Daniel Drywa

Finding My Flow

Correcting course after a bad decision

The ocean with sailing boats in the distance

By Daniel Drywa

In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one's sense of space and time. - Flow (psychology) - Wikipedia (May 27, 2019).

Last year, I came to the conclusion that my level of consumption engulfed all aspects of my life, which put me in a state of mental dismay. To get out of this state, I started to embark on a journey towards a more meaningful life that involved changes in my lifestyle. One aspect of these changes was to broaden my education in the field I love the most: Software Development.

I started reading more technical books about different aspects of software development and all the things I learned were incredibly valuable to me. And because it seemed like the right thing to do, I wanted to share my newly acquired knowledge in the hopes that someone else might find some value in it. But I felt that I needed some structure in how I would present the things I learned. A video game developed on a low-level without any help of big third party libraries seemed like the obvious choice at the time. It would satisfy both of my cravings: low-level understanding of the computer and producing something creative. My plan was to release one journal entry a month that would start out with the basics of setting up a Rust project and would go all the way to publish a small 2D arcade game on itch.io. The journal entries would be accompanied by side-articles that would go into more detail of certain topics, such as "What exactly is a executable?". My plans were ambitious and it would keep me busy for a long time. And, by the end of it, I would have produced something I could be proud of.

This was a bad decision. For two months my journal has been stuck on part 2, and, to this date, not a single side-article has been written. My educational path and the game development path branched into different directions soon after embarking on this journey. For a while, I was trying to walk both paths, but as the gap between them widened, my attempts became futile. I soon regressed into a state of mental dismay that left me sitting between the two paths, unable to travel either one of them.

Now it is time for a course correction. My focus right now is educating myself about the low level aspects of computers. This means I have to walk away from my previous efforts and let them go. No more game development journal. I will still write about the things I learned and find interesting, but I won't attempt to make it a big series or plan it out for years to come. Committing to something that might end up being a different path than the one I am travelling will leave me in a state of exhaustion and unhappiness.

27 May 2019Talk to me