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Nevertheless, Jacque Coded, Even When She Wanted to Quit

Jacque Schrag
I’m a web developer & data visualizer working at a think tank in D.C. I'm a self-taught dev trying to better my skills. I spend most of my time on the front end of the stack.
・1 min read

Like many other people, my 2020 did not turn out the way I had thought it would. In January, I spoke at a conference and had more speaking & writing gigs lined up. I was anticipating a new role at work. I was excited, and ready to keep growing!

By the time August hit, I was one breakdown away from quitting my job and permanently becoming a part of my couch.

I was depressed, miserable, stressed, burnt out...and embarrassed that I felt that way. Even with the perfectly valid reason of gestures at everything, I was ashamed of how I felt and frustrated by my inability to push through it so I could get back to doing the projects I enjoyed.

I didn’t publish a single new blog post in 2020, nor did I work on a single side project. But I did start seeing a therapist, and being more open with friends & colleagues about how I was feeling. The support & encouragement I’ve received has been amazing, and for now, that’s more than enough for me.

I still have days where I’d rather be a potato than a programmer. But I’m grateful for the creativity, joy, & delight that exist in this field, and want to continue to be a part of it even if I only have the energy to be a spectator.

In 2021, I will continue to code, but not at the expense of my well-being. And if that means less talks, blog posts, and side projects, then that’s okay with me.

Discussion (4)

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k0mmsussert0d profile image
Maksymilian Babarowski

I think many of us expected 2020 to be super-productive year. If there's nothing left to do than just stay shut at your home, what circumstances could be better to dive deep into some cool projects? Then it turned out, that isolation is not an actual ally for productivity. We wanted to live up to expectations set higher than usual so it's just natural to feel disappointed more than usual.
Socializing is important for our well-being and we're just not capable of getting rid of human interactions and replacing them completely with technical work. They don't have to be real-life, direct interactions. There are web communities, chats, video calls. No matter what kind of socialization type you'll choose, try not to be too hard on yourself with your ambitions.
Stay safe and mentally healthy in 2021 :)

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negarjf profile image
Negar

Thank you, Jacque, for sharing your experience.
I believe a lot of us have been feeling overwhelmed in 2020. It wasn't the most productive year for me as well. But I realized that sometimes it's good to slow down and recharge. Nothing should come before mental and physical health. I've started therapy for the first time last month and I think it was one of the best things I have done for myself.
I hope that the next year is a better year for all of us.

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jnschrag profile image
Jacque Schrag Author

You’re absolutely right. It’s hard to fight against what feels like the whole industry telling you otherwise though. I’m glad you took steps to help yourself - my only regret was not doing it sooner! And yes, here’s hoping that 2021 is better!

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jwenjian profile image
Jiang Wenjian

Things will always gets better and better, best wishes.