A couple of months ago, I went through the challenging ordeal of perusing papers from years ago, mostly of the academic variety. I don’t think I delved into quite how demoralizing this was. I wouldn’t have. I do still censor what I’ll put in here, whether or not that seems apparent.
Now, I’ve just gone through the contents of a filing cabinet. Mostly healthcare records from the past decade. Don’t need those. Amazing the sheer volume of medical history I have, but I don’t need those. There are pay stubs from old jobs. Don’t need those. Offer letters from old jobs. Plenty of junk that doesn’t affect me a whole lot.
Then there are the random journal entries, from 1998, 2004, 2006…from when, I suppose, my means of electronic recording weren’t available.
Never read old journal entries unless…well, I can’t think of a good reason to ever do this…
Papers and notes from old jobs. Doesn’t sound so interesting until I uncover
1) Notes from a job where I really felt I was making a difference day in and day out (too bad I had to be in Knoxville, TN to find that; I couldn’t stand to be in Knoxville, TN day in and day out)
2) Documentation of test cases for and usage instructions for an application I developed within the first three months of having been introduced to the wretched application development platform that begins with R, whose name I won’t utter, and (to be fair to it, pays most of the bills, and could be a fair tool if anyone ever bothered to fund and manage it properly). I probably learned more and achieved more in that three months than I have in the subsequent…many years, the sum of which I won’t utter.
These finds are all the more shattering when paired with the quote-of-the-day from a figure at work, who advised me to “Tone down your aspirations.” That’s all I’ll say about that, since I can’t trust the internet to not link my name to this blog. There was some context to these remarks, but I’ll still note it as possibly the worst and most demotivating advice I’ve ever received.