Comin’ Home

Posted in Stories. with tags , on February 25, 2019 by Dev!l

He stared at his screen without intent as he slowly sipped his coffee. There were a dozen things that he should have been doing at that moment but he had no desire to address any of them. It was as if life and its problems had ceased to exist and in that moment of solitude and quiet, the only thing that mattered was his research. He loved working late for many reasons but these half hour coffee breaks when everyone had left were by far his favorite as these were the only times he could let loose and truly be his own self. He could finally hold intense conversations with himself on finding solutions to his problems while listening to music without fearing he would be disturbing anyone else in the office. Granted some of those conversations were inane and somewhat colorful in their nature, they still helped him progress in the only aspect of his life he cared about.

He let out a small sign as he sipped the last drops of his coffee and felt a physical electric shock go through his body. “Ok, let’s see what the fuck is wrong with this piece of shit code”, he said audibly loud in frustration. He loathed being stuck at a simple problem for so long but given that he wasn’t trained in these matters, he always felt a need to make up for his lack of knowledge by punishing himself and pushing beyond what he could handle mentally. Even though his friends always seemed to tell him otherwise, he always felt insecure in his knowledge and his self doubt grew each day he chose to stay in his chosen career path. Yet, he showed no signs of throwing in the towel. Mainly because he hated the thought of letting his inner demons win as well as the thought of disappointing the people who had taken a chance on him when even he didn’t want to give himself one.

There was a slight movement in his peripheral vision, as he took one of his headphones out to greet an unexpected visitor.

“Why am I not surprised that you are still here?” A cheerful voice addressed him as his boss entered the room.

“Eh, I am stuck on a problem so just wanted to resolve it.” He replied with a smile

“Not that I have time but if it is something I can help with, we can have a short discussion?”

“Nah, just programming issues. I want to be able to solve it myself.”

“Alright, I am just here to pick up a document I need for a meeting tomorrow but if you do change your mind, you can reach me tomorrow on phone or email.” His boss replied while picking up a stack of papers from her desk. She stopped in the middle of stashing the papers in her bag, turned her head upward towards him and stared as if contemplating whether or not to say something.

“Yes?” He asked while taking off his headphones completely.

“Did you apply for your vacation already?”

“Umm no, I am still undecided if I want to go or not.”

“Ray, I know it isn’t my business but I would suggest you go and visit your family. Time once passed won’t really return.” She spoke softly, weighing her words very carefully as to not overstep the bounds of their professional relationship. However, her face spoke volumes of the pains she had suffered as she had been in the same shoes as him once before till it was too late.

“No no it’s okay. I am just trying to find a proper time. That’s all.” He replied after a slight delay. “I mean it isn’t everyday when you get to go back home to family members hounding you to get married among other issues.”

A smile crept across her face as she replied, “Yea, well as long as you don’t need another 2 weeks to recover from the hounding, I would still suggest you consider it. Anyhow, I am going to go home now. Oh and for the hundredth time, remember there is life outside of this office.”

“Or so I have been told, have a nice evening. I will be off soon as well”

“Bye” She replied as she left the office as quickly she had entered it.

He just sat there in silence; there was no point in trying to work anymore as his mind wasn’t in it anymore. His thoughts were finally let loose from the cage he kept them in during work. The pain in the voice of someone he respected was far too real for him to ignore, there was just something behind those eyes which he knew he wouldn’t want to visit. He had to learn from the mistakes of those he respected.  He slowly picked up his phone and stared at its screen, contemplating if he really was ready to go through this. His fingers slowly moved across the screen as he dialed a number he was all too familiar with.

“Hey ma, yea, it’s me. Yea, I will be coming home next month. Just wanted to tell you I made up my mind. Bye”

He let out an exhausted sigh as he knew he couldn’t hide behind his work anymore. Life was indeed happening outside these walls he had confined himself to and it was high time he found it again even if it was for a bit.

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2018, a review

Posted in Articles, Expressions with tags , , on January 1, 2019 by Dev!l

2018 has been quite a strange year. I have felt such a large variety of emotions and lack thereof in such a short time span that I am confused whether to feel sad or happy that the year is near its end. Perhaps writing it out will help me come to a decision.

The start of 2018 was amongst the worst I have had experienced. I was depressed beyond what I would care to admit and had to drown myself in work just to have some sense of normalcy in my life. I was surrounded by friends yet I still felt a haunting loneliness inside me that I wouldn’t wish upon the worst of my enemies. I had everything to look forward to yet I couldn’t help but look back just because the person I wanted wasn’t there with me anymore. This continued for almost the first three months. I felt nothing but a harrowing and wretched devastation, it was almost like someone had my heart in their grasp and they were squeezing it for their own sadistic pleasure. The only thing that made sense to me at that time was to just drown myself in something that would numb if not kill my senses and my research work provided me that opportunity. I knew what I was doing was self-destructive and would cripple me in the long run but I was a junkie who was just looking for a quick fix to all of his problems. On the bright side, doing this not only allowed me to finish writing my thesis with results that I could accept but also helped secure a temporary job to continue working under my supervisor after graduation since he couldn’t guarantee funds for a Ph.D. position.

At the end of the third month, I had a brief and extremely chance encounter with someone who made me realize how unprepared I was to settle down. The sudden realization of how much faith I had put in a single person and how dependent I was on them pushed me further into a sense of disparity. I honestly wanted to run away from everything right then and there but I had made a commitment to finish a project for my previous supervisor.

The only positive aspect during this time was the restoration of a few bonds which had withered due to the ravages of time, mistakes and varying schedules. To those people, all I can say is, if you are reading this; thank you, your attention and words helped me a lot. Just like that the first 5 months of the year drew to a close. It wasn’t like nothing else happened during this time, I had quite a few hangouts with friends, had a friend visit me from Berlin after I helped his pseudo sister in law settle into my city and me finally graduating with a better than expected grade. However, none of this invoked a feeling of accomplishment. My emotions were still fleeting and I felt empty.

Near the end of my temp job, my fear of the unknown had grown. Everything around me was getting smaller and darker and things which I had spent the last 6 months running from were finally catching up to me. It was during this time that I went for an interview for a Ph.D. position which my supervisor had arranged. However, things didn’t go as planned. They rarely do. I was rejected from the position being cited as not a good fit as they didn’t have time for someone who was new in that specific field to learn everything from scratch. That was the day I finally broke. Things had finally caught up to me and I was just done with everything.

For the next half a month I was in a state of pure agony as my work, the only thing I took any pride in and what I was using to define myself was suddenly not good enough anymore. I was losing the last shards of my self-crafted identity. In my eyes, I had nothing of value left anymore and this started to reflect in my daily life. I would spend each day in bed, emotionless and quite frankly shut off from the outside world.


It was at the end of June that I received another call for an interview to a Ph.D. position I quite frankly didn’t even remember applying to. The position itself was in another country and in a city where I knew no one. The interview went worse than I expected and I quite frankly had no hopes at that point. However, my masters’ supervisor did go above and beyond in his recommendation and somehow managed to convince the right people that I was a good fit. To my surprise, they did agree with my supervisor and just like that it was soon time for me to leave my friends and everything I had grown accustomed to behind one more time in my life. The only difference, however, was this time around I had no safety nets. The prospect of which utterly terrified me but I just wanted a change, I wanted to run away in hopes that perhaps a change of scenery would help me pull myself out of my perpetual hollowed state. Not to mention the idea of getting paid only sweetened the deal.

The move went worse than I expected as I couldn’t officially start work due to complications of the visa process. All of this coupled with a sense of loneliness threw me in a state of indifference towards my life. The only emotions I did have during this time were entirely superficial. I don’t think I would have been able to cope with all the unlucky events which followed have I had not been in a constant emotionally jaded state. From being in debt and penniless to getting in an argument with my parents to being alone, I was at one of the lowest points in my life.

The only things that gave me even a tiny glimmer of hope or a reason to get up in the morning were the kind words of a few friends and an email my masters’ supervisor had written to me after I had informed him of my decision to take up the Ph.D. position. I don’t imagine that he even knows how much his words meant to me and even though I still doubted his judgment, I wanted to go on and give it my best not to disappoint a person who wasn’t even in my life anymore.

However, finally, things started to take a turn for the better around the time when just to avoid being homeless for a few days and to simply run away from everything, I went to visit my friend in Berlin. The change of scenery and the ablution from responsibility helped me get things on track. On my return, I started to have a better outlook on my situation. The fact that the people around me were nicer than I originally expected and my direct supervisor turning out to be just an amazing human and scientist only expedited the whole process. Even though I still wasn’t sure if I was capable enough to perform the tasks assigned to me, I was undoubtedly impressed by my supervisor. Her overall demeanor, work ethic and personality only made me respect her more as time passed. This allowed me to stop letting my doubts interfere with my work. Or to state it as I did to my friend, “My loyalty was bought with food, chocolate and a sense of humor”.

I soon found myself not so jaded anymore. Granted the emptiness was replaced by sadness and the fear of people’s judgment weighing me down but, I was just happy to feel something once more instead of just feeling nothing. The sadness, like most things in life was only temporary and settled down a bit soon after. The fear of inadequacy, on the other hand, is still there and I still struggle each day at work as I find many things out of my depth. Not a day goes by when I am not plagued by self-doubt. However, I still feel like going above and beyond just because of the respect I have towards my coworker and supervisor. Granted I still feel like they think of me as an idiot, but that is something I can live with.

As the year draws to a close, here I am recanting everything while sitting comfortably in Siegen, enjoying my Christmas break with old friends. I know I never really focused on what I truly gained from my experiences but I guess, I really don’t want to tell that part to any other person as I still feel it is too personal and close to my heart. However, all I can say is that this year I learned a lot about myself and what makes me tick. I also learned about a lot of my shortcomings and possible issues I have but I guess that is fine as I still have time to work on these issues and be better.

New Outlet? Home? Blog? Giant pile of mess.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 20, 2018 by Dev!l

For some unnamed reason, I have migrated to Instagram and can be found on: wissenshaftler

Memories

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2018 by Dev!l

Writer’s Note: This may very well be my last post on this platform. A friend did suggest I move to instagram but I am at a point in my life where I am not comfortable sharing myself with the world anymore. Excuse any mistakes in grammar, formatting and flow of thought in the following post as it was done on a cellphone.

They say the first thing you forget about someone is the sound of their voice however I always found this to be quite puzzling because to me the first thing I forget is the way a person made me feel. That’s not to say that I forget completely but the memory of the exact way I felt around them escapes me. For you see, there’s a whole lot of emotions that we forget when we meet someone. there is not just joy it is also the feeling of curiosity, of anticipation, of fear, of glee, and so much more combined in an allegant mixture but at the end of the day when that person is gone, the only thing we do remember is if that person made us feel happy or sad. the whole spectrum of emotions is just gone and we’re only left with a few feelings. It’s like when you decolourise a picture and all the colorful details you once saw in the picture are just gone. Of course this does not mean that the black and white picture doesnt retain its beauty but there is always something missing, something that I am not comfortable in omitting out when remembering a person. The sad part is that all of this happens in what seems like an instant, more or less. It doesn’t take long for us to forget how exactly we felt and lately I’ve been going through that. I have truly forgotten the spectrum of emotions I once experinced in the company of the people I have lost. Instead I often find binarized emotions attached with my memories. Then there are those whose voice I have forgotten. The way they laughed, to the way they whispered, it is all but a vague recollection. It is quite saddening to come to the realization that somehow one person who was close to me and whom I held dear in my heart has become so inconsequential that I can’t remember how exactly I felt around them, or what their voice sounded like. However, I do remember their face and all that they taught me, but one day even the memory of their looks may fade as well. I know I can always look at pictures to remind myself of how they looked like but to me that just seems like cheating on the memory of that person as I am using an external aid to recollect moments I once thought I will never forget. That I guess is just a part of life but there is something that will always remain with me. The importance of the time I was given to spend with them, the values that were passed onto me and helped shape me in becoming who I am today. I guess that is all I can do because that is what I expect people to remember of me when I am gone and nothing but a digitzed ghost remains in my stead. I nonetheless still want to apologize to all those whose true memory I have betrayed, those who made me feel so much just by varying pitch in their now forgotten voice, those whose looks escape my recollection. I truly and deeply am sorry. I wish one day we may meet again, in another realm of existence and I can once again remember everything about you.