.

  • What happens if I can’t do this thing? will people think I’m stupid?
  • What will people think if I ask a question that’s stupid?
  • Am I good enough to be here?
  • What things should I learn and what should I avoid?
  • Am I being honest with myself?
  • Why doesn’t that person like me?
  • Could I have done that better?
  • Could I be happier?
  • Am I difficult?

I’ve either been asked these questions or have pondered them myself over the last year. If we’re lucky, these questions usually end up with you and a companion putting the world to rights and you both come away with a new, (hopefully) agreed view on the world. Nice, problem solved! No, not quite. Many people find it beyond tough to think about these questions/themes, let alone talk about them.

This can be for various reasons. Perhaps you struggle to trust people? Perhaps you are in a dynamic where this can’t happen with the person who should give you guidance? Perhaps you don’t have the confidence? Perhaps you are introverted? Perhaps you just don’t know how to approach the problem and you are boxed in with your thoughts to fill the void…

So why the blog then?

I recently received a message from a very dear friend of mine:

When you exploded at me about work and all the stresses late 2018, my perspective of you and your life changed dramatically. Given I tell you about my own mental challenges, it’d be interesting to know your thought process.

I sat down with a coffee and reflected about that message for longer than I’d like to admit while piecing together how I came to be like that. I once reached out for help and was given the advice that I should leave my home life at the door, which I promptly did. This is where the turtle of emotion surfaced for me (a hard exterior with a soft core). The problem is, you can only contain that emotion for so long. Like it or not, it’s coming out and likely when you least expect it.

Post said explosion, I felt an enormous sense of relief for getting things off my chest, giving that friend much more insight into me as a human being and enlightening myself to the dangers of surpressing pressure and the accompanying emotions. I realised in that moment that the advice given to me was the wrong advice.

On World Mental Health Day, the power of vulnerability in the workplace should be celebrated.

Like it or not, you bring your whole self to work. I have a much stronger connection to that person (and others) because of the open exchanges I can now have.

So… This (coupled with a few supposed ‘helpful’ replies I gave on reddit recently and learning Gatsby/Netlify) naturally led to me thinking I should probably put these musings onto virtual paper that surround issues or adversity I’ve faced within myself and the wider day job. If nobody sees it, that’s fine. I’m happy in the thought someone might stumble across it some day, providing some insight and perhaps even support to those seeking it.

I stumbled on a great quote recently that really resonated with me (thanks, reddit!):

Tech is easy, people are hard.

TL;DR: I guess this is me (another complex person) trying to put more content out there for people to see another perspective on problems we see and face everyday.

Personal musings of Chris Evans. Smacking a keyboard for a living.