Chasing the Dragon

I am slightly concerned about my future at this point in time.

I am on my (hopefully) last semester of school. I am taking an iOS class, a JavaScript class, and a Java Class.

Each of these classes offers a different future.

JavaScript offers the future of doing web development. Web development is still very huge. Any business worth its salt has a website. Many people are developing apps for the web and using things like Phonegap to use JavaScript to create both iOS apps and Android apps.

Speaking of Android, those apps are written in Java. We currently have a mobile development degree geared towards Android where you take Java and Android development classes. Android is taking over a large portion of the market and Java is still very highly in demand at large companies in the Madison area who specialize in health care.

I feel I am at a crossroads. I know that the point of the programs at school is to make me as marketable as possible. I know enough different things that I should be able to get an entry level job somewhere doing one of these things.

7 of Cups

So many choices, but until you pick one, it’s all vaporware.

I feel paralyzed by choice.

I feel very much like this Zen Pencil’s quote. I know this might cost me a few jobs, but I do Tarot card readings and I am constantly fighting with the philosophy of this card.

The basic meaning of both of these references is the idea of choice. You have limitless possibilities, but once you take one step towards achieving one of these possible futures the other ones vanish.

You must make a choice. You might make the wrong choice. If you do, all other possibilities disappear. You could be the next Steve Jobs or you could make a bad choice and be no one.

I feel like I am supposed to keep my options open. I know I should do my homework like a good girl, keep as many choices open as I can, and look for whatever opportunity presents itself.

I can’t do that right now.

I want to learn Core Audio.

My first degree was in Journalism. I was a newscaster at a community radio station for three years. The first time I placed the headphones on my ears and heard my voice through the headphones over the air I knew my life had changed.

Over the years I lost my affection for news, but never for audio. I went back to school to learn audio engineering. I loved working with it. Things did not work out and I decided to go back to school to learn programming. I figured I made a bad bet on a disappearing technology and it was time to grow up and learn a real skill.

About a year ago I learned about Core Audio. I sort of knew that the programs I used for audio engineering were written in code, but it never really occurred to me that I could acquire the skills to write one of my own.

I am at a quandary. I love audio. I feel working with audio is my calling. I have felt that way for nearly two decades. So far my gut has not paid off.

How many levels of abstraction do I need to get to before I reach the right one? I feel like I keep doubling down on a bad bet assuming that it eventually has to turn around for me.

I feel wary. Everyone tells me if I master this one skill that I can write my own ticket and make a lot of money. I have heard this before. It has never paid off.

How many times do I believe what I hear before realizing that it is wrong?

I can’t ignore my gut. It tells me to keep moving forward. I am ignoring my classwork to learn audio programming. My rational brain tells me to learn Java and get a nice 40-hour-a-week healthcare job with two weeks of vacation and try to have a normal life. My gut tells me to keep moving forward with audio programming. Guess which one I am listening to.