February 5, 2019

Today I saw the feature complete product, and felt temptation towards forgoing the walk. It’s close to being finished, just one last push and it will be done. But I was reminded of a quote of the Tao Te Ching:

People usually fail when they are on the verge of success. So give as much care to the end as to the beginning; Then there will be no failure.

My eczema has spread, and I must have enough cortisol in my body to stress out a small nation. In any important endeavor, there is always some amount of wreckage done. The wreckage must be managed.

As I was walking back from the library I thought: what would make me feel I’ve been successful in this endeavor?. There is financial success, of course (which is very much needed) but beyond this I’d be satisfied with a modest popularity that opens doors to unknown things in the future.

Failure would be that it’s met with indifference. Would I feel disappointed? I asked myself, and surprisingly the answer that arose was no, the only alternative to this period would have been idleness, and that would have even more taxing on my wellbeing. We can only find our way through trial and error, and any miscalculation is a lesson, however hard to swallow it may be.

I decided that I would walk with one change of clothes in the direction of Santiago. My intention is to walk until exhaustion, there’s plenty of bus stops along the way to come back, and two hostels if I decide I need to stay an extra day. Fortunately there’s nothing to resolve mentally, it’s simply a reset to come back to do things with patience and love.

February 5, 2020

Today I saw the product feature complete. After this I made up my mind about celebrating my 40th birthday. I felt a vague sense of protest, a part of me wants to remain the hermit I was in Madrid, but the time is ripe to celebrate a landmark decade, despite being poorer than rats as they say in Spain.

The symptoms of the flu have almost completely disappeared, and other than the ocasional phlegm I’m nearing 100% health again. This time the flu was benign. The past year, in very similar circumstances I got sick and it was orders of magnitude worse. It may have been a worse strain, but I’m also in great health, and I’m grateful for it. There is nothing like sickness to be able to notice your health.

Let us ask us the same questions I asked myself last year: what would make me feel successful in this year’s endeavor? Though I understand the question, this time it feels irrelevant. I have no attachment to success (or avoidance of failure). I did what I did because I couldn’t help myself, it feels as if it wasn’t me who did it. It is clear that when you renounce to the fruits of your efforts (or dedicate them towards a divine purpose) you cease worrying about the outcome.

What is failure when you don’t care about success? Last year I wrote that failure would be that the Boolean Game was met with indifference (and it was). But this time I can’t see a realistic scenario which I would call “failure”, it’s like an outdated model which I used to judge outcomes.

I accept whatever outcome Blank Page brings. I expended no effort doing what I did. It simply happened.