What if?

I don’t like public speaking. I despise it, hate, abhor it, one might say even terrified, mortified, petrified by it[1]. Every time I need to speak publicly (and cannot avoid it), the same train-wreck pattern of a thought is coming to my mind – What if?

What if I forget everything?

What if I will start stuttering and talk nonsense?

What if I will be ridiculed by my co workers because of it?

What if I will get fired because of it?

And I can dive deeper, the longer I think and ‘what-if’ about it, the more stressed I get, and the more stressed I get the worse the what-if become. This with all the physical symptoms of stress makes public speaking not fun for me.

This always remind me from a quote from The Time Machine:

You’re a man haunted by those two most terrible words: What if?

I recently read another blog post which has a different perspective, a positive one regarding ‘what-if’ – what if I try and succeed, as a way to push yourself and take that risk. My what-ifs limit me and scare me, his what-ifs give him a push to go further. I wonder if I can change my perspective.

[1] As paraphrased from the movie “A Beautiful Mind

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Sadness

Horrible day yesterday, woke up this morning tired and sad. Not sure if I’m sad because I’m tired or sad because I’m sad. Want to close my eyes and sleep, feel like I’m almost crying. Maybe I’m sad because I know there’s one hell of a busy day today and I’m sad because I’m stressed?

I hate starting days like this.

Simple Little Semicolon ;

I am a programmer, and as such I see semicolons every day. Almost every line of code is finished with a semicolon [1]

System.out.println("I am a sentence");      

So I guess that, as opposed to non-programmers who rarely see a semicolon, programmers see it everywhere and don’t pay much attention to it. It means the end of the line. After encountering the Project Semicolon I will never look at it the same. I know it sounds silly, but this project has an amazing goal and it’s symbol, the semicolon, is so right on the money that it made me look at the simple sign differently. I’ve heard about this project from this wonderful blog post by Heather Parrie. This line really got to me:

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going.

But chooses not to. This is a hard and brave decision. I was never diagnosed with clinical depression. I have however, as I’m sure many people have, experienced with dark thoughts and bad emotions surfacing and blurring the view of the world. This black hole in your chest that sucks the life out of you, or nails in your stomach which give anxiety a physical manifestation. I can only imagine the feeling that someone with severe depression or anxiety feels, and I’m extremely glad that such a project as Project Semicolon exists. Keep going.

[1] In the language the I program in, let’s not argue about programming languages now, not the purpose of this post.