Daily Learning Notes for July 17th, 2017

Today I went climbing with a friend and had a good run and workout at the gym, and then I spent the rest of the day visiting Fullerton with another friend to finally attend the Codelab OC meetup! That was an interesting little adventure! I also got Babel working and installed Firefox version 51 to test how async functions don’t work in older browsers.

Real-time notes

12:11pm: At the gym again with my new climbing and coworking buddy! I also had a good run and workout in the regular gym upstairs. It’s the perfect way to propel myself into the new work week, especially after sleeping in late this morning. (Lots of anxious snoozing today, which is one thing I need to nip in the bud, because I just remembered how awful it feels and how easily I’ve slipped into that habit before. It’s been a long time since I last experienced that, so that’s a good sign of progress at least!) Anyway, I’m on my laptop now, ready to pick up where I left off yesterday. First I’m going to review my notes a bit.

12:38pm: Looks like I’m going to join another friend to venture out to Fullerton today for the Codelab OC meetup that apparently is now happening weekly! An impromptu little road trip sounds perfect today! OK, why not, I’ll go. I’m going to do some more climbing now, shower and find a place to park my car for the day and then meet my friend to carpool out to Orange County.

5:11pm: After some good rock climbing and a much-needed shower, I drove to Westwood and got lucky finding free street parking near UCLA (crazy, right?!) and then walked to Whole Foods, where I nibbled on some free samples before meeting my friend. We left a little after 3pm, so I guess it took probably 90 minutes to get here. We walked around downtown Fullerton and stopped at a vintage video game store for a minute, and now we’re settled in at a cafe, enjoying their very sugary coconut milk tea drinks. Anyway, I never did get to test my Babel configuration! Time to finally try it out.

5:30pm: I downloaded Firefox version 51, which doesn’t support async functions, and it worked exactly as expected! The original JavaScript file didn’t work (but it worked in Chrome), and the Babel-transpiled code did work in Firefox! Yay! Now we’re just doing a little reserach into HTTP/2 and asynchronously loading JavaScript files and related topics. Just exploring.

5:54pm: Time to go get a burger and go to the meetup!

7:35pm: At the meetup now, reviewing JavaScript promises together as a group and eating cookies and Pirate’s Booty. (I guess I got hungry again. Oh yeah, that was a delicious veggie burger, by the way! We split one, so then I got hungry again.)

I just learned a new pro tip: use npm init -y to generate a new package.json file as if you hit the enter key a bunch of times. Nice! I also just learned a bit about the fetch() API and how it returns promises. I also just learned that example.com is a real website! Also also, I learned that some browsers (Chrome but not Safari) do show uncaught errors from promises in the console to help you out. Nice!

Wrapping up: It was fun meeting the meetup organizers and hearing about all their projects. We spent the whole time reviewing JavaScript promises, and I ate way too many cookies, but overall it was a good time. I mostly just wanted to see what it was all about and experience a change of scenery and a new little adventure to cheer myself up. Maybe it worked. I’m not sure yet. After returning to LA, I spent the night at my family’s house, where I ate a quick snack and caught up with my dad and stepmom for a bit before we all called it a night.

Review of last week

Challenges: Last week started out well, with a pretty packed Monday and lots of motivation and good intentions, but then I feel like the rest of my week got derailed from there! I set a bunch of goals for myself, but I didn’t accomplish any of them. Worst of all, I had a massive panic attack on Thursday night, and I slept until 1:30pm on Friday. (I haven’t slept in super late like that in a long time, and then I slept in late again today, so I’m worried about that becoming a trend.) I didn’t stick to a biphasic sleep schedule like I had hoped – in fact, I didn’t stick to any sort of sleep schedule. I was all over the place. I never submitted a talk proposal for GitHub Universe, even though the deadline was last Friday. I basically just gave up on that goal. I never even tried. I didn’t even spend 15 minutes actually writing a draft of my proposal. I also didn’t get to finish the refactoring tasks for my mob coding app, and I didn’t get around to learning about Redux at all – again, not even 15 minutes! So I’m pretty disappointed with how last week went.

Wins: On the bright side, it was still good to visit my family last Tuesday and spend the day together. I think I needed that. And then Wednesday was an important milestone for me: I resumed the web dev meetup that night (and I did enjoy it despite some initial anxiety)! I also started what I hope will become a new tradition: climbing and coworking during the day with a new friend who also has a very flexible work schedule! I did manage to do one self-care activity every day and I did write them down, so I’ll review that with my therapist this Thursday. And I did stick to writing these daily notes and publishing them every day! I enjoyed seeing that film “Hidden Figures” and meeting more awesome women who work in tech. I really appreciated the talk I had with my partner-in-crime later that night when I was feeling very panicked and depressed. I also enjoyed pair programming with my friend on Thursday and Friday – that definitely inspired me, and the camaraderie also saved me from my ever-increasing anxiety at the end of a difficult week! Climbing and watching that film “Your Name” on Friday night was nice too. Saturday’s Write/Speak/Code event was super inspiring and definitely a much-needed reminder that I have the support of many kind and smart and talented people. And Sunday night was just a fun way to end the week, partying with friends!

Next steps: I’m definitely giving up on the biphasic sleep experiment for now. I’m renewing my goal of proposing a talk for GitHub Universe, now that they’ve extended the deadline. Otherwise, all my other goals are the same! I do still feel like I’m drifting, but I’m making peace with being in this state, and hopefully I’m at least drifting in some interesting directions. I’m gathering string, and later it might pay off in a big way. I’ll know when I get there. Meanwhile, I’ll continue trying to focus on small wins and persistence and not beating myself up for any failures along the way, and now more than ever, I need to remember to reach out to people more, especially when I’m feeling down.

My new mantra: when in doubt, reach out. Spend time with friends. Collaborate. Any of that stuff is better than struggling alone. Framing it simply as “procrastination” to avoid doing my solitary work is an unhealthy oversimplification. Saturday’s event reminded me that isolating myself during difficult times is one of the worst things I can do, and Thursday’s very personal conversation reminded me that I’m not a weak person and that reaching out does not mean I’m “needy” or anything like that. I can be an independent, confident, self-sufficient adult and reach out to friends for support. It’s OK to ask for help.

Goals for this week

Habit goals:

  • Exercise every day – it really does seem to help!
  • When in doubt, reach out! Spend more time with friends instead of isolating myself when I’m feeling down.
  • Instead of the biphasic pattern, try sleeping normal hours with only short naps.
  • Continue last week’s goals:
    • Plan a self-care activity every day and write them down.
    • Publish these daily learning notes every day.
    • Lose 1 pound (based on comparing weekly average) – and actually check my weight this time!
    • Proactively fight anxiety with curiosity, meditation, and time with friends.

Work goals:

  • Write a draft talk proposal (or two or three?) for GitHub Universe to prepare for their July 28th deadline, and start prototyping a couple educational GitHub app ideas as part of that!
  • Organize next batch of meetups! (I have lots of decisions to make here, but I guess I should just start small.)
  • At the Wednesday web dev meetup: actually try that scavenger hunt activity idea this time!
  • Postponed from last week: Finish mob coding app version 1, completing all of my refactoring tasks.

Gathering string

  • Stop by the Creative Mornings meetup sometime, and watch some of their talks beforehand.

  • Look up the recent science news about teleportation. It’s like science fiction, but real! Here it is: “Chinese Scientists Just Set the Record for the Farthest Quantum Teleportation”!

  • Add to my watch list: “Avatar: The Last Airbender”! My friend said he loved it so much, he watched it several times! I’ve heard a lot about it, but never watched the show. Maybe I should finally take a look.

  • Look up “that Japanese director that does lots of awesome short films”

  • If I ever visit Vancouver, check out the store that sells nothing but broomsticks!

  • Look up the Canon EOS M3 camera, especially its video recording specs, and look up mirrorless cameras in general too! That is a sweet piece of technology!

  • BrowserStack is an awesome tool that lets you access different browsers on different operating systems for testing your websites!

  • Question: Does GitHub Pages already support the HTTP/2 protocol? (And would that mean I could use modules with client-side JavaScript without needing a build tool to concatenate the files?)

  • Look more into the script tag’s async attribute and how that might work with HTTP/2 and JavaScript modules!

  • Today I also learned about link prefetching, “a browser mechanism, which utilizes browser idle time to download or prefetch documents that the user might visit in the near future.” Crazy!

  • Pro tip: use npm init -y to generate a new package.json file as if you hit the enter key a bunch of times, saying “yes” to everything. Nice!

  • Watch the Pycon 2016 keynote by K Lars Lohn!

  • Apparently example.com is a real website, and it’s reserved by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority for “documentation purposes”, haha.