Back in Business

Well, we’re back. Maybe not quite as spectacularly as Dr. Dre in Still D.R.E., but then again not as long of an absence either.

I’ve rebuilt my blog; the old Wordpress one is now retired and will be scrapped at some point–a Fighting Temeraire moment. I decided after my last post that I wasn’t going to use Wordpress anymore. It served its purpose when I was solo-traveling and didn’t have a laptop to update my blog with, but I’ve recently needed something cleaner and more efficient. I’ve also always hoped that my website would be completely built from scratch. Don’t want to go into too many details–because let’s be honest, there are few things more boring than this–but my main site in the past was built with Jekyll, a static site generator. After doing some research prior to the rebuild, I stumbled upon Hugo, a much faster static site generator. I’ve come to realize that if Jekyll is an easy-to-use, push-to-start Prius, Hugo is a stick-shift Porsche that I have no right to be within ten feet of. So, naturally, I’m sitting in it, attempting to drive it with no experience whatsoever.

If my summer at Facebook taught me anything, it’s that while I rarely know what I’m doing, that hasn’t stopped me from attempting projects that I don’t have the skills for. So for the two weeks following, I put my dearth of skills to the test and slowly rebuilt my blog and reconstructed my main site in Hugo. It was a challenging experience but pretty insightful too. With most things, my approach to learning is learning by doing. I don’t like to read instructions–the mere sight of a folded-up, wallet-sized user manual peeves me–and I love throwing myself into the deep end, which is what I did when I was picking up Jekyll. That’s what I tried again with Hugo, spending a week just throwing myself repeatedly into the deep end like a really determined but crappy aquatic diver and yielding no success. It was discouraging, but it forced me to change my approach and, for the first time in a while, I thoroughly went through the instructions and documentation.

After rebuilding everything though, I ran into a smattering of final issues that stumped me again. Since then, I’ve been working on this project sporadically, patching issues when I have time. However–and I say this only half-jokingly–I’ve been determined to finish since I couldn’t bear the thought of admitting defeat to Hugo, something that sounds like it belongs in a Pixar film as a harmless, anthropomorphic stuffed animal.

It’s been an up-and-down experience rebuilding this site. Some days I wake up motivated and can churn out hours of nonstop work and then there are days where I’m incredibly unmotivated–really a microcosm of quarantine life in general. But, hey, back to our regularly scheduled programming.