Boogie goes to Computer School

Kings of Comedy

Boogie gettin’ schooled by Steve Harvey

This past Thursday night, I went to a info session for a web design course at General Assembly in Santa Monica. I admit that I was a bit intimidated by the people there – artistic types who already had super-Wordpress blogs, people already in the industry, American Apparel model look-a-likes who needed to get a real job, and probably a genius sitting to my right. I learned a lot about the course and what I would get out of it. The part time course that I’m interested in taking turns out to be more of an introductory class on web design. Even the course adviser said that the part-time course won’t get you job-ready to enter the web design industry. The $11,000 full-time web design immersion class will – of course. My six-figure debt load would make that immersion course out of my reach if I want to maintain a realistic financial path to “recovery.” Recovery here means being able to pay the bare minimum of loan payments without having to decide between food and making the monthly payment.

I want to learn web design. So far, I’m reading books and trying it on my own through Dash (GA’s HTML web tool). I’m actually enjoying myself as I learn. Maybe in a few months, I’ll know enough to start building my own website. About what, I have no idea. I just know that as tech becomes more widespread and tech skills become more valued by employers, it would be a good idea to learn this stuff. Plus, it would be nice to have a job that actually interests me!

I’m going to try this thing out and give it my best effort. Who knows where it will lead me? Maybe, I’ll meet Boogie – that lovable spectator from The Original Kings of Comedy.

Going back to go forward

I gave my last week’s notice to my temp agency this week. I found a job at the company where I got laid off back in December 2013. On my second “tour” of this job (2012), I didn’t have any grand purpose in life. I just wanted to work and go home, listen to music, and maybe watch a movie every once in a while. I was doing nothing. I felt like nothing. Most importantly, I felt lost spiritually and I had lost my love of playing the guitar. I just consumed and consumed and produced very little. I remember talking to a close friend during this time of my life and she said that I was spiritually, emotionally, and mentally constipated. She was right. Fortunately, I can say that I’m more regular these days.

When I start this new job at an old company, it will be in a different context. I’ve recently discovered an interest in web development and I’ve been doing initial research on what it takes to do it, who does it, and what they’re doing now. I feel some hope that I can actually change the trajectory of my career path towards something with more meaning connected to a dormant creative force within me. This job is not a vehicle to get me to do nothing. It will be platform in which I can support myself as I explore a possible new passion and pursuit. There’s something comfortable about going into something unknown in a gradual way, like walking into morning fog.

This idea of going back to something familiar while being different emerged during a recent therapy session. We discussed how my return to living with my parents (when I got laid off in 2013) was my way of trying to figure out the problems that have been with me since childhood. I had to go home so I can learn to leave in a way that made sense and reflected a true sense of progression. I’ve left home before to live on my own but I still brought with me my past – with my parents, problems, and pressures. I resonated with this idea when I first heard it because it’s so true. If I really wanted to, I could’ve stayed with a friend for a few months or maybe even live in my car (which is getting harder to do in Orange County). Instead, I found myself at home with familiar smells while living with people that I really didn’t know and who really didn’t know me (even though they think they do). Even though so many of my peers live on their own, I don’t think that they have experienced the expansion of self-knowledge and insight that I have been through in 2014. Suffering seems to produce a wisdom that never leaves you even when you get everything you want.

Write your wrongs

It’s been about 6 months since I first became unemployed. At this point, I have gone through the full spectrum of emotions that one would have while searching for a job. The spectrum is even wider as I’ve searched for purpose and desire for what I want to do.  There are days that I doubt my accomplishments and there are more days where I regret going to grad school. The burden of debt that will get heavier with time has become a given for me and I no longer worry about its existence.  There are days, too, where I relish the freedom that goes along with the search for purpose. I face the day with no expectation.

This freedom is makes me afraid because there is no hiding.  I can’t hide behind people’s expectations, cultural obligations, or external circumstances.  I am responsible for what I do for the day.  In the past few months, I’ve started to write more regularly. I hope that this writing will extract something – a desires or a direction. Music has also been a more regular part of my life. I practice on a semi-daily basis and my skill level has brought me to a new place of possibility and a new appreciation for the intricacy of music.  The freedom of artistic development has also brought anxiety to an already rigid mind.  I find myself regularly worried about the future: money, relationships, actually being an adult. Of course, I regularly doubt my talent despite the gracious compliments from friends and strangers.  I don’t know how this will end. I think I just have to accept it and maybe through its acceptance it will paradoxically vanish.

I think I still have hope that things will work out or that I will come to a place in my head and heart where I accept the hardships of life that seem to characterize adult life in post-9/11, post-economic-decline, life.