For once, I know exactly what I’m feeling. I’m pissed as hell at myself. My own personal issues are getting in the way of moving forward in a totally unrelated area of my life.
Hmmmmm… what’s the best way to make a long story short… Or as least as short as I can…
Two weekends ago, I decided to install Linux (Ubuntu Feisty Fawn to be exact) on an empty partition. I had been planning on this for a couple months now, but just got around to it. Not much on TV here, so I always have music playing. All of my music is encoded as either mp3 or m4a. I managed to get Rhythm Box to play the mp3 files (and of course all my good music is encoded as m4a) only. VLC didn’t seem to be able to find the partition that my music lives on but it would play both the mp3 and m4a files. So I made due and just listening to the music encoded as mp3.
I posted in a forum where I moderate asking for help finding a player that would a) play both formats and b) recognize my FAT32 partition. In that thread, another guy posted saying he was searching for the same thing, but his requirements were a bit different than mine (he wanted something he could use from the command line).
After a bit of his own searching he found something that fit his criteria and posted directions for me to get it up and running. Understand, that I’m absolutely terrified of anything to do with the command line. My anxiety skyrockets when I open it up. I’m convinced that the entire computer will self destruct and cause Ulsan to disappear off the map if I mistype just one character. And yes, I know it isn’t rational.
The only thing I was able to do while reading his directions was laugh. He had so seriously overestimated my knowledge of Linux, it was comical. In my fits of hysterical laughter, I forgot to thank Eric for taking the time to write out those directions for me.
I sent him an email this morning thanking him and also explaining that I understood the concept of what he described on his message board posts. It was just that I had no idea how to put it into practice. It’s amazing what a few hours of sleep can do for rationality.
A few hours later, he emailed me back. I didn’t see it until later in the afternoon when I was on break (and supposed to be entering next week’s lessons plans in the computer). I immediately got sick to my stomach. My own personal issues jumped to the forefront. And it pisses me off.
Eric had asked two things. If I wanted to try and tackle this irrational fear of mine. And if I thought a structured “class” would help. In the past, he taught a college introductory level class to science students on programming (in Fortran no less) and the use of the Unix command line. If I was interested, he was willing to use it as an opportunity to revise his lesson plans and notes.
Note that there isn’t anything inherently frightening about either of those questions. And I can answer the first one with a resounding yes. If I move over to Linux (as I really would like to do) then I need to get comfortable with the command line. It was the second one that got me. It would involve a more one-on-one interaction with him. And he was unfortunately born male. I’m terrified. And it’s so irrational it pisses me off. There’s a large ocean and the better part of a continent separating me from him. And from the brief encounters I’ve had with him, I’m pretty confident that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. In fact, he’s been nothing but supportive of me when issues have popped up in the past (doesn’t directly talk about Eric, but it was on his boards where that issue started).
I emailed him back with an apology for taking so long to get back to him (almost 14 hours – I try to answer my email within 6 hours tops). And I told him that I do want to tackle this stupid command line phobia. And I told him that yes, I would be interested in working through his course materials. I also told him that his email scared me to death on a personal level, but didn’t go into any details as to why.
So now I sit here writing this. I’m fighting back the tears. I don’t want to cry. I’m pissed at myself for a few reasons. I’m pissed because I’m letting my past get in the way of making my future better/more interesting. I’m pissed because I should just get over all this stuff already. I’m pissed because I feel like such an idiot. And I’m pissed at myself for being pissed off.
And I sit here with my anxiety sky rocketing every time I hear my nifty little gmail notifier chime (I so love Firefox). I keep thinking it’s going to be a message from Eric telling me what an ass I am. Why oh why do I keep putting thoughts in other people’s heads? But that’s a post for another day.