crschmidt: (Default)
Kristan moved out this weekend. I helped her get all her stuff in her new apartment, and even helped unpack until we ran out of places to put things. She's in a studio up in Salem, Mass -- it's a nice place, in the historic district. I don't know if I would be able to live in a studio now, but I definitely would have liked a little place like that when I was at UIUC.

It's strange to not have her here. After sharing our home with her for so long, it's a very weird experience to not have her consider this 'home' anymore. Even in the times that she wasn't living with us -- while she was at her mom's, away for whatever reason, or what have you -- home was always with Jess and I. She moved in about a month after I moved to Manchester, and she's just always been there.

We've changed houses. We've changed states. We've gone through a complete change in our relationship. But always, she lived with us.

Having her gone is a very big change.

I remember working at wedü, the first summer I was here, and I'd be the first one up in the morning. I remember getting up, checking my email on zeus (this was before I bought the mac), then giving Kristan a kiss on the forehead and Jess a kiss goodbye as I left for work. I remember watching movies together. I remember going out to Goldenrod together.

There were a lot of happy memories from the time that we lived together, but not many of them lately. Jess and Kristan can't share a house. Their personalities clash in millions of ways. There was so much tension in the house these days that there were times I wanted to run away to New Hampshire and just get away from it all. I know Jess felt the same way, and Kristan felt the same way. Really, we should probably have never all moved into the house in Cambridge -- we should have parted when Jess and I moved down here. But I don't think any of us had any idea how it would actually turn out. We knew that we were all friends, and we thought that it would be okay.

We're still friends, or at least, I think we will be after things settle down. There's still a lot of resentment flowing back and forth, and until that stops there's going to continue to be some tension in the relationship between Jess and Kristan, and therefore, between Kristan and I. That's to be expected. Things can't just snap into a place where suddenly life is perfect, and there's been a lot of ill done on both sides of the equation, far too much for things to just be normal and okay. But I think we'll get there, because although Kristan and Jess really can't live together, I don't think they really dislike each other. They just clash. Clashing is okay when one has a different place to go home to. Clashing is okay when it's a 5 minute thing -- it's not okay when it's a 24 hours a day thing.

But it's weird. It's weird because there were always little things that were done that don't have to be anymore, and little daily routines that are slightly shifted. Anyone who leaves -- for work, school, whatever -- gets a hug from me before they go. I'll run down flights of stairs just to give people a hug goodbye. And now there's one less person who I hug goodbye.

I give people a hug as they go up to bed -- and now there's one less person going up to bed.

It doesn't seem like much, but so much of it has built up for so long. Gestures made for the sake of peacekeeping. Shopping trips becoming a totally different experience. One less person that the kids say goodnight to before they go to bed.

I've had this feeling before -- both with [livejournal.com profile] pezstar and [livejournal.com profile] bluebuggy leaving. But neither has had that much of an impact on me mentally because I don't think I ever really thought of them as 'here to stay'. Kristan had just become an integral part of life in what used to be The Commune -- everything from the way she organized the dishwasher to helping jess pick which Whole Foods recipe to make. Without her here, things aren't the same. The conversations aren't the same.

She's still working in town, so she'll be around occasionally. She's still coming down to watch Gilmore Girls with Em and I tomorrow night. But the fact that the last two nights have been completely empty of Kristan has been strange, and I'll admit that it's lonelier here. It's so short a time -- there have been periods of days where I wouldn't see Kristan in the past. This shouldn't be a shock to the system. But just like when Jess is out late, and I fall asleep before she gets home, it's about the expectation that someone will just be there, whether you interact with them or not. It's going to be lonely for a while until I adjust to the fact that someone who has been a daily part of my life for almost two years is now no longer going to be there.

I'll miss her, but I won't miss the drama. I won't miss the fighting. I won't miss the constant back and forth bickering between the two females that I worry about the most in the world. I'm happy to have the house back to relative sanity. And I think that moving out is absolutely the best thing that Kristan could do for herself, both because of her interactions with Jess being unhealthy and the friendship that she and I had developed being unhealthy. There's a lot of negative energy there, and it's good to try and let it go, and I think this will help. I'm glad that she found someplace that I really think will work out okay for her, and I'm glad she had the guts to take it. Moving out on your own is not an easy step: I don't know if I'd have ever been able to do it. I never got the opportunity, and I'm okay with that, but it means I can't offer experience. I know that two years ago, she would never have gone out and found her own studio. So, things have definitely changed, and for the better.

I hope that they continue to change for the better for all of us. No matter how much I miss having that one extra person around, the time was well overdue to move on and out. I'm glad it worked out reasonably well, and I hope that it will be okay from here on out for all of us. There's so many more productive things to do than fight all the time.
crschmidt: (resistance)
When I was entering College, I couldn't have gotten into MIT.

I say this not as a negative statement on my academic abilities: Although my GPA and transcript showed a fair amount of negative grades, I could have explained those away if I ever got to the interview stage. They were early on in my High School career, and everyone makes mistakes.

It's not a negative statement on my testing scores: They were high. I was very good at taking standardized tests, and even without the SAT II subject tests, I wouldn't have had a problem convincing anyone that the 1540 I got on the SAT was representative of my skill level in the fields it tested on, and I'd probably have taken and done well on SAT II tests had I felt the need to.

It is a commentary on my interests at the time. During my Senior year at STCE, I was a great student, but I was not interested in learning. I was not someone who went out and managed gigantic projects relating to computers on my own, I was not someone who spent all day being passionate about something.

I would work on things for long periods of time, making them work however I felt worked best. I managed my own web server from my dialup connection, learning how to best set things so that viewers of my 24/7 webcam would get an adequate performance without completely destroying my connectivity.

It wasn't until later that I got the spirt of adventure that is really necessary for accomplishment. I started with support on LiveJournal in the summer of '02, and started with coding on LiveJournal towards the beginning of 2003. It was then that my urge to create things that *worked* really kicked off. My interest in coding led to a lot of changes in the way things worked, and this became even more the case around Feb of 2004, when I moved from LiveJournal coding to working on my own projects as a primary way of expressing that desire to create.

Now, when I hear about interesting projects, I don't just comment on them, I help them. I contribute code, patches, documentation, money. I work with the best and the brightest in the industry via my employer, and I also work with some of the best and the brightest in the Geo field in my spare time. I have a lot of energy, but I devote almost all of it to projects that I love for various reasons.

Getting into MIT, or into any high-powered college or even being employed with the best and the brightest, at places like Google or Yahoo, is not about being smart. There's too many smart people out there. Smart people aren't all innovators.

It's about getting things done, and having a drive to continue getting things done. It's about finding the people who take advantage of the world around them -- whether it be an electronic world of communication, or the world of people living right next door -- and finding some new and interesting way to do things with it. About people with drive to succeed, to be the best, and to stay there.

I didn't have that drive for a long time. I had a drive to do well, but I didn't have a drive to be the best. I didn't have to prove anything to anyone, in my mind.

Since I dropped out of school, that changed. Although it may seem silly, dropping out of school made me all the more determined. I want to be able to answer every question, I want to be able to find every solution without even thinking about it. I subscribe to a number of mailing lists, and I am interested in being well known as a Smart Guy on all of them.

I want to make a name for myself. This isn't a specific desire for fame -- I don't care if they know Christopher Schmidt. I care if they know what I've done. I care if the Open Guide to Boston gets national coverage as an interesting example of what a group of people can do when they're motivated. I want to see people pulling together around efforts I've started.

That kind of attitude is the kind of attitude that places at the top look for. They're not looking for the people who can write the most lines of code per hour, they're looking for the people who are going to come up with new and exciting ideas. They're looking for the people who have the drive to get what they want done.

I'm sure that MIT has lots of people who aren't like this, but it isn't coincidence, or lots of smart people alone, that makes MIT a great environment for startups. What makes it that way is that they specifically pick people who apply that seem like they will be most likely to achieve. Achieving may mean many different things, but most importantly, it is the attitude that anything can be done, and that the students who are picked by MIT are the ones to do it.

With that in mind, I know that I would not have made a good MIT student 4 years ago. Without a specific set of circumstances that have arisen only due to fate, I don't think that I would be a good student there today. However, because fate did fall the way it did, I think today I have a demonstrably much better chance of being an MIT student at some point in the future. I have the drive to succeed, and that drive is the most important thing that a potential student can show.

Resistance is Futile. You will be assimilated. Or I will. Or something.
crschmidt: (pensive)
Two of the most important resolutions that were offered to me in my recent poll for the new year are:
  • Go outside more
  • Write in your journal more

Thus far, I've been doing relatively well with each of these tasks.

* Write in your journal more.
Between here and [livejournal.com profile] crschmidt_tech, I've posted on an average of once per day since the new year. I plan to make this a goal - most likely attempting to post once or twice a week in Technical Ramblings, and once a week here. Since I plan to take a large interest in photography and a larger interest in the kids over the next year, this will probably mean a lot of pictures of the kids out and about and doing things, especially compared to in the past. I've tended to keep quiet about the kids, especially insofar as daily lives, in part for their protection (I don't want someone able to follow them around) but also becasue I haven't spent as much time with them as I should as a father.

Right now things are crazy with work, but I love the kids a lot, and I need to start doing more fun things with them than just being in the same room or telling them to clean.

* Go outside more.
This one I've also achieved. I've been going outside every couple days at least, and am aiming for going somewhere every day. Now that I have the camera and iPod, I can grab them both, leave the house, and just wander around for an hour with a purpose, but also just taking time to myself. In the past, I have often used the computer as a place to retreat, but I don't want to do that as much anymore, because it hasn't led to good things. Fresh air changes everything.

This is especially neccesary now that I'm not walking the girls to the bus stop every day anymore -- then, at least, I got a good 15 minutes freezing my ass off in whatever I could find in the morning as I stumbled about. Without that, I need to make an effort to actually go out and do things.

I'm going to also make an effort to start working from various places. I'm not sure where exactly, but there's a lot of places around with internet, and I'd like to start taking advantage of those to get out of the house.

August 2017

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