Thinking About My Life in Versions

About a year ago I changed my Twitter display name to be my first name followed by a version number. There are a variety of reasons that I did this, from wanting to regularly update it like so many others that I follow do, and to remind myself that I can treat my own life like software versioning in a sense, always adding features and improvements. This partly came from Esther Dyson’s ‘Release 2.1’ which I read in advance of a conference a few years ago, and partly from that gnawing feeling that I always have that I can be doing something better than I currently am.

As I write this I’m on version 3.0.3, which I’m treating more as a clock of years and months than actual semantic versioning. That corresponds to the thirty years and three months that have already passed.

I’ve said this in a few places, but it bears a reminder for myself here that, despite turmoil in the world, I’m considering 2017 to be one of the best years that I’ve personally had. Sure, there are things that I could improve, or imrpove quicker, but my complaints are minor compared to what they could have been had things gone differently. I try to keep this in mind with my versioning sytem.

The basic idea goes like this: just as software updates and improves, so do I if I allow myself. I add new skills, remove outdated ones, and update what I know. I offer more for my clients, for those around me, and for myself.

There may be times that I don’t visibly improve and that’s ok too. Just like when your favorite webstie updates their experience and the change looks backwards or confusing, time makes it look more like a natural progression that was meant to be. Eventually that becomes the status quo, and the act of improvement begins again.

I’ve considered writing a script to integrate with the Twitter API to update my display name every month, but for now I’m treating the manual change as a chance to review my account and reflect on if I’m comfortable with the past month and what has changed.

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