Ever since I was a child, I wanted perfection in the smallest of things. Minute errors would bug me so much that I would spend days and weeks fixing them. These efforts to fix what was bothering me were perceived as dedication and hard work but I was simply just trying to fix a problem to allow myself to live life.
The fork isn’t parallel with the knife. This street-lamp is brighter than that one. That font isn’t perfectly centered on that page.
I always remember the funny reason for why I learned how to make websites. When I was given a computer as a child, I was told to learn Excel by my dad, who said that it was a valuable skill. I had no idea why it was valuable, but I tried to learn it anyway. One day, while I was learning how to graph a pie chart, I decided that I did not like the look of the values I was used to generate it. In order to create sample data for graphing, I randomly typed a series of numbers in a column. But it wasn’t truly random. The higher occurrences of the numbers 3 and 7 bothered me. I always used those numbers more often while mashing the keyboard cause I always thought that they were rare, so having more of them would make it more random.
Determined to never randomly type again for sample work data, I scoured the web for a solution. Sure, there were multiple sample data spreadsheets available online, but seeing the same numbers again and again annoyed me. Excel was boring enough already! So I found a webpage with instructions for generating random numbers by itself. Perfect! Just what I was looking for! As soon as the link had loaded, I stared at the screen for a full min. The website looked horrible. It had a black animated starry background, with grey text. The images were blinding white, and were so large that you had to scroll horizontally to be able to fully view them. And worst of all, the font was Comic Sans.
I never ended up reading the contents of that webpage. I didn’t want to burn my eyes! But I didn’t want to find another one. I needed to fix it. So I was determined to make that website readable. So I ended up searching information on how to change the background of a webpage. That lead me to a website called w3schools.com. It did the job, but then realizing how easy it was made me wanna learn more. How do I add text? How do I make an image? How do I make a blog?
Years later, equipped with website making knowledge, I entered high school. My OCD had been getting worse over the years. I ended up learning a ton of other computer skills that I didn’t need for simple goals as fixing what the computer looks like. I had tons of unnecessary knowledge of solutions to tiny problems that a duct tape could fix. A summary of my ‘skills’ could be described as ‘What did I get pissed of at?’ Granted that I have now made sure I put those skills to good use, I would have been able to do fine without them.
I always wanted to make a personal website. I thought I had interesting thoughts and ideas to share but I had nobody to share them to. The people in high school were terribly shallow, my friends were not passionate enough to discuss, and I didn’t want to write them in my journal just for myself. I did end up making a thousand websites over the time, carefully spending weeks on the feel, the philosophy, the typography, the ui, etc. And then I’d delete it.
The title is too long. The title is too obscure. The title won’t be liked after a while. The design is dated. It’s not minimal enough. It’s not fancy enough. It’s too fancy. It’s too slow. It’s too bulky. It’s too complex. The logo is not sharp enough. The infrastructure isn’t portable. What if I do this instead? I can do it better if I restart it?
Did I say this was a problem that ended in high school? Nope. I have spent a total of 60 hours designing this one website. Becoming anxious over every design detail. Feeling terrible for every single change I didn’t make yet. Trying again with new technologies. And now I say, I shall obsess no more. I have made a good design. I have chosen a long-term technology. I have optimized it to run blazing fast, the fastest any website can run given my budget for the server. Everything in the website aligns with my philosophy. And it will be used till the end of times. (Until HTML 6, Or CSS4, Or the new Jekyll theming format, Or the new Debian release, arrrrrrrgggghhhh)