Wild Mind Writing & living wildly

A Reset of Sorts

Have you ever seen Complete Unknown? It came out a few years ago and starred Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon. The fundamental premise is that Alice, as Weisz is known for most of the movie, is a chameleon of sorts. She becomes different people, lives different lives, is a shapeshifter. When things become too familiar for her, Connie becomes Paige becomes Mae becomes Alice. Throughout the movie, we find that Alice has shifted identities nine times.

The reason Alice slips off one identity and slides into another lies in the dialogue of the movie. One of the telling scenes is when Alice tells Tom (Michael Shannon’s character) that he looked at her differently when he found out that she was a piano prodigy. Certain expectations came along with that knowledge and Alice didn’t want to fulfill them. She wanted to be her own woman. She wanted to live her own life. She wanted to live a thousand lives.

It’s when everyone thinks they know who you are, then you’re trapped.

The movie didn’t get great reviews, but I enjoyed it. I felt an immediate kinship with Weisz’s character. I know the desire, the pull to start again, to become a different person, to reset. When those that know you lay claim to who they think you are, change becomes difficult. It’s a battle between who you know yourself to be (or who you know you can be) and who people think you are, especially when there is history between you and them.

Change can happen in an instant. Getting to the results you want may take some time, but the decision, the modification, the shift–that occurs immediately. A prudent person will make plans and alter their routine to ensure that change is successful, whereas a more chaotic person will leap once the decision is made. For most of my young adult years, when I made a change, I jumped like a madwoman. My constant leaving is still a sticking point for some (not that I blame anyone—I truly understand).

I have known for some time that I won’t stay in New England permanently. It’s been a good run but my time is up. But, I am a wiser and more mature woman than I was a decade ago, which has tempered my restlessness and impetuousness. I know that I need to lay down a plan and run toward something, rather than run from the unease and boredom I feel here and now.

A large part of that plan is work and earning money. Wild Mind doesn’t embody all of who I am. I have deliberately left out my thoughts of a more technical nature, such as how I set up my computer and run a VPN out of Frankfurt, Germany. Or share different data visualizations I’ve built at work. Mostly this was because I wanted to focus on the writing aspect; somewhat because my readers weren’t a part of that technical demographic. However, I wrote mostly about my life, about my travels, and about my hopes and dreams, with the occasional story thrown in. I ended up worrying too much about stats, and the noise was too much for me to filter.

I decided to reset this site. I moved it away from WordPress.com and into Hugo, a more developer friendly static site generator. I got rid of the stats and comments (for now). I am now able to write my posts in Vim and Markdown, as well as being able to control the structure, change the theme, and write raw code. WildMind is becoming a more robust playground for me to explore my life, writing, and coding.

The driving reason behind changing this site is in preparation for change. What form this change takes is still unknown to me. Maybe a new job, most probably a new location. But, I need a place to point potential employers (or clients, who knows what direction my career will head) that shows I know what I am doing. I had thought of keeping a separate site for this purpose, but that alone is too much noise for me. I don’t want to have to figure out what website to post an article to or worry about cross-pollination. I want to open up Vim and lay down my thoughts, regardless of the topic. This need to arrange thoughts is why categories and tags were invented!

So, here we are. Here I am. This site is going to change. It’s going to embody who I embody and have all the many bits and pieces that go into the making of a human. I am—as we all are—more than the sum of our parts.