happy new year my friends

Written by Patrick J Turner Jr

Published on January 8th, 2024

Wow. Can you believe it guys? 2024! Only negative eight days away! It came so fast. The new year is typically a time of great reflection and looking forward for me. I love the new year! It gives me a perfect excuse from which to begin all the goals I had been putting off the previous year. The new year gives me the time I need to look back, assess myself, and plan out how to proceed.

Each year I see the same thing: people complaining about the previous year. When I was younger (more naive) I did not understand this. In my blind optimism I never stopped to consider the negative parts of the year before. This is not to say I don't normally ruminate on bad things, but rather that I see the new year as a time of fresh beginnings. The proverbial slate is wiped clean so to say, and the new year can be whatever you make it.

I mentioned my new years resolutions at the end of a previous blog post and I'm happy to say that I've already started on a few of them (and added a few more).

On one of the last days of the year I woke up, put on a King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard record, and cleaned my entire house top to bottom. I did not check my phone. I did not get distracted. The hair, crumbs, leaves, and dirt that had built up in our house over the five months since we last fully cleaned were gradually removed over the course of several hours. I felt as though a weight had been lifted from me. I felt great! It felt amazing to finally have a clean house and that I was able to focus on the act of cleaning for an extended period of time.

This moment made me realize two things: one, cleaning more regularly should probably become part of my routine; and two, if I want to focus on something more I should make the conscious decision to not use my phone during it. I get distracted very easily. Even more so if my phone is right next to me and I think of a message to send, receive a notification, or get the idea to check one of the apps I frequent. Simply not being near the device seems to help significantly.

This becomes a problem for my other new years resolution of learning to play guitar/keyboard. I bought a used Squier Strat electric guitar and Squier Frontman 10g amp off of Facebook Marketplace for $100 on New Years Eve. I learned how to tune the guitar and how to play the E and A Major chords. Of course, I was watching a tutorial video on my phone, and ended up getting distracted. I do recognize that I can learn how to play, that it is mostly a matter of putting in the time and effort. Perhaps I just need to find a better way of watching practice videos or silencing notifications during sessions. I don't know. Guess I'll figure it out.

I also want to expand on my resolution to get a networking certification and exploring career paths in computer networking. Currently, my plan is to look into study plans for the CCNA certificate, complete the exam, and list the certificate on my resume. On top of this, I need to become a full time employee this year. As of right now I am an IT support technician contractor for the hospital I work at. This is fine, I get paid well enough and enjoy my work and my teammates, but I need to get those full time employee benefits. There's also just a great deal more security in knowing you're fully on your employer's payroll rather than contracted through another company.

Considering this, I believe my dream job and current ideal career trajectory is to:

  • Get a full time employee position (somewhere, somehow).
  • Get a networking certification (to look good for higher level (and higher paying) positions).
  • Transition into networking and higher level IT jobs.
  • Ideally get decent health benefits and PTO (Hybrid/remote work options would be nice as well).
  • Well, at least assuming the economy doesn't break, the world doesn't end, or some other unforeseen crisis can hold off. I hear a lot of people who know more than I do about the economy always talking about how, "We're overdue for a recession!" Whatever that means. Money is fake and dumb and also fake. I just want a job that doesn't suck and to live my life doing what I want with the people I love. Unfortunately, you need money to do that.

    Yesterday, a full time position with the hospital I am contracted for finally opened up. I applied within ten minutes of the application going live. I think I've got a good chance at it! I have two years of IT experience and a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Plus I have experience working for the company already so yeah, I think my odds are good. Whether I get that position or not, my goals are still the same. I need to progress in my career if I'm going to become a self-sufficient adult.

    Hey, the way I see it is this: My prefrontal cortex is still cooking in my brain oven for the next two years and two months. That means I've still got time to get my shit together. By 25 I should have health insurance and a job that pays enough for me to handle most things that come my way. I will be independent and I will build my life as I see fit.