A Humbling Week

I try and keep my blog pretty realistic, so I would feel remiss if I didn’t detail a down week for me.  Between moving around again in Puerto Rico (my old place took half of the week to get water turned back on, and my temporary apartment’s power went out) and the craziness in the crypto markets, I didn’t do much else.

This week reintroduced me to the stresses of trading.  Not the stress of hard work, but the stress of deep, sleep-disturbing regret and mistakes.  My mental strength that was probably my top skill when I used to trade options/play poker, has atrophied.  I went through several waves of fear/regret followed by a short-lived intense greed and giddiness as I thought I was going to get lucky and turn a big loss into a big win (to be fair I’m still invested so anything could happen).

I felt shell-shocked after the last swing, not realizing how risky some of the trades I made were.  I talked to a friend, but realized the amount of money I was losing was not that big, it just felt like it because I’ve been using smaller trade sizes and getting the normal profit/loss swings from what I expected with 10X my current sizing.  After moping around for a little bit I was able to reflect on why I felt genuinely depressed.  I realized I let my ego in this arena get too big, and have to do a longer research period on my new speculative algorithms.  If I was 100% convinced that what I was doing was working, but I got unlucky, that’s part of the game.  Not knowing though, and throwing money around like I have that certainty, is a hard thing to handle when I hit the inevitable bad patch.

One beautiful but morbid thing about trading/poker/gambling is the feeling of a mini-death.  You lose more than you ever expected in a single day, and it feels like you’ve died, but then you realize that it’s going to be ok.  I’ve had more than enough of these, but I usually find my life improving over the next few months as I examine my mistakes with genuine effort and improve.

After the feeling of doom and gloom settled I’ve been enjoying myself.  Great coffee here in PR, I’m slowly finding more restaurants with healthy food, and a general sense of home is settling in.  I did book a trip to Colombia in two weeks to visit my friend Ari, but I’m really looking forward to working/eating/writing/reading/training/getting some sun for the indefinite future.

One book I’ve been re-reading this week that I love, and helped me realize the ridiculousness of me feeling sorry for myself for losing a little money, is Osho’s “The Great Challenge”.   This book is a bit more challenging than some of his other ones, not as easy to read in certain parts, and has other parts that have strong opinions on weird things (like if biblical miracles are possible, life after death, etc.).  When it shines though, which is the majority of the book, it really is incredible.  I love books that point out things that immediately feel true, and I’ve never heard the ideas anywhere else.  “Sapiens” was a modern book for me like this, but I love that Osho goes out on a limb and answers some impossible questions in a satisfactory and enlightening way.

With that it’s back to work and preparing to host a friend which I’m looking forward to.  After a complaint from my girlfriend I’m going to include a few extra pics this week.  The majority of the ones I take just stay on my phone anyways.  Half of the pics come from Croatia (Squid ink, boats, octopus), and the other half are from Sweden.


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