hikari 0.2.0

“the successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” hikari (source).

— 0.2.0 —

day 0

like a lot of software devs, i didn’t start this journey in a traditional way. i didn’t study a computer-oriented career, i didn’t attend a dev bootcamp and i was far from being a programming prodigy.

i started coding when i was 10yo and my dad, who did study computer science, couldn’t make me a pokemon tcg database app - he told me he was super busy (he was) and then he gave me a programming book. “read this if you want to know how much it takes to build what you’re asking me.” he probably knew i’d try to do it myself.

i spent more time working on that app than actually playing the game. then, one day, i gave it up. i didn’t like it that much.

flash forward to 2018: i’m working as a systems developer, i’ve submitted a couple of simple linux kernel patches, i know how to handle myself with modern software development workflows and i’m well respected by my peers and superiors as an overall good junior dev.

and i realized this isn’t what i want to do with my life right now.

which isn’t at all me saying i hate my job but i’m missing a couple of things right now: working on open-source codebases, helping social causes and doing side projects that are actually fun.

something i’ve learned is that tech skills are not enough. your projects need purpose. i didn’t like programming at 10yo because, even if i did like challenges, i wasn’t having fun. same now.

enter hikari: a focus app that serves a personal purpose: getting me focused again.

{% glitch vlvrd-hikari %}

i’m writing this post so that you have a light to follow if you’re also taking your first steps at learning something - have fun with it, it doesn’t have to be perfect. you just have to explore it. and if you’re already on the greener side of the fence, maybe consider helping someone else getting there. we could all use some help.

i don’t have the code for that pokemon tcg app anymore, so i want to look back at this one day and be proud of how far i’ve walked. not because of how much i’ll improve but because i don’t want to stop feeling what it means when you first hello the world.


  1. make it
  2. make it better

— 0.1.0 —

so, you want to go to new york.

who’s minus the bear and why is it so important to go to one of their concerts? does it have to be new york at all?

first of all, notice where you are.

what do you have to do to be able to fly? do you have to work for the money, do you have pending urgent issues to attend?

you don’t want to leave that pile of dirty laundry alone for a week, do you?

are you ready to leave?

start by doing everything you absolutely have to do but you hate.

the problem i see with the concept of finding happiness it’s that there’s always the next moment. do you remember that time you saw a feather coming through the window? it felt like a sign that something grandiose was about to happen. do you remember your disappointment when you noticed you were doing the dishes?

we humans work on cycles. it’s better to stop putting off work we dislike because we’ll have to do it anyway; important beats urgent, but you still have to get urgent out of the way. work on what you hate from the start so you can be open to enjoy those little feather-through-your-window, blink-and-you’ll-miss’em moments. remember that leaders work alongside everyone else and that they get their hands dirty too. everything is built in small increments.

figure out if you can afford to go to new york in the first place.

i’m not talking about having the money. are you ready to deal with the consequences of something going wrong?

maybe today’s not the time, but tomorrow might be. trust time will come if it’s meant to, not because it’s necessarily true but because it will unload your brain.

don’t go out of your way.

i know you have a lot on your mind. i know you’re angry and scared. i know you’re struggling.

and i can see you’re tired, even if you don’t want to admit it.

it’s fun sometimes, being able to come up with such weird ideas. it’s hard when you can’t stop thinking about something meaningless and other people just don’t care. and it’s scary when you can’t rest because you have intrusive thoughts that keep you awake some nights. i know and i got you. recovery takes time but, in the meantime, you can hack yourself into returning to the road you were in.

if you can, buy that plane ticket.

minimalism isn’t about things and coins, it means only investing yourself in what you can afford and what is meaningful to you. the price of a plane ticket may conflict with your rent or your avocado budget, but if it doesn’t and you really need to see minus the bear then do yourself a favor for once.

hell, take a zeppelin there even, if you want to.

you don’t have to be bound by anybody’s rules, but that doesn’t mean conflict. it means you can be creative, you can be free and that you can collaborate. it means you can thrive in dreaming the world you want and also merge your vision with someone else to actually build something that, while it isn’t perfect, it’s a start. as far as i know, all we do is an attempt.

it may not be the traditional way of modern travel but maybe you’ll find that a zeppelin breaks the rules you also want to break. it’s better to move slow but always towards what you believe it’s right for you. everyone else can take planes and that’s ok too.

it’s your adventure!

it’s hard to take control of your life, especially after you recognize you have no control over anything else. if your mind is cluttered with reckless trains of thoughts, well, you need to clean up. if you can’t (or if you won’t), at least you need to embrace the fact that you’ll never be ready and you’ll always be learning, and something is bound to go sideways along the way. you have to think and you have to plan and you have to prepare, sure, but if you never start walking you’ll never get anywhere. and if you don’t show anyone the path you took, you’ll always be alone and people will always be lost. either show them the right way or the roads that won’t lead anywhere. pay your life lessons forward.

realizing how little of life i control was my turning point (i sighed writing this sentence - this is the cigarette burn).

helping others kept me alive, but barely. i think i started to scare people about my wellbeing when i was about 21 (i’ll never really know). it got to a point where i couldn’t help anybody because i needed to desperately help myself and i felt like i was losing my mission in life. i can’t recall a single day i haven’t thought about suicide anymore; it started when i was 10 and, to this day, it’s the single worst intrusive thought i’ve had and the one i can’t seem to beat.

i can’t control it, yet, but i’m working with it. it’s hard to concentrate when you feel like you have to fight against yourself to survive each day, but i can turn my focus towards using this to help people relate when they don’t understand what is happening to them. i never do but i’m doing ok now. in a way, overcoming this may very well be what my adventure is all about - i’m finding a way to help others by helping me first. on the way, while i was fighting myself, i found self-worth and i lowered my fists. almost no one knows this about me - so now we got us a little secret. i’m often advised not to raise my voice on mental health matters but each person that reads this should understand that i don’t care if someone wants to harm me. if after all these years i wasn’t able to take me down, no one can.

i don’t want to keep focusing on who i’m fighting against. i want to remember what i’m fighting for.

face yourself.

i spent most of today procrastinating. i had a personal shitty week and my country is in the middle of an identity crisis, so tired is putting it mildly. instead of actually resting, i’ve been dwelling on all the things i have to do while doing nothing to shorten my todo list. but then, i got inspired by a song, an article and by watching myself in the mirror wearing clothes i actually like. one of those feather through the window moments.

i’m an expert at ignoring how i feel. i’m already 27 and it is still painful to recall each moment i’ve been ignored by someone else and, up until not that long ago, i’ve felt like i deserved it because i used to hate myself. while i don’t anymore, i’m still angry, scared and struggling, trying to find a healthy way to cope with all the baggage i have.

the truth is that i’m angry at myself the most. i always stand up when i see someone hurting someone else, usually throwing politeness out the window, but i have a hard time standing up to stop any abuse going my way. and i’m scared, not of what might happen if i fail but of succeeding in ways i don’t want to.

it’s not fair to anyone that i keep blowing up whenever i feel overwhelmed and it’s not their fault when they trigger me if they don’t understand all i’m dealing with; they don’t understand that me being social, me being smiley/laughy and me being distant is all part of me feeling dissociation. me being unfocused it’s me overthinking and trying to find the right way, and that’s the real me. it’s quiet despair and, while you may think that me writing these things mean i’m open about what i feel, i’m really not. it goes way deeper than i let everyone know. but even if my circumstances came to be a bit particular, we’re all dealing with something. i know that but (you’ll have to believe me on this) it’s especially hard for me to break these cycles. so i’m hacking myself to improve them, little by little. i wrote this backwards - i started from this section - and moved my way up, and each of those titles are not in anyway a recommendation to anyone else - they are just codes for the tasks i had to do today (i am going to ny though, i’ll find a way to afford it tomorrow). i don’t know if i’m right, i never am, but i know that’s what i think i should do right now. and i’m doing it and figuring out later if i was right, because otherwise i’ll keep procrastinating my life away. i needed someone to tell me this and, for once, i wanted me to be the one to tell myself that i should keep going.

hikari is the first project i’ve built to truly help me. it’s a webapp that’s meant to be a focus tool to help me get things done and, just like my brain, it’s just a beating light that doesn’t know how to stop. i’m shaping hikari to remind me that, in order to get anywhere, you have to walk when you can and rest when you have to. this is by far my most unimpressive project to date, but it’s the one i’m the most proud of.

i wanted to see what would happen if i stood up against me. i found out it’s better to collaborate with yourself too.

find your light.


people i owe this

Cata and Dani - thank you for letting me follow your lights while i found my own.

Gabo - got me thinking about the user. which, as of today, is only me.

Allan, Jose - somehow they know how to beat me up so i learn how to raise my fists and why they should be down.

Lochi, Jeff - they taught me about paying it forward.

John Mayer, by writing Continuum - Mayer posted this picture after attending a Springsteen concert and then wrote in a comment: “It’s twelve hours later and I’m still messed up. If I am to anybody what that show was to me, well then I’ve got some touring to do.”; i obviously don’t know the guy so i have to build my own interpretation of what he’s trying to say, but Continuum is that to me and even more right now. i’ve always focused on “vultures” and the struggle, and have never paid attention to “stop this train” because i never truly understood what it means to me. both the train of life and my trains of thought won’t stop going where they are going, but it doesn’t mean they won’t stop at all. hikari is all about going places and stopping for rest. thank you, John.