Saturday School: Dealing with Overwhelm

This week has been a productive week–I feel like I have a much better handle on how to tackle the various streams of information that I’ve been wading through over the past few days. I began on Sunday feeling very overwhelmed & lost. There’s a ton of information out there that fits under the umbrella of Data Science, and its really hard to know where to begin.

I also realized this week that I haven’t been focused at giving myself the time and space necessary to explore all the different facets of data analysis and management. This is boring, but I really enjoy statistics. Specifically, I enjoy probability. I’m fascinated by data art, but I’m less interested in the engineering aspects (except for practical purposes). I do enjoy the analysis part of data analysis. I like finding solutions and the process of getting to that perfect answer–or at least as close to perfect as possible.

Trying to avoid feeling overwhelmed is hard. I’m the type of person who gets EXCITED ABOUT ALL THE THINGS, so its hard to focus and actually finish learning anything. Giving myself the time and space to really spend time exploring a little of everything is an important part of growing my specific interests. So instead of trying to push away that overwhelmed feeling (and the fear of never gaining the skills I want to gain) I’ve been trying to just let it exist. I focus on being open to as many possibilities as are present. This time it pushed me to a statistics textbook that I haven’t read, and reminded me that I have a place to start building something.

Take your time, because all time is your time. Easy to say, hard to believe, and even harder to express and put into practice. I’m a good example: I want everything to happen yesterday or the day before. Taking a step back and realizing that what you are doing will take as long as it takes is one of the hardest things to do for me. I feel an urgency that’s hard to manage sometimes, but I imagine feeling like you are running to catch up will do that to you.

Underneath all of the worry is a profound feeling of thankfulness that I have the opportunity to change my life. It’s a gift that I didn’t realize I could give to myself.