Nobody is a Qualified Infosec Practitioner
I read the same tweetstorm everyone else did about what you have to have to be an infosec professional. My $0.10 is simple: every time someone says you aren't a true // capable // professional Infosec practitioner, remember they weren't born like that either. They ignore their past and it's learned ascent, and view the world of Infosec through the bias of their position, their history, and their employer's threat model.
And remember, many of these supposed supermen usually work at the behest of the US Federal Govt, so all their brilliant life choices mean this is the third time this year they aren't getting paid. No one gets it right all the time.
All respect to the people who help and uplift and work to make us all safer wondering how they are going to pay January and February rent. I can't begin to imagine ...
Leave Your Comfort Zone
I have recently unmuted every account I had muted on Twitter (100+). I unblocked many. I didn't unblock all, because I do have lines. I instead muted words or phrases whose use (in my searching) never amounted to a good conversation on Infosec. I chose to immerse myself in the views (via retweets) of those I disagreed with, sometimes vehemently. As seen above, we view the world from within the lens of our own experiences. We can't understand why people act a certain way // speak a certain way // vote a certain way while only looking through our lens.
I have diversified my reading. I just finished Democrat to Deplorable by Jack Murphy. This book takes a look at how nine million people who voted for Obama twice then voted for Trump. It's been easy to scream racist // sexist // various pejoratives designed to shut down discussion at people rather than look through their lens, but Jack lets us peer into his. It is a good look at second and third order effects, and shows us what happens when people's use of words clings to definitions long past. Literally.
Next on my list is The Handmaid's Tale. I frequently heard how this would be a reality with the elevation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Reading the back cover I can't even begin to imagine the world view I currently believe to be inane where anyone can think American politics could create such a world. I choose to delve into it because there may be ideas that deserve greater discussion and thought - assuming people are willing to have real conversations about it.
I am about to buy a game for my Nintendo Switch I don't want because then my nephew will have someone to play against on his newly opened switch (which my brother wisely updated before putting under the tree). The $60 I'm spending isn't for the game, it's for the shared experience with my nephew.
I'm fortunate this Christmas that most of my gift givers gave me things that we could use together - they gave something that was bundled with the gift of time. I have too much stuff as it is (and still need another bookshelf and a small number of other things), so the gift of time is especially welcome as I live alone.
Time is your most limited and most precious resource. Put it to good use.
I am working on an opportunity that may allow me to make a living while returning more of that most precious commodity to me - time. It is a sacrifice that puts me at odds with another potential choice in advancing in my Infosec career in a way I didn't expect. Like anyone else in this world, I have choices. Unlike many, mine are choosing between two potential betters. I acknowledge my agency in the choice, and the responsibility that goes along with it. I already have dedicated time to my projects, my education, my work, and my businesses. I have to remember to carve out time for my health, fitness, and decompression. You put on your oxygen mask before your child, because you can't help anyone else until you take care of you. True on planes spiraling to armageddon as it is in your daily life. Eat healthy, work out, read, and rest. You will feel better.
Time for the cast iron pan fried ribeye, air fried garlic potatoes, steamed green beans, sautéed spinach, hot tea, and the spate of Christmas movies:
A Christmas Story
Die Hard II
I hope you aren't reading this on Christmas (unless you are in an inhospitable place, then I hope I provided a moment's relief). If times are good, embrace it because this moment will never come again. If they are bad, just wait, it is only a moment, and will small effort will be gone forever soon enough.
Remember, Reginald VelJohnson's role in Die Hard gave us Family Matters. Here's to second order effects.