When you hear the word nostalgia, what do you think about? Is it about your childhood? or your last day at school? or the first one? As for me, I remember few a incidents/accidents from my past. They have been imprinted on my mind and will never be removed, faded perhaps. But I have never felt nostalgia in the traditional sense. A feeling that makes me think - "I wish I could go back to this time. It was the happiest of all." Never. Another interesting thing to note for me would be that I believed that nostalgia needs time to develop. How much? It's anyone's guess. But I would bet on more than a couple of years. But can something make you feel nostalgic about something that occurred a few months ago? It did for me. And it was a meme.
Let me explain. We can all accept that memes are very effective in making something popular or viral, more for the songs they used. Although some of these songs used in memes usually die in trend after a few months, some of them are evergreen. One such song is Buttercup from Jack Stauber. I listened to it in a meme when scrolling through FB, consuming memes videos one after the another when I heard this familiar song. And I went into a flashback of my time at my university. Why? you might ask. What's so special about these months just before the pandemic? I would like to think that it was during this time when I first started to believe in myself that I will not be a failure, perhaps for the first time after coming to the university. Now, this whole "why was I thinking so" warrants a separate discussion but the crux is (in somewhat order of the magnitude of the change they brought me in my world view and thinking) -
> I learned web-development myself (well, YouTube). I believe there is nothing more empowering than having the ability to give life to your thoughts and ideas.
> Came across IndieHackers. Found a place for people like me (Thanks for Will Kwan's video). I don't go there now that often. Feel like it's overcrowded now. But I would attribute it to give me the confidence that there are people like me, walking on a path I want to walk upon, achieving things I would want to achieve.
> Started attending all classes religiously while sitting in the front row.
> Tried to give efforts in dressing up when going outside or to classes.
> All without sacrificing my social (however small) life.
Small efforts bring great changes. Wearing shoes while you code on your laptop in your room or using an old secondary monitor you had back home, might seem the smallest of these irrelevant changes but these small changes gave me the highest dividends on any investment I ever made. Things will be difficult. There is no escaping that. But during the worst of my academic years, when every stupid escape plan looked plausible, I could describe my situation like this - "You are sad that you have screwed up this great chance you got by getting admitted to this reputed university. You have missed classes, scored poorly, and didn't care enough. Now you see people around you getting internships and job offers. You are at your rock bottom."
This acceptance of your situation is key. I understood that I was at my rock bottom. Lowest I have been in my academic performance. But it's only when you hit the rock bottom, you realize that there is no way you could go down further. It's only up from here. Every effort you make, every trick you use, every hour you put, will move you upwards. This might sound stupid in hindsight, but this was enough for me to think about pulling through. And I did. Equal if not better than most of my peers. But you will always have to pay, one way or another.
Now that I realize, this journal entry is bigger than most others. I might move this to a separate blog post later.
Strength is not born from strength. Strength can be born only from weakness. So be glad of your weaknesses now, they are the beginnings of your strength. ~ Claire Weekes
Welp, 2020 has finally ended. For some people (maybe many), the year was an absolute shit-show. However if I speak for myself, I have neither hate nor love for 2020. It was what it was and yes a few things did happen that I can categorize as important or slightly awesome, but overall it was a normal year even when it was not normal in most perspectives. Now that I think of it, I need to write something more that a journal entry to review 2020 because definitely a few good things happened but I will be honest that I don't want to admit this year was good (for me personally) because that would imply that a year can be good or bad and that would in turn imply that I have little to no control over how a year will turn out. I don't like to think that way and hence I just take a year as just a year - A timeframe. Nothing more.
What prompted me to open up and write this journal entry was not this new year thing but I wanted to share a trick into the void (I think no one reads this so it is kind of screaming into the void). I was facing a bit of issue with my mousepad. It would slip on the top of my work desk whenever I flicked my mouse a bit harshly, which should not be the case with a mousepad that has anti-slipping material.
The solution / hack is to clean the bottom of your mousepad with a damp cloth and clean your table top with it too.
~ see you soon.
This is the first of many journal entries yet to come. I am excited to write a lot of these entries in the short format. This is solely for me and so that I can revisit these entries after some time and maybe learn something from them. Let's start!
I also thought I should start this by posting a pic of mine, but that didn't work out well. Although I am sure I will post a few here when something interesting pops up.