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The First Week of Summer 4 June 2016

One of the greatest difficulties with having a blog that is read by friends, acquaintances, current and former employers, current and former coworkers, and then the entire internet (who only knows you from your online presence) is that you can expound on a topic in your life with the greatest care and still befuddle or offend people. I have lost a friend because of this blog. I have definitely irritated former coworkers to the point of an icy cold war developing between multiple parties. Part of me cares, rather deeply, about those situations. On the flip side, this is my little corner of the web and if I am a bit flippant or calloused about how the words put here affect others, it is because at a certain point you have to point to a line in the sand and declare that you are only responsible for your own responses to the world, not the responses of others.

Anyhow. Now that that little introduction is out of the way, onto the quasi-bold declarations.

The past month has had a sharp uptick in the range of emotions I typically experience. And this past week, when I headed off to do adventures and became essentially homeless again, has only helped bring how uncertain my situation has become and also how untenable my psyche finds this manner of existing. There is nothing like climbing a mountain for eight hours and then spending the rest of the day recovering at a remote campsite to give you oodles of time to think. Oodles, people, oodles! One forgets how much stimulation and distraction the modern world provides until you take it all away and you spend the majority of your time unconnected and solely within your own mind. The past five days have felt more akin to five weeks.

Let's see. Where to begin. You know what? There is a list ability in this editor. Let's use it! Bold move, Burdick, bold...

  • First. And most importantly and influential. An implausible situation I daydreamed about for years has actually happened and somehow it is more amazing than I expected. It still surprises me. I am internally blown away that the Universe dropped this into my life. Part of me feels like this is fate giving me a chance at something I have wanted for a while. The more damaged and far less optimistic part of me thinks I am about to get walloped. Nerve-racking for sure. Exciting too. Very difficult being patient while it develops as I have no clear view of the outcome. Uncertainty, doubt, and a lack of pleasantly chilled peanut butter cups. Not the best combo for a relaxed Paul Mind.  ::strikes a Buddha Pose::
  • New work has been problematic. People want me to build them something but no money to pay me. Another client delayed for weeks about next steps until just before I left. A really exciting project just disappeared completely off the radar. And then a UK company that specializes in contract work for high-end clients accepted me into their community...but they have nothing for me yet as their presence in the States is still being nurtured. I know I need employment, of some sort, in the next few months. Unless The Guide magically finds a sponsor willing to bestow an abundance of dollars, I may finally have to bite the bullet and choose a job that does not allow me the outdoorsy, freeform lifestyle I desire.
  • Money. Oh, I have enough money to get through the summer. However, thanks to the unsteadiness of new work and three expenses that I was completely unprepared for, this summer will have less flexibility than I had hoped. And a client delayed paying me by a month, which put in sharp relief how life has been a balancing act these past few months. My expenses are low. Shockingly low when I actually lay it before people ("how?!"), but that means when there is a problematic two months in a row there is not really anywhere else to cut. I do not like this feeling of powerlessness and uncertainty. Leads me to start thinking I need to settle down and focus on significantly upping my savings.
  • Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.  Three times in the last two weeks a server has gone a bit crazy for a client. ALL THREE TIMES, I have been either on a long bike ride or up on a mountain, which has made debugging impossible so I just restart the server via my phone. This server only has two sites on it. One that I built and have logging, statistics, etc. on and can track usage reasonably well. The other built on Wordpress and (having had multiple developers) is a bit nuts. That's my professional opinion. Guess which one I suspect of causing the server issues? Just a bit stressful having a site you are the lead developer for going down when you are 40 minutes from reliable internet because of something you cannot control. I hear Yoda in my head: Control! You must learn control!

Man, I write those things down and none of them seem that bad. OK, that's not entirely true. They are all addressable, let me put it that way. They are just not addressable with my current plan of being a dirtbag for the summer.

I really do want it all. The adventure lifestyle, the girl, the stable income, and a reliable work environment. (Also, Bernie Sanders for President, simply because I think it is beyond time that college becomes affordable again, we have universal healthcare, and income inequality stops being so insanely bad.).  

::drums fingers::  I am not sure this blog entry was meant to lead anywhere. Just letting a few things into the light by writing them down. One more way of gaining perspective and laying out what is causing stress or joy in my life. Also to show my inability to edit an entry for spelling or grammar mistakes before publishing, because that never gets old...right?