Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

17 Jun 2020, 10:19 a.m.

Gonna Be Vulnerable For A Sec

I saw this tweet by Julia Evans, advertising the newest in her questions to help people learn things series:

questions about git branches

and I was able to notice that my heart briefly sank. I bounced back, and clicked, and learned things, but let's go into why I had that momentary reaction. What the voice of "oh no" was saying, if I listened.

  • Oh no, a thing to do. A thing I am expected to do, another task, I have so much I need to do. But I should do this too. Because I want to learn everything and knowing that there are things I don't know hurts. Especially about a complicated tool like git that I use every day and that I need to be able to help other people use, that I could use better, which would be so useful.
  • Oh no, another list of things to memorize, of ways I will feel bad when I don't know things that I should know already.
  • Dammit, Julia's put out ANOTHER great thing, she's pulling ahead, I have been so delayed in the things I want to make and publish, I am jealous.

It is so easy for me to call these counterproductive feelings, or to say "ok well I will sit with those for a microsecond and then Go Learn To Be Better and have More Useful reactions I will replace those with instead!!" but right now I actually just want to acknowledge this glimpse into the muck in my own head. (And I know Julia well enough to trust that she won't make my spurt of jealousy her own problem. It's on me and she and I both know that.)