Making myself uncomfortable again

In early 2019, some months after completing a rehab program for drug addiction, I was in a very open-minded headspace where I wanted to challenge myself and find ways to improve as a person.

Drugs had filled my life with secrecy and lies, but that life was over. Although I was unsure of my next steps, I was so tired of the secrecy that I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather change about myself.

So, roughly 6 months into the SerenityOS project, I started making YouTube videos to document my progress. At the time, I was still working on the project alone, and I thought video could be an engaging format.

The first videos were simple programming sessions, filled with clumsiness and mumbling. I made lots of mistakes and mumbled even more while fixing them. Over time, I improved, and also starting making monthly SerenityOS update videos – a tradition which is still going today.

Eventually, I began recording myself driving to work, and that’s when I truly opened up. In these car videos, I discussed programming, job experiences, motivation, operating systems, and many other topics. As I grew more comfortable, I eventually shared my history with drug addiction and how it inspired the name “SerenityOS” as well. People were incredibly supportive, and for the first time since childhood I felt accepted for who I really was.

Where I am today

Just two weeks ago, I posted my 1000th video to YouTube. That’s a lot of videos. With more than 39,600 subscribers, I’ve been able to share my work, thoughts and knowledge with more people than I ever imagined.

Moreover, I’ve attracted hundreds of people to collaborate on SerenityOS with me, many of whom are still active contributors today. This experience has brought me immense joy.

At this point, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal of becoming comfortable on camera and learned to embrace authenticity, leaving the secrecy and lies behind.

Now, I’m ready to face a new challenge and feel uncomfortable once again!

Writing: a new frontier

Writing has always intimidated me. While I can manage short bursts (like Tweets), I’ve rarely practiced writing anything more substantial. This is something I’m incredibly uncomfortable with, and I feel like it’s time to confront it.

So, here’s what I’m going to do: I’ll be taking a break from making my usual “unprepared” videos (i.e everything other than SerenityOS update videos), and focus instead on writing. I will write posts like this one, but also technical posts, book reviews, etc.

As I write this, a mix of fear and excitement fills my heart. I feel intimidated and out of my element, and this tells me I’m on the right track.

With this, I aim to become significantly better at writing. I also hope to become better at thinking. I tend to think in English, so it seems logical that improving my command of English will improve my ability to think as well.

To follow along on my new journey, stay tuned for regular blog updates and post announcements on my Twitter.

It’s going to be bumpy at first, but I’ll do my best to improve quickly.

Thank you for reading! I hope to see you here again.

Written on April 7, 2023