It has been at least three years since I stood at a bus stop, in the cold, with tears streaming down my face, fogging up my glasses. But you know, no streak like that could last forever.
Everything I produced today was awful, and that wooshing sound you hear is my deadline sailing past.
I snapped at Alicia as I left the studio. This was largely uncalled for–I just lost my tenuous grasp on my general frustration. She and Kate had been working so seamlessly and delightfully together all evening. I envied their plan and general togetherness, the organization of their colorful post-it notes. Really, I was envious of everyone working happily in groups. As I was giving up and packing up my things, Alicia told me not to be angry (about the proposal, and my wooshing deadline, about Neha G. abandoning me). “Don’t tell me what to be,” I snapped like a bloody sullen teenager. I turn 24 in less than two weeks. Way to act your age. Fine form, oh yeah. Way to be reasonable, Shadoan. Gold frickin’ star for rationality.
I realized on the way home that I need the quantitative analysis not just because I think it produces better results than qualitative research alone. I need the quantitative research because writing code is like swimming. It’s like meditation. Code does what you tell it to do. When you’re working on a big project, there’s always something you can do that doesn’t require the kind of gut-wrenching, mind-warping information presentation skills that qualitative research requires. There’s always something that you can make simple and elegant and beautiful. It tells you when it’s broken. You have the satisfaction of a successful compile every few minutes.
It was one of those days, you know? Maybe I used up all of my energy swimming this morning. Maybe I am feeling generally uninspired. Maybe I am homesick. Maybe I need a huge thunderstorm, a tank of gas in my little car, and miles of empty highway.
Whatever the case, my work day ended in the cold on Hawkhill, hot, sticky tears of frustration dripping pathetically down my face. It’s a good thing the people in this country steadfastly ignore you. I think it might have broken my brain if after weeks of smiling and waving at the people on the bus, they chose the day I was in tears to start responding to my existence.