Rewilding our imaginations takes time and effort and creativity. But the rewards are great and they’re essential to feed the bubbling cauldron of our creativity. Finding our own paths through the vast thickets of information and inspiration is a gritty, funky adventure.
But much tastier than the bland, starchy troughs of the Metaverse.
I finally had to see what the Wordle hype was all about.
Wordle 211 4/6
Going above and beyond can sometimes backfire.
Because I had said yes to every assignment, in hopes that would help me move on to my next opportunity, I had become indispensable, and my manager wouldn’t let me go. Being indispensable had temporarily killed my career.
While job-hoppers can be viewed as unreliable or lacking commitment, those who have stayed too long in a role can be perceived as stagnant, too comfortable, and not innovative. Staying in the same role too long can also impact your confidence and your own view of your capabilities. Ultimately, it can stand in the way of your career growth and advancement.
Here’s an interesting counter argument to the idea of valuing experiences over things. In a nutshell, we live in an era in which things are cheap while experiences are not. We should instead seek to minimize certain experiences, such as education, real estate, and healthcare.
Also, buying the right things strategically can enhance our lives in ways we don’t recognize.
I love the way economists view situations and challenge the status quo. If I could do it all over again, maybe I would major in economics, though marketing ain’t so bad either.
NFTs offer the potential for creators to be better compensated for their work. There are also positive signs that firms will continue to innovate and invest in hardware and services that should reduce fees and increase security. However, like most “revolutionary” technologies, they will ultimately prove evolutionary, changing lives in ways that are meaningful, but likely less dramatic than envisioned. This is the great truth of technological progress: It’s always more boring than we expect.
It’s LinkedIn and Polywork official: I’ve left the oil and gas industry.
I couldn’t be more excited. And it’s hard to imagine how I could have gotten any luckier.
My new career
After nearly 14 years as a petroleum land professional, I will finally be using my marketing degree as a marketing specialist for a local IT services company.
During my job search, I focused on technical writing jobs while also testing other waters. Though this is a marketing position, my interest and studying of technical writing will come in handy as I communicate to potential clients why exactly IT support is crucial.
This job will marry so many of my interests: writing, marketing, and technology.
I couldn’t have drawn it up better if I’d tried.
Appreciation for my old career
As I say goodbye to a career in oil and gas, I want to be sure to take a moment to say thank you. I can’t imagine how my life would have shaped if I hadn’t stumbled into the oil and gas business. I was lucky to have been in the right place at the right time—in the Barnett Shale in 2008 and the Permian Basin in 2012—when opportunities were plenty, allowing me to level up my career as if I had entered some kind of cheat code.
The oil and gas industry is where I cut my teeth as a professional. It’s where all my greatest accomplishments have so far taken place.
For all these reasons and more, I am grateful.
But it’s time to move on
All that said, my run in the oil and gas industry has come to an end. My mama told me never to wear out my welcome, and I may have already stuck around too long.
It’s time for a change. It’s time for new adventures.
But before I get too far down this path, I want to share a blog post about my job search journey, which I hope to do sometime in the next couple weeks.
New fountain pen day!
Platinum Preppy with stock ink and cartridge
Jinhao 992 with Noodler’s Midway Blue ink…I think I’m in love with this ink.
I know next to nothing about web3. But nearly 14 years in oil and gas have taught me to be wary of hype ignoring threats or pitfalls.
Crypto/blockchain/web3 will likely present some legitimate changes and opportunities, but they will be far fewer than the prophets would have us believe.
Some will make a killing. Others will lose a lot. Getting in early is high-risk, high-reward. Nothing new there
Jas Hothi recently made an interesting proposal on his blog: Instead of setting rigid goals for the new year, try establishing your intentions for the next 365 days. He also recommended defining a one-word theme for the coming year.
For 2022, my theme will be create. I spent a lot of time in 2021 studying writing, including working through the bulk of my technical writing certification. But in 2022, I need to focus more on doing, on active verbs, on showing and not telling.
Intentions related to creating
Reconnect with my inner artist
Yeah, it sounds hippie dippy, but it’s necessary. I’ve sold out my inner artist in the name of being a professional. One of my intentions going forward is to learn how to integrate the two. You don’t have to be one or the other—you can be both at the same time.
But to do so, I have to acknowledge my artistic inclinations. I have to be real about this part of myself.
What exactly does this all mean? How will I go about doing it?
That’s something I’ll have to figure out as the days unwind.
Disconnect from screens more often
I don’t know how exactly to quantify this intention, but I want to spend less time in front of screens. Screens are pretty much a necessity for 21st century living. But the technology giveth and the technology taketh, so while technology can make certain parts of lives easier, it also drains brainpower and distracts past the point of productivity.
But rest easy: I’m not looking to go back to the Stone Age, at least not full time.
To disconnect more often, I need to be more intentional about my usage. Be efficient, get stuff done, but don’t linger on screens out of habit. Pick up a pen and some paper and write something, anything that may lead to new ideas. Pick up your Kindle and read one of your 300+ unread books.
Maybe I’m cheating by not classifying the Kindle as a screen. But oh well, it’s better than sticking my face in a tablet or monitor. It’s like vaping compared to smoking. Yeah, vaping isn’t as healthy as being completely clean, but it’s better than sucking on cancer sticks.
Write daily journal/diary entries
I’ve tried long-form journaling off and on for years, and for some reason, the practice never sticks. But I’m going to make a point of sticking with this daily in 2022. If nothing else, a daily journal or diary entry is great writing practice, and some days, it may be the best practice I can squeeze in.
Intentions unrelated to creating
Lose 13 pounds
I lost 20 pounds in the second half of 2021. I feel great and I’m proud of my weight loss. I want to ride the momentum I’ve created so that I can lose 13 more pounds. I’m going to have to buy better-fitting clothes when it’s all said and done, so I might as well see how low I can go.
Transition out of the oil and gas industry
This will be the goal that stretches me in 2022. In December 2021 I became a free agent, and I think it’s time to walk away from oil and gas. I’ve drifted away from my natural skills in an attempt to stay relevant in the industry, and I’m burned out on the cyclical nature of a career so closely tied to a commodity.
I’m focusing on getting into technical writing, though I’m keeping my options open.
Happy new year
A new year is upon us. While any day is a good day for healthy change, the new year is a natural cue to reflect on all the ways we can improve our lives and the lives of those around us.
So, what are you intentions and themes for 2022? Please write them into existence and share them with others. Don’t hold them all to yourself.
This morning was the first time I ever heard “The Thing” by Pixies, a remix of the end of “The Happening”. The spoken word portion—hypnotic and beautiful and chilling—of the original tune remains one of my favorite snippets of music.
Toward the end of my first listen, I realized I had goosebumps, around the time when Black Francis said, “Everyone was remembering to forget they had the chills,” as if on cue.
The title of my post about one of America’s first UFO crashes, “The happening in Aurora, Texas” is a proud reference to the original song. Would the incident have appealed to me if it weren’t for Pixies and their songs about UFOs and aliens and other planets? I don’t believe in little green men in cigar-shaped ships who crash into windmills in old rural Texas. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the stories, the art the beliefs of others inspire.
It’s interesting the not-so-obvious ways influences can shape you and your work. The song and the accompanying thoughts have been a welcome and unexpected early Christmas gift.
I’m about 30% through The Facebook Files, a collection of the Wall Street Journal’s articles for their big exposé.
And…WSJ’s findings are pretty damning.
We were already asking whether Facebook and Instagram were good for us, but it’s another thing completely when you read about Facebook’s actions (or lack thereof) in light of its own research and findings.
This morning I recorded a couple voice memos in Obsidian on my phone.
Recording into an Obsidian note is great because I’m more likely to revisit the recording. Usually, when I go to record a voice memo in another app, I discover 7 or 8 other memos I’ve forgotten.
Also, because the memo is inside a note, it’ll be easy to elaborate the note with text all in the same place.
A buddy and I are talking about starting a podcast next year.
Last night we gave Zencastr a run at recording a podcast remotely. The test went pretty smoothly. Now I just have to learn some basic audio editing.
Keeping all notes (except template files) in the root folder.
It’s tempting to believe that powerful people and organizations are conspiring in secret to cause mysterious or unfair events to occur. The conspiracies supposedly involve dozens of people working across many time zones in complete secrecy.
That’s unlikely. Unlikely because cooperation of this sort is hard to find, especially among the powerful, and because it’s essentially impossible to keep it a secret.
It’s that time of year again when your boss pulls you into his office and pulls out the list of things you told him you were going to accomplish this year. And then he tells you all the ways you fell short.
I don’t have a boss as I’m typing this, so I’ll have to torture myself.
What were my goals again?
The goals I set for myself in 2021 were to:
Read 30 books.
Take 3 writing classes.
Finish watching Kids in the Hall.
Go the whole year without wearing blue jeans.
So how did I do?
Well, let’s take it one goal at a time, starting with the top.
Read 30 books.
I knocked this one out of the park. According to my logging on literal.club, I read 43 books in 2021.
30 or 43 books may not seem like much to some people. But before 2021, I had never kept record of how many books I had read in a given year. Reading 30 books in a year means you’re reading between two and three books a month. If you read one book a month, you’re likely reading more than the average American.
So, I’m happy with this accomplishment.
But I learned something surprising from this goal: I will no longer challenge myself to read a certain number of books within a certain timeframe.
Blog posts and even tweets from the right person can have just as much value as books. So the point should be to read continuously and to keep record of what I’ve read–but not to set some sort of goal for the quantity of one medium over any others.
Take 3 writing classes.
I killed this one. I took writing courses on Coursera, courses for my technical writing certification, courses on Udemy and LinkedIn Learning. I’m pretty sure I had taken three classes before the close of the first quarter of the year.
I got learned up in 2021.
Finish watching Kids in the Hall
I botched this one. Long story short, I screwed up the video files I had ripped to my server and then re-ripped them and didn’t start over.
The good news: I had time to watch all three seasons of What We Do in the Shadows. So, I’ll still consider this one a win.
Go the whole year without wearing blue jeans
No joke: This is the goal I’m proudest of. I did not wear blue jeans once this year.
Basketball shorts, track pants? Yep. And yep.
But blue jeans? No way, Jose.
I’ve never been as comfortable as I was in 2021. But losing nearly 20 pounds may have also had something to do with that.
How does 2021 grade?
In terms of these goals, I give 2021 an A.
Perhaps I would have given it an A+ if I had squeezed in Kids in the Hall.
Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all.
And now it’s time to start thinking about my goals for 2022.