One day …

Matt Chung

April 28, 2020

“After I work in technology for another 8 years, I’ll then pursue my ultimate dream: becoming an archaeologist.” “Chances are, you own’t. You’ll end up assuming that identity after working in it for such a long time.”

This exchange was shared to me by my therapist, who is participating in an online course with poet David Whyte. The student had shared with David Whyte and the rest of the course that their life long dream was to become an archaeologist. However, they were going to take the leap after establishing themselves in technology and building themselves a little nest. In theory, that sounds like a good idea (to me).

But David Whyte is right. And although that experience had nothing to do with me, it hit me hard. I immediately starting asking myself what are some things that I’ve been wanting to do but keep deferring (or waiting for someone’s permission or worst: approval). Well, one thing that immediately surfaced to the top of my brain was writing. Interestingly, the more I learn about computer science (through my master’s program) the less I’ve blogged. Now, it’s not just a matter of having less time these days (which is especially true after my daughter was born) but as I learned more about computer science, the more of an imposter I’ve felt. Weird — right? Here’s one example.

Anyways, the point is this: don’t wait for someone’s permission to go and pursue whatever you want to pursue. Worst, dont’ wait for their approval. Just go and do it. Whatever that looks like. Take a baby step. Make some incremental progress. Whatever it is: move. Take action.

Reflecting on his quote, I realized I want to do more writing. I love reading and learning new things. Also, I want to write more music and get creative. I find both writing long form essays and doing research a creative outlet.

It’s funny. From the outside, the feedback given to that person is so obvious. Of course they aren’t going to pursue becoming an archaeologist. Otherwise, they would do it now. But then I had my own internal panic. I began wondering what are some of things that I am convincing myself that I am going to do one day.

But I need to also cut myself some slack because I’m doing the very thing that I wanted to do for a long time: get a computer science degree. I wanted to be a computer scientist and study computer science. But I was always afraid that that would set me back in my career, knowing that I wanted to switch from becoming a systems administrator to a software engineer. I knew one day wanted to become a developer. But I kind of did it in such a round about way instead of tackling head on.