November 26th 2017

Published in Personal / Chess / Programming / Poker and Gambling - 4 mins to read

Having spoken about journaling the other day, I read through some old entries of mine, and the one that I wrote exactly three years ago tickled me a little. It was when I was still living in Mexico, just about still playing poker full time, but it was at a time that was also the beginning of the end for both of those things.

Took a few days off poker, and remembered some important things. Mostly that my main goal is to love myself, not to succeed at poker - I just think that succeeding at poker will help me love myself. Perhaps that is naive though, and the only way to love myself is to love myself.

It was a time when poker felt like it was my whole identity (the only island of my personality, a la Inside Out) and my self esteem felt inextricably tied to my results graph. I’m glad that I was at least starting to unravel that and had some awareness that poker success wasn’t going to make me love myself the way I wanted it to.

Also come to the conclusion that I need some kind of hobby/thing in my day to day routine that isn’t poker, so I want to kill myself less lol. Not sure if it’s going to be speedrunning more seriously, chess more seriously, or coding, but I think it needs to be something that is fun.

Ah yes, casually opening up to my journal about thoughts of suicide but trying to take the edge off with a well-placed “lol” at the end. Good job Jonathan. It’s funny to look back and think that I had wanted to write code as a hobby, and also to realise that at that time I knew basically nothing about programming. If I could go back in time and tell myself where I am today, I think old me would’ve been amazed.

Had a chess tournament today, and I won with 5/5 which was nice, it was a rapid, mostly Mexican kids, but I beat seeds 1 and 2 in the last two rounds, with seed one being FIDE 1750ish, so not toooo shabby.Now there is another tournament I can play in that is invitation only and there is a small amount of prize money too, but apparently it will be much tougher.

Ok admittedly the first tournament was basically three free wins and then two actual games but at least I won both the actual games. I remember being annoyed in the second, invitational that I didn’t do better, I drew a won game in the Evan’s Gambit and then lost in a tiebreaker against an opponent I definitely shouldn’t have lost to. I still won some kind of food voucher for a local eatery, which sadly I never got round to redeeming - yet another regretfully missed opportunity from my time in Playa Del Carmen.

Went for fajitas with Fabian + Fabiana, was actually pretty nice, the three of us are collectively super awkward but I am happy with the way I was sociable. Going to enjoy the last couple of hours of my day off before gym + grind tomorrow.

Fabian was a German software engineer who’d moved to be with his Mexican girlfriend, also a software engineer, who’s name I left it way, way too late to ask about, so referred to her (in my head) as Fabiana. They were both lovely, but we had one person’s social skills between us. The story of how they mete was fairly incredible; they got chatting on Stack Overflow of all places, it turned out that Fabiana was doing a month-long placement at a university close to Fabian, so they agreed to meet for ice cream, with neither having any idea whether or not it was a date. Fabiana returned to Mexico shortly afterwards and the pair kept talking, until eventually Fabian said he was going to come visit her in Mexico City. Again, she wasn’t entirely sure he was being serious, until he turned up. They pretended to her parents that they were “just friends”, and the rest is history - eventually he moved across the Atlantic permanently to be with her.

A lot of time I feel like modern dating can be soulless and less than romantic, so I like the Fabian & Fabiana story. Hopefully they’re still out there somewhere, happy together. They also took me to the best taco place in town and went some way to inspiring me to become a software engineer myself.