Posts » My Music
n. music - anything that makes your heart sing — Scott Hilton-Clarke
The far past
I grew up in a countryside in a house on the edge of a huge forest. As a kid I was spending my days out there picking mushrooms, berries, playing with my siblings and cousins. When at school I often spent hours coming back home through plains & woods, sitting under big old beech trees doing homework or reading books.
I clearly remember it all started to change when I was in my sixth grade and once a week I was staying at school until 4-5 pm, just to program C64’s Basic for an hour or two. It was my first foray into programming.
Perhaps it all truly changed on December 23rd 1991, when my dad bought his first computer - a 286 desktop PC. Soon after I was trying to figure out DOS’ Basic and how to reprogram Gorillas to my needs. Needless to say I failed, but since it was the only creative task I could do in the barren lands of internet-less, text-only DOS machine, I was all into it.
Couple years later, when I was 13-ish, my mom took me to a place where my skills were evaluated. I remember some lengthy questionaires and chats with people, and then the result of that evaluation: predispositions for computer science and gardening.
Shortly after I started high school, marred by poor grades in almost all subjects but math and computer science. Then came the university - four unsuccessful attempts to enlist on software engineering faculties, half a year of astronomy, and 4.5 years of physics, where I graduated with honors in computer science-aided statistical physics. At the time I was sure I’d end up as a computer scientist no matter what.
Then came my work career, couple stunts at small businesses, big corporations, startups, etc, where I worked as a web developer. At all times the jobs paid well, but only at times I was happy with what I was doing.
From today’s perspective I know Computer Science clearly isn’t my music. I’ve always been looking for simplicity and trueness in all I do, and that just wasn’t it. Years later I found my own, simple way of navigating through the rough seas of the Web, something that keeps me happy, but not singing.
The recent past
In 2015 Scott Hilton-Clarke, a friend of mine, asked me to help him bring his M-Path self-discovery programme online. Since he wanted me to understand it better, he asked me to take part in it, and so I did. At the time it wasn’t huge to me, but my family & friends gave me some truly deep and unique insights into my personality.
Time passed and I found myself slowly drifting away from computers into the outside world - spending hours in the parks of big cities, venturing into remote fields & forests, setting up my own small vegetable garden on balconies, or outside of my family home.
I struggled since I was finding all those things much more pleasurable than working in front of a screen.
I asked my business partners for a more flexible work schedule, first working 4 days a week, then 3 days a week, and then… I saw a big scare of what to do next.
Like countless people before me I ended up torn apart between what works but it’s not my music, and what I hardly know but feels like my music.
I see it now as the whole story slowly came full circle. In the past 6 months couple of important things happened. My partner encouraged me to reevaluate my strengths and weaknesses, and to be more open to the knowledge all around me. Scott decided to give M-Path programme a re-do, so I was spending my days building an online programme, which encourages people to find & live their music. And I’ve recently turned 40, for many a turning point, and I decided to bring my experience into new forays.
So I did.
I asked my business partners, Scott and André’s support has been stellar in that matter, to change my work schedule. Instead of constantly balancing my weekly schedule between work in front of a screen & everything I want to do next, I asked for a split based on… seasons. I figured there’s next to nothing to do outside during winter time here (50°N) so I can focus on my web development work, which still pays my bills, and there’s more than plenty during summers when I’m going to focus on what’s coming next.
This setup leaves me with 7 months of pursuing my music and 5 months a year doing web development.
But don’t get me wrong - I still want to treat those 7 months as work. I plan to learn a lot during that time, bring some ideas to life (more on that below), and earn some money out of it to validate them.
The future (aka My Music)
I am going to get truly serious about couple directions.
The first of them is regenerative farming. As someone who always paid attention to what I ate, I want to make sure I can grow as much food as possible myself, with a little impact to the nature. In broad picture the stakes are high with soil health and nutritious value of crops declining. I know some of the hardships there, as farming is a hard thing to do, but when successfull it feels fantastic, and I believe I can make a difference.
The second one is woodworking. This is challenging to me as my manual skills are not developed well enough, but perhaps there’s a niche for me there. Plus it’s always useful when doing the above.
The third, and the final one is beekeping. My late grandfather was a beekeeper for 35 years and I want to give myself a go in it. The time will tell if it’s going to be more of an aid to farming or a thing in itself.
In addition to that, I am going to: write here more, mostly sharing my journey with you, see if there’s a market for selling my approach and knowledge, and test couple smaller ideas here and there.
All insights my family & friends shared in my M-Path, all inspiring discussions I’ve been holding with my life partner, and all support I received from my business partners contribute to this exciting journey.
I am now working hard to wrap up all my software development projects, and begin the first off-computing work season on April 1st 2022.
How exciting! Wish me luck!
[2022-01-25 update: couple edits]