Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In the movie "You've Got Mail", Jean Stapleton's character utters:
You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life! Oh, I know it doesnt feel like that, you feel like a big fat failure now. But youre not. You are marching into the unknown.. armed with nothing.

Not nothing. Well, no money. Weirdly, although I would prefer to have money in hand to step into the unknown, I think it's better to step into the unknown with nothing. Sure, money gives you options, a warm bed, a roof which ain't nuthing to sneeze at, but it also gives a false sense of self that clouds the issues. Traps you into avenues that may not be the path youre seeking to travel. And I do mean 'trap'.

My situation is that Ive earned skills that allows me to earn a fair bit of cash, but I was frozen with fear that I would be stuck. Trapped. My last job, I eventually felt trapped and wanted out. Badly. Not something I feel like repeating. Hence my ambivalence for looking for another.
One of the reasons I burned out working in the corporate IT world was that feeling of being trapped. Part of my attraction to computers was the freedom and challenge. Doing it for a living has many challenges which I enjoy, but the soul sucking feeling of being trapped - ahhh, not so much. I tried being a freelance consultant - and it also paid well, but eventually, I felt trapped again. Not by the corporate world, but really - by Microsoft. Dont do things their way and life would be hellish.

Eventually, it was Apple's turn to follow in Microsoft's footsteps.

Now, Im learning Linux by making it my primary OS platform, and although the learning curve isnt exactly flat, Im not feeling trapped. It gives me options, although I have a way to go before I feel comfy administering it. (Ironically, for 10 years I avoided using Linux against the advice of my tech peers because I didnt want to bother with another soul-sucking experience. Quite ironic.)

I left San Francisco in 2000 after 2 months, my vowing I would ways to make a living, somehow, without having to be in IT. Didnt happen. Regular work is a horrible, insecure way to make money. Eight years later, I dont want to be in IT, but its the most reliable way of making decent money. Heck, I feel trapped just rewritng my resume. Ironically, Im feeling trapped in San Francisco too.

I like having options. And I like money. But, I dislike feeling trapped.

So, Im heading into the unknown. Hopefully, I wont feel trapped there.
Im doing a bit of research again, watching movies, although Im not a big movie fan, I have a box of DVD's Im slated to get rid of, so I decided to go through them.

Of course, due to copy protection, the first two I selected (Alladin and You've got Mail) would NOT run on Linux. It would only run if I installed copy protection crap on my computer. I even acquiesced and installed it on my windows computer. Ugh. I installed it under Wine in Linux, and naturally, it wanted to install MORE crap.

Ugh. I went to the coffee shop, fired up the laptop, and searched for open source stuff that would bypass the copy protections. Minutes later, I was free.

I like that feeling.

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