- Propensity to be a dick -

5th July '18

The next day, Saturday, started with my left knee feeling a little looser.

I still couldn't quite straighten-out my left leg properly, but... well that's not overly uncommon for me, so I had no problems getting into work, and no problems teaching my first class.

This was typically the first term ever, where I was teaching three weekend classes though (from 8am to 4:30pm), and I don't ever sit-down when I teach.

I don't really know why, I just don't like to.

When I'm standing it keeps me awake and alert, and I can move around, so I'm easily accessible to students.

If I were to sit-down though, I'd start feeling sleepy, and I'm less approachable when just sat at the front of the room.

And I was teaching seven and a half hours of classes on this day, with a thirty-minute break in between them, and I was on my feet pretty much constantly through all of it.

For the first class it was ok. But by the second, I'd just put so much strain on my weakened joint, that standing had become painful, and my limp was so much more pronounced.

To the point that between my second class and my third, I had to go downstairs to Boots to buy a knee support, just to get me through that final class.

And from that point, I wouldn't go outside my apartment without wearing it for more than a week.

That was close to three weeks ago, and since then it's pretty much healed-up.

I was able to get through a yoga class three days ago unscathed, and I went to a core class yesterday. So I'm getting back to full functionality again but... what the fuck?

Why can I never seem to be at full-health nowadays?

I started last term with a sprained ankle which felt like it took a lifetime to heal. I started this term by giving myself food poisoning, and then I innocuously fucked-up my knee, still to this point having no idea how, with just an inclination it was due to a yoga class that I mentioned in the last blog.

I always dislike the distinction between mental and physical, because your body and your mind are all one thing. If you're healthy mentally, it's going to keep you healthy physically, and vice-versa.

If you don't eat right, does it affect your body or your mind?

Both.

If you don't sleep well, it's the same.

So I can't help but wonder if my recent run of ill-health is just down to the stress and general lack of enjoyment I've been experiencing from my job.

I'm definitely not in a good place mentally, so how could I expect to be in peak condition physically? How could I expect my body to heal properly, for example, after a workout?

Exactly, I couldn't.

So is it a coincidence that as my job's become more stressful, my body's become more broken?

Perhaps. Perhaps I'm thinking too much into it. I could also contend that my sprained ankle was simply chance, and that walking around on my weakened ankle put so much more stress on my already fucked-up knee, that it just went as well, and that giving myself food poisoning was either bad luck; maybe I drank some bad water or something, or it was a reaction to these fasting experiments I've been doing.

I can only really speculate, but I think in my mind I want it to be because of my job. The more I can blame on my manager, the easier it is to dislike him and that's... kind of the culture he's created.

By getting rid of preference forms, telling people they were going to get fired, setting shitty schedules for no reason etc., you now have little choice but to want to dislike him. And if I can blame him for my ill-health as well then... well that just makes it a bit easier to do.

And to begin with, this injury was actually a bit of a blessing, in that I was resting as much as possible whilst still going about my life.

I wasn't going to the gym, I didn't go to the supermarket one week, and I even delayed cleaning my apartment on schedule, just to let my knee rest as much as possible.

And in the beginning it was great, because I actually had some time to do my course.

It soon dried-up though, as once I started feeling better, not only did I have so much to catch-up on, but the excess number of classes that I have to teach this term got into full swing. And even not planning anything from scratch, it's still proving to be a lot of work.

I have mostly higher-level classes, some of which have 18+ students. And when coincidence means that you do a writing activity, with all three classes that you teach in a row, so arrive home that evening with 50 essays to mark... I mean, that's going to ruin your night.

So the time I was saving by not planning new levels from scratch, still seemed to largely get away from me, just by having more levels to teach than I've ever wanted or asked for.

It only adds up to ten more contact hours per week than I used to do. But add on an extra five for the aforementioned out-of-class things I'm doing, and I'm still down fifteen hours of free time per week compared to under the previous manager. And losing fifteen hours per week is still enough to not really give me much free time.

As I said in the last blog, if this term was isolated, I wouldn't mind because this is always the busiest term of the year so everyone has to work more. But seeing as it's three straight terms of having no free time to do anything... it sucks.

And lest we forget, that I only have a schedule this good because I basically negotiated it.

My condition of only teaching levels that I've taught before, if I'm to work more than normal, got me a schedule that was palatable.

Others weren't so fortunate.

One teacher I was speaking to has eight classes to teach this term.

That alone is forty contact hours per week. That's already a full-time job in anyone's mind.

Guess how many of those eight classes are unique levels that he's teaching.

Seven. Seven unique levels that he has to plan on top of his forty hours of teaching per week, plus all the printing and other out-of-class stuff like going over the writings of eight different classes and...

He seems to be taking it in his stride. If I were him I'd have quit by now. But it brings me onto the very reason that I'm writing this blog today.

This isn't a blog that I'm writing because I particularly have anything to say.

This is a blog that I'm writing in the hope that if I spew-out all the jumbled thoughts in my mind that are competing for time in my consciousness, then by the time I'm finished they'll all make sense to me.

And basically the time has come where I have to make some kind of decision, even if it's just a decision to keep on doing the same as I'm doing now, about my future.

I'll be out of the country three weeks from now. And two weeks after I return, the lease on my condo expires. So well before then, I have to make a decision about whether I want to extend it or not. And if I do... it's basically a commitment to stay in the same situation that I'm in now, for at least another six months.

If you remember when I started this job, there was another girl who started at the same time as me.

She quit last summer to go back to America to do a masters degree, but her fiancé still lives in Bangkok, so having now graduated from Harvard, she's back visiting him in Bangkok. So we met a couple of Fridays ago, firstly in Lumphini Park, and then to Starbucks to catch-up.

And this was cool.

It was good to see her anyway, but it was good for a couple of other reasons.

Selfishly, it was good to see that even with a masters degree from Harvard, she seems to be going nowhere in life much faster than I am, but just has a lot more debt. So that made me feel a bit better.

More than that though, it was really good to have the chance to explain to someone who used to work at my school, but who left a year ago, exactly how things have changed now.

It forced me to think through and articulate exactly what's different now and how it ties-into my own plans for the future and...

Well my plan as I've set-out in this blog, is to stay in this job for a further six months once I get back from London, and then reassess next March.

That'll net me my next annual bonus, I should know by then whether I can get a German passport or not, so how feasible it will be for me to work in Europe post-Brexit, and I'll be in Thailand to apply for alternative jobs here, should this one have gotten no better.

Doing so whilst I'm back in London next month would be a little impractical.

Her advice to me though, was... you should be applying for other jobs now.

At least test the market and see what's out there, because clearly this job isn't working for you anymore.

And I put more stock into her words than I would from most other people. Because if you knew someone twelve months ago, and then you saw them today with very little communication in between, then you're going to clearly and suddenly see how that person has changed.

It's not the same as being around someone who sees it happen gradually.

And if that person's advice is for you to leave, then that's advice worth listening to.

Her other suggestion, which I initially dismissed although still found jumping around in my mind several days later, was to quit my job, use the money I've saved by working so much to rent a house on Samui island for a couple of months for 8,000 baht per month, and to sit on the beach, focussing on programming.

Just basically take a break to do what I actually want to do.

I don't know if I'd be so inclined to go to an island were I to do such a thing. I think I'd be more drawn to the north of the country; perhaps Chiang Mai.

But the more I thought about that, the more it just made sense to me. That's actually a really good idea.

At around this time, one of the teachers who quit last term, sent me a link to an article. Said that she thought that I might find it motivating.

I appreciated that, because it's not like we were very close or messaged each other before. But for some reason she saw it and thought of me.

I've added the link above, but it's certainly not a quick read. It took me several toilet trips to get through it, probably totalling more than an hour. But... she was right, it was actually very motivating.

It's basically the story of a guy, who eighteen months ago, was in a very similar situation to me.

In a job he didn't really want to be in, with aspirations to start programming, but not too sure where to turn. And it's his story of how he got there.

The Internet is littered with articles in a similar vein, so my own present failure falls on no one's shoulders but my own.

I haven't been helped by the retardedness of my boss, but it's my life, not his. I don't want to find myself in five years, in the same place I am now, thinking 'well, at least it was my boss' fault, not mine.'

No. All I'll be thinking is... fuck, I'm in the same place I was five years ago.

And because I can't expect anyone who's reading these words, to then spend another hour reading this article, let me add the final few paragraphs here:

"As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m in love with coding.

I love that it keeps forcing me to push my intellectual limits through quantitative problem solving.

I love that it provides me with an outlet for creative expressions when designing anything from UI to system architecture.

I love that it provides me with a thousand different solutions for every real-world problem.

I love that it not only tolerates my inner perfectionist, but actually requires that perfectionist to be present — and punishes its absence.

I love that it surrounds me with people that value genuineness and transparency above small-talk and politeness.

I love that, on my introverted days, it lets me put on my headphones, roll up my sleeves, and deep dive into another dimension for a while.

I love that it always holds something new for me to learn, and that it will require me to be a lifelong learner, unlike many other stagnant professions.

But most of all, I love that coding has given me a sense that the future is truly limitless.

In a few weeks I’ll turn 27, and I have no idea what the future holds for me. In three years, for all I know, I might still be in the same position as I am now, writing code for the same company. I might be a lead developer. I might be a product owner or manager. Or I might be somewhere completely different.

Freelancing remotely from a sunny paradise. Developing decentralized apps on some disruptive blockchain. Designing machine learning models to combat global warming. Writing spaceship algorithms for expeditions to Mars. Or building my own product.

All of the above scenarios would have seemed utterly crazy to me before I started coding.

At best, my former finance jobs gave me the slim satisfaction of having put together a thick powerpoint presentation filled with upward-sloping KPI curves. And the best possible future scenario I could think of then was me landing a CFO or CEO position at some listed company after dedicating a decade of my life into 100-hour work weeks at some investment bank, private equity firm, or management consultancy, having spent my days around people who cared more about money and prestige than trying to do something meaningful with their lives. And that scared me.

Today, there’s no likely future scenario that scares me at all. And that alone gives me certainty that my crooked journey over the past three years has had a purpose.

Although it’s a bit sad that I invested so much time and energy into a career path that turned out to be a dead end, I know I was really fortunate to realize that already at age 23 — and to have the luxury to be able to make a halt, look around, and pursue something I felt more passionately about.

So good or bad, I guess it was the sum of all my experiences that took me to where I am today. A place where I somehow managed to find something few people ever do — a job that I love. And for that I’m more thankful than words can say."

I can't speak for anyone else, but I find those words motivating as fuck. And all the things that I hate about life nowadays, get turned-into a positive.

What is my biggest flaw as a teacher?

It's that I am a perfectionist. It's that for every class I've ever taught in this six-year career, I've gone into the room with a typed-up lesson plan and my own handouts.

I'm never late, I never miss a class, I never forget to do anything. I cross every I and dot every T to the point that this job can just be fucking miserable because of how much time I spend doing it.

So to do a job where being a meticulous perfectionist is actually a requirement... I mean, I'm wasted as a teacher.

I liked how he said on introverted days, he can just put in earphones and fuck off to another dimension for a while.

Everyone has days where they feel like that. Yet I still have to stand in front of a class of students and teach them no matter how I feel.

He talks about stagnant professions and... well what is my job right now?

Aside from the hugely undesirable and stress-inducing management positions, there is nowhere else for me to grow at this school. And although I still enjoy the teaching... can I really get much better at this?

Sure, everyone can always improve still. But by now, I've basically been asked every question that a student's going to ask me about English, I've taught every grammar point that I'm ever going to teach. I've also reached the maximum pay band that I can be in as a teacher at this school.

How can I grow at this point? Where is there to go?

I love how he says of programming that the future is limitless, and there's always something new to learn.

That excites me.

I mean, even if I was able to catch-up in knowledge, with the greatest programmers alive today, which I obviously never could, then even then it's a matter of how and where technologies progress from here. You're only limited by your imagination when it comes to programming.

I genuinely just think that it's something I could be both good at, and enjoy doing, if I can just find the time and the means to get a foothold in it.

Yet here I am, in a job that, sure I enjoy the time I'm teaching, but I hate everything else about it.

I hate the politics of this school, I hate the shitty attitude of my boss, I hate the planning, I hate having fifty essays that I have to mark after I get home from teaching all day.

And I'm thinking about doing this for another six months? What am I, retarded?

I liked this quote from Ricky Gervais on Twitter. Made me think, life is too short waste even a second of it being unhappy. Let alone another six months.

Every fibre of my being is telling me that I should quit this job. It quite clearly doesn't make me happy, at least not anymore. But as yet, I just haven't been able to bring myself to take the steps towards leaving.

Why?

Indecisiveness.

I have about five possible things that I'm thinking of doing. And if you speak to me at any time on any given day, I could be leaning towards any of them. I probably change my mind about ten times per day.

And when you can't make a decision, what do you do?

You do nothing. You keep on doing the same thing that you're doing now.

And that is one of my options, but is also the motivation for the title of this blog.

It's very strange for me to think that just a few months ago, I was content in this job. That I used to wake-up happy in the morning, knowing that this was how I made my living. Yet for reasons I've gone into in this blog ad nauseam, I no longer am. And I've got to cease acting on how this job used to be, and start acting on how it is now.

Except... well what if it gets better?

My new boss has done the schedule for three terms now.

For the first two, he was a massive dick. For this one, he was fair.

To me.

Not to everyone, but he was fair to me. I can't complain.

And if he continues being fair to me, in the quieter terms after I return then... well this isn't such a bad job.

If I have schedules like I used to, and I actually have the time to pursue my outside interests such a programming then... this isn't such a bad job. It's just that...

Well do I want to bank the next six months of my life, on whether my boss is going to act like a dick or not?

Especially when, as he has proven, he has a very high propensity to act like a dick.

Underneath previous managers, it wouldn't have been a thought. But under this guy?

The thing is, if he decides that he isn't going to be a dick, then staying in this job is probably my best choice. Because I'd have a steady income in a job I know, with the time to pursue passions outside of work.

You wouldn't think that staying in the situation that you're currently in could be the highest risk/reward scenario, but it kind of is.

I could lose the next six months of my life under a mountain of unnecessary planning and split shifts if he decides that he is going to be a dick. Or it could go back to being a great job again.

But do I really want to bank my future on the whims of this guy?

No. Which means I have to change something.

Having met this former teacher, and read the article above, quitting my job, and just finding some peaceful corner of the world to curl-up with my laptop to learn programming, is actually something I'm really thinking about.

I couldn't live forever, but I have the savings to survive for a bit, so it's not impossible. But it would basically mean going back to the life of a nomad backpacker.

I could be a bit more settled than when I was travelling, but it would certainly mean uprooting from my apartment to live somewhere cheaper. Certainly not Bangkok.

I'd basically be turning my entire life on its head though.

No more steady job. No more teaching career. No more place of my own to live.

At best I'd be able to find temporary accommodations for a month or two to live in.

But then at least, I could actually spend my days doing things that I wanted to do.

This former teacher's other suggestion to me, was to apply for other jobs in Bangkok now, rather than waiting until next March.

I'd kind of dismissed that idea, because it's quite a hard sell to get someone to offer me a job, when I'm about to leave the country for a month but... maybe she's right.

I have considered applying for part-time jobs either here or in Chiang Mai, where I could make some money still, but by only working two or three days a week, giving me some guaranteed free time to follow my passions.

And then if you read the article that I linked to, starting from about 'Part 3: The text that cost me $6,000', the author talks about programming bootcamps. And if you want to learn programming quickly... they seem to be an option. Much faster than self-teaching.

Unfortunately they're not especially cheap. For example 'le wagon', the bootcamp that he attended, costs £6,500 for a nine-week course in London.

That's not that much cheaper than a year-long masters degree but... well they do seem to be a very viable option for someone who wants to start a career in programming.

I'm not seriously considering one just yet, but I have always said that my last resort, should all of these other endeavours to find my path in life fail, should be to go back into education. And I have always meant by that, to go back to university and get a masters degree in... something. I don't know what.

But I've also always said that it's my last resort because... well I simply don't want to.

If you read this article, the author voices concerns about modern-day education similar to my own (he just says them in a far more articulate way). And that's basically that universities today haven't adapted to an ever-changing, modern world.

They have strict, out-dated syllabi that train someone in specialist skills, and assume that such knowledge will see them through an entire career.

That's not realistic today.

So maybe when I have my last resort, back-up option, it shouldn't be to go back to university. Maybe it should be to blow all of my savings on a programming boot-camp.

Say, twelve months, or maybe even six months from now, if I've still made no progress, then commit to finding a programming bootcamp, and fuck it what will be will be.

So they're kind of my options:

  1. Stay in my current job
  2. Apply for another job in Bangkok
  3. Apply for another job elsewhere (probably Chiang Mai)
  4. Become a hobo again
  5. Do a programming bootcamp

And like I say, my problem has become that at any given moment, on any given day, I could be leaning towards any of them.

At this very moment, I'm probably leaning towards number four. But as I was teaching yesterday, it was number one. On my way to work yesterday, it was number three. While I was sitting on the toilet this morning, it was number two.

That was a bad joke, but you get my point. It's kind of why I'm writing this blog today.

I don't have too much to really say, I'm just kind of hoping that once I've got my thoughts down, everything will become a bit clearer. Because it's basically do or die time now.

No teaching job worth having in Thailand is going to make me an offer without an in-person interview. So once I'm in London, numbers two and three are basically off the table.

I couldn't get another job while still giving reasonable notice of my resignation to my current job. And even though I think my boss is a dick, I'll try not to burn bridges where I can help it.

This is also the time when I've traditionally talked to my landlord and told him whether I want to extend my lease or not.

I can probably wait another month before doing that this year, but... I've kind of got to make a decision. And I have no clue what to decide.

When I think about it, it's kind of ridiculous that all of this teeters on whether or not my boss is going to act like a dick with my next schedule. Because if I could go forward in time and guarantee that he wasn't, I'd happily sign an extension on my condo today and commit to this job for the next six months.

If I could guarantee that he was, I would commit to leaving this job right now, and I wouldn't have a second thought about it. As it is, it's a guessing game of... is my boss going to be a dick or not? And whatever I decide the answer to that question will be, will shape the next six months of my life.

And let's be real, my life is getting away from me pretty quickly.

I'm 33 next month. I'm not married, I don't have kids. Although I have a job, I don't have a career. I don't want to be teaching English when I'm forty. Can I afford to waste another six months of my life? Be halfway to 34 still making no progress, because the answer was yes, my boss is acting like a dick and I guessed wrong?

Like I said earlier, every fibre of my being is telling me to quit this job. But I still can't bring myself to take the steps to do so.

In writing it all down, I'm searching for clarity, but as yet, I've found none.

As I said, at this very second, I'm leaning towards saying fuck it, and becoming a hobo again.

When I met this girl that I used to work with, she was telling me that her and her fiancé have decided that they don't want to live in Bangkok, but they haven't decided exactly where they're going to go. And as his career is somewhat location-dependent, she's finding ways to make money that aren't.

One thing that she's doing is English tutoring online at an absolutely exorbitant rate.

She's using italki, which I'd never heard of until she told me about it. But she's charging students $50 per hour for online tutoring.

The fuck?

italki takes a 16% cut of that, so she's getting paid $42 per hour, to teach online.

To put that into perspective, my current weekday rate for in-person classes in Bangkok is equivalent to $15 per hour.

It doesn't hurt that she's an attractive, blonde female who can write Harvard University on her profile page.

University of Hull doesn't quite have the same allure, so I probably couldn't command such a fee. But... damn.

When I met her she'd only been doing it for three weeks, and at that point had three regular students. And she was basically making enough to live on by teaching online.

She's also making an English course for Udemy; the same platform on which I'm doing my programming course.

It's not yet online, but she's written a script and just needs to go into a recording studio. And by her own admission, this could be dozens of hours of work, for a return of $20. But... you never know, it could be a hit.

You miss 100% of the shots that you don't take.

So I took inspiration from that. If I do go the hobo route, there is the potential to make some kind of income while teaching myself programming.

But even knowing that, I still can't bring myself to commit to it. I can't bring myself to just throw-away the comfort and security of my current life.

The fear is obviously that the risk doesn't pay-off. As I've said in recent blogs, for anything worth doing there has to be a risk, but they're called risks for a reason.

Because they're risky. You might fail.

In fact, I've been trying to teach myself app development for six months now, and what have I learnt?

Very little.

When I bought my Udemy course back in January for £7.55, never in my wildest imagination did I think that I still wouldn't be close to finishing it in July.

I thought that I'd be able to finish it by April, and I'd end up with a good foundation of the things that it'd be possible for me to do when developing apps. And by mid-way through February, I was on track for exactly that.

But then my new boss started writing the schedules, and now, in July, not only am I not even close to finishing this course, but what have I even learnt?

Everything that I did know I've since forgotten, because I just don't have the time to put into practice anything that I'm taught. And instead of being something that I'm enjoying and benefiting from, this course has just become an ordeal.

It's this long, drawn-out ordeal that I feel compelled to finish as time allows. But with these schedules, who knows when that'll be?

Never did I imagine that six months into this process; that six months after buying my MacBook, I would not have written a single line of code towards making my own app, but alas, here we are.

And you mean to tell me that I'm actually considering staying in this job for another six months?

Just writing the above makes me realise... I've got to make a change. And I don't just mean with my job.

I've quite clearly lost the motivation to learn this course. I almost just associate my course with how shitty my job has become.

I've got to change how I'm trying to teach myself because... well having to reluctantly drag myself to my computer to learn, is neither the recipe to become good at this, nor the reason that I started.

I started because I thought then, and still do now, that this is something that I could both enjoy, and be good at.

Kind of like how teaching used to be, but with far better future prospects.

But if I'm not enjoying it, then what's the point?

Every time I watch a video for my course, it's just a reminder of how much I've forgotten.

Every time she says something like "As I said in a previous video..." or "As I talked about already..." or "Obivously, we now need to...", I just get depressed.

I've watched every single video of this course up to where I am, but none of this is obvious to me, because I don't remember it.

Because of my retarded manager and his scheduling, I haven't had the time to do this course properly. When I do find the time, I'm exhausted, so can't really take things on board. And it's just become quite a depressing ordeal.

Another flaw in this course is that it's only videos. And videos are great for some things. But they're very, very hard to go back and find specific clips or pieces of information that you need.

What I mean is if you need to look something up again quickly, then even with the hundreds, possibly thousands of bookmarks that I've added to these videos, finding the information I need is a nightmare.

Sure, it's good to visually see what your teacher is doing. But I need to try something else.

I still think it's a great course, but for the extenuating circumstances that you know about by now, it's just not working for me. I've got to try something different.

I've got to go back to the beginning and fill the huge gaps in my knowledge.

Maybe I'll come back to this course one day, but for now... I've got to try something else.

So what I'm thinking of, is using Hacking with Swift, which is an eBook, so omits the flaws of learning by video that I detailed above.

eBooks are easy to search though. Just press 'command + F' to find any keywords in the book you need, so it's easy to look back on. You also don't have to pause and rewind endlessly to get a grasp on what's being taught, you can go through them at your own pace so... that's what I'm leaning towards.

From what I've read, if you can dedicate about three hours per day, then it's possible to get through this entire Hacking with Swift course in about two months.

You make forty individual projects as a part of the course, and apart from the final ten, if you put in the time you can get through about one per day.

It's very humbling to admit this, considering I've been trying to learn for six months and have invested hundreds of hours. But basically I want to start again from the beginning. And with my two months off (if I am to come back to this job), try to get through this entire Hacking with Swift course, by dedicating three hours per day.

And hopefully, that'll fill-in enough of the gaps in my knowledge, that I can come back to my Udemy course, and actually understand what's going on and be able to write my own code.

Because now, do I understand concepts?

Sure. As basic as it is, writing the HTML for this website for the past ten years actually helps in understanding how to structure code, even if this isn't programming. And I can understand the basic premises of what's going on and why she's writing each line of code in these videos.

But it's the moments in this online course when she says, "ok, stop the video and complete this challenge yourself," that I realise that... fuck, I don't have a clue what to do.

So I want to just admit to myself that the way I'm doing things now, shitty schedule or not, isn't working. So instead of flogging this same dead horse and hoping that things get better, I'm going to change things up and try something different.

A new course from a new teacher on a new medium.

And if I can do it, if I can get through this entire course by, say, late September, then once I start work again, if I start work again, at least then I can use what little free time I have, to be working on my own projects.

That's my hope. That's the way I'm looking at this.

I kind of know how I want to study going forward. My conundrum lies in 'where'.

My long-term goal, realistic or not, is to be making a living from programming somehow.

Best case scenario, is I can scrape together a living by making my own apps.

Working for myself, completely location independent so long as I have a computer. That's a dream to me.

I don't want or need to be rich. Just enough to pay my bills.

My second choice would be to make a living as an employed programmer.

Not quite as ideal, in that I wouldn't work for myself so I wouldn't have the same freedom. But it wouldn't be the end of the world to work for and learn from other people whilst I gain experience and knowledge.

My worst case scenario, of course, is that this all fails. And I invest a tonne of time and money and end up getting nowhere with it, perhaps back in the situation I'm in now, just poorer and with less ambition.

And which of the five options that I gave above, gives me the best chance of getting to where I want to go, while minimising the latter?

A bootcamp probably gives me the best shot at becoming a programmer quickly. But for the cost, it's also the highest-risk. That's kind of why I want to make some progress by teaching myself, just to make sure that this really is something that I want to do.

Becoming a hobo sounds the most fun, and if I'm not happy with life now, which I'm not really, then fuck it, why not throw it all away and start again from scratch?

Getting another part-time job could be a great move... or I could go through the upheaval and cost of changing jobs and possibly locations (and don't forget the hassles of changing visas in this country), only to find I'm in another job like this one, that doesn't afford me the time to do this properly.

Or then I could just keep on doing what I'm doing, and be at the mercy of the dispositions of my boss, as to whether I love or regret the next six months.

And as I sit here, writing this sentence, I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do. And I was hoping that writing this blog would give me clarity. And perhaps once it's all sunk in, it will have done.

All I can say, is that I've got to decide quickly. Because if I don't decide quickly, then I'm deciding to maintain the status quo for the next six months.

Once I'm on my flight to London, the option of getting another job is more or less off the table. And if I sign an extension on my lease, due in September, then moving elsewhere becomes much more expensive, in forfeiting my damage deposit.

So living as a hobo would be... unlikely. And the cost of living in my current condo without an income would be painful so...

I've got to decide quickly, and I have no clue what to do.

Great.