jsx

A daily journey of building things and trying to find the next thing

I have always been a quiet person. I have never wanted to have much attention on me. I want to be in the background, and I did a lot of listening when I was a kid.

I remember when I got my first stereo. I was a teenager, and it was my brother old hardware. I thought it was amazing that it could hold five CDs inside one box. But I also I remember that when I was exploring different kinds of music and discovering all these sounds, I started using headphones more and more often.

The thing that I love about consuming art like that is that it feels so personal. There is nobody else experiencing that piece of art in that way at that moment. In my emotional teenage state, I thought that was incredible.

Podcasts have slowly become one of my favorite mediums. I listen to about two hours of content a day on average. I also use two different apps to manage all of the shows that I want to follow. If it’s a show I listen to occasionally, I keep it on Google Play Music. If I become a regular listener to a podcast, it gets promoted to the Pocket Casts.

The thing that I like most about the podcast medium is that I listen to it mostly in the car or with headphones on. It all seems so personal. If there is a good interview, it feels like I’m at a dinner party with the guest and host.

Podcasts have allowed me to explore topics and hear different points of view. They have helped me grow as a person.

The depths and chaos of a day seem to get more and more intense with each year. As we get older, we have bigger issues to deal with, and those decisions can have a larger impact on our lives and the lives of people around us.

I have always wanted to find a tip or method to solve a problem. I can easily fall into habits and go on autopilot with all of my routines, so I always like to inject new things into the process to keep it fresh.

I had a discussion with a friend recently about his process of working through a tough decision. But we found ourselves wondering what do people do when things get hard. What do people do when the stress starts to kick in, and they don’t have an answer to fall back on?

One method that has always worked for me is an activity that involves headphones. For most of my life, headphones have been one of the most essential tools for me. The isolation and focus that a good set of headphone can instantly provide are second to none. You can block out those external forces and start to think.

I often like to pair that headphone isolation with a walk or somewhere far away from interaction with people. Sometimes, you don’t even need to listen to anything. Just wearing headphones is a method of focus and signals to the world that you need a minute.

I recently decided that I want to look at what I’ve done in the past as I get ready to plan out the rest of the year. I started to Google myself and searched through multiple different platforms to find old documents about myself, and I came across an old podcast I started in 2006 that was for a blog I was running at the time. I had no idea why I made the podcast or what my goal was, but there it was: my one 101-minute long episode.

There is something super disappointing about seeing that single episode. I have always wanted to make a podcast, and this particular podcast was an idea I been kicking around for 12 years.

Seeing my one lone episode made me think about what could have been if I had stuck with it and just kept trying to do this thing that I had so passionately wanted to do. I love audio and podcasts, and I think about making a show every day.

I go through the days when I think experimentally and try to do a lot of different things, and I find myself never sticking with an idea, never following through and going to that next level or doing that extra deep dive into something, powering through and trying to find that sweet spot.

So here I am, 12 years later with four different podcasts that all have one episode each. I keep trying to get back into this game, but I always get to a certain level and then give up. When should you stop, and how do you know if you suck?

I tend to try a lot of different apps and services. One of my first checks in the morning is Product Hunt to see if there is anything new worth checking out.

Recently, my Chrome install felt a bit bloated, so I switched to Firefox for most of my day-to-day browsing. But then I heard the Brave CEO on an episode of This Week In Startups. I had heard about the BAT Token and loved the idea, so I decided to give Brave a try.

Brave’s main selling point is the built-in ad tracking and privacy. After using the browser for a little while, the results spoke for themselves. So far, I have blocked 4,300 trackers. This time-saving feature feels like a game, and I just want to see that number grow.

Each year since I started my writing habits I have done a bit of a recap. I started my writing journey three years ago. My goal was just to do something different and explore a different type of creative output and three years later. I am still going and I don’t see myself stopping soon.

The benefits are all still there. I feel like I can think clearer. I feel like I can handle more complex questions easier.

The journaling habit has just become part of my life now. It’s not a hassle and it is not a problem. It was one of those activities that I look forward to stilling.

I do like to experiment with the process and try some new things. I tried to use paper journals this year and that was harder than I thought. It was still easier for me to get into a text editor and just start writing. I can still get into the zone quicker and it is just easier to review.

It feels like it has helped me grow as a person and my creativity has never been higher.

I wanted to do something that was going to break up my schedule. I can be a very habit and schedule based person so I needed to do something that was just different.

I made a playlist of songs that I loved when I was in my 20s. Some of these songs are 15 years old which baffled me. Then, I just want to a certain spot and put my phone on airplane mode.

There is a certain place that I like to take a walk. There is hardly ever any people and it I find it be a place where I can think clearly.

I have been feeling like I haven’t been right over the last few weeks. Something was just off and I couldn’t figure it out. Walking around this lake surrounded by beautiful trees and the faint sound of traffic. I couldn’t see anyone from the spot I was sitting at.

I grabbed my notebook and started writing. I always do best when I don’t think and start writing.

I wrote down two things.

“Stop being afraid” and “there is still time.”

I have been on a bit of a quest lately. I have been going through some older movies and albums that are and have been the very inspiration to me in the past. I want to talk about a movie soundtrack which is not something that I usually spend a lot of time with.

Marie Antoine was released in 2006. At nearly, twelve years ago I remember watching the trailer. I thought it was so cool that they had more modern songs in the trailer. I ended up seeing the movie and during the opening credits seeing Gang Of Fours “Naturals Not In.” I remember sitting in the theatre thinking you can’t do this. How are they getting away with this?

I didn’t know you could do that with the soundtrack. But, they used the tools that they had to tell a great story and to get your attention. It was just such a different approach to how to use music in film. It felt like it broke all the rules and it didn't care.

I have been working on front-end projects for almost 10 years now. I rarely write about the topic and I rarely speak up about it.

I love going through Codepens, listening to different podcasts, watching walkthroughs on YouTube and learning as much as I can from the community. We share a lot and it is always inspiring to see what people create and what people are doing.

I get inspired by seeing what people can create and what people do with technology. The places they go and how much they can push something when you thought it was maxed out.

I used to be scared and ashamed to share the things that I would create. The idea was weird or it would only make sense to me and nobody else would understand why that needed to exist.

Then I got a piece of advice today “Just pursue”.

Sometimes, you just need to sit down and start something. I have had so many problems getting back to my writing habit. So, I wanted to get back to it and I wanted to go back to that method that has always worked out well for me.

I like to just sit down at the page and start to write and see what gets out. A lot of the time it is pure garbage. But, it is one of the few methods that work for me when it comes to writing. I find that if I don’t do that then it becomes almost impossible to start.

I have been thinking about my projects and my habits very critically lately. I keep trying to fit myself into a box and fit myself into these categories. I am trying so hard to be something. I just want to be X. But, that doesn’t exist yet.

“If you're going through hell, keep going.”

I don’t have it today. I spend the evening trying to code a little project and it didn’t work at all. But, I decided that I wasn’t going to fail let alone fail on the second day of the challenge.

These are the hard days. These are the days that can break you. These are the days that can make you throw it all away.

But, I love days like this. Days when you still have the fire and desire to do something but it is not there. The burning desire to create something magical but you are just sitting and staring at the cat. These are the days that remind us that we are in the right place. No matter how much that I want to give up. I can never stop creating.