A lot has changed since I’ve last written here. In the last month, most notably I’ve left the security of my cushy fintech job in pursuit of game development. I moved into an apartment with my girlfriend and our dog, and I’ve grown so much. I’ve been focusing more on having fun, and finding ways to deploy patience for long-term goals. In the past, I realize I was anxious about the future to come, and that led to bouts of neuroticism. I’m always a work in progress, but in the past few months, I am growing to be a more patient learner, and am able to share these philosophies with my girlfriend and see how these ways of thinking help her out.
Patience is the name of the game!! My girlfriend quit her job 6 months ago, and was under a lot of stress applying to jobs and worrying about finances. In my opinion, she had enough saved up for years, and had nothing to worry about, but she wanted to hurry the job search process so that she could take care of her parents, and to be in a good financial situation (subjective). There would be many nights where she was overwhelmed with the constant rejection, and the fear that comes with not knowing whether you are good enough. “I’ve spent the last few years doing XYZ, what happens if I’m not good enough?”
It’s a scary thought, having your whole or most of your identity rooted in one thing, and then being rejected by hundreds of people for that exact thing. In my life, the past 5-6 years that BIG thing was software engineering. I felt it when I first worked at Boeing. I would mention the keywords “software engineer at Boeing,” and I would see eyes sparkle. With these words, I thought I was conveying a sense of Wealth, Intelligence, Importance. Then after 3 months, I realized I didn’t belong there. I thought maybe my co-workers would sniff me out as an imposter, someone who wasn’t smart enough to be there, and so I pre-emptively quit. It wasn’t the only reason, but it was a big reason why.
I thought this may have been a fluke, so I spent the next 2 years grinding out interview questions to eventually land myself another software engineering job at the tech hub of the world. I worked at this company for 18 months, and along the way I learned a few things. Your job is not who you are. It may be a big portion of you, but you are a multi-layered human being with multi-layered interests. I was teaching self-defense at a Boy’s and Girl’s club, and making small-scale video games in my free-time. Here in the US, we are born to “live to work.”
Back to my girlfriend, I drilled into her that her job title doesn’t define her, and that I had no consideration for her job title when I fell in love with her (and her dog). Surely enough, she got a job towards the end of her 6 month layoff, and it was everything she ever dreamed of. But that isn’t the moral of the story. It’s that she persevered through her struggles, and was able to slow things down in the short term, effectively speeding up her achievements in the long-term.
Generations deal with different problems. It’s difficult to map 1:1 relations based on current history vs past. I think a big problem we deal with today is our lack of long-term focus. And like everything, there is a dichotomy here. Our incessant need for instant-gratification is probably bad, but there’s probably some good to be found here, whatever that might be. However, in general, I think it’s good to dial back on things that provide so much of it. Moderation in these things is generally good in my opinion.
Another problem we deal with relates to “toxic masculinity.” There are probably some instances where the term might be validated, but we need STRONG, traditionally masculine men, in the same way we celebrate feminine women. There’s an increasing trend where we bastardize men for being men, and it is not ok. One gender is not better, but we are GENERALLY different, and it’s not a bad thing to acknowledge that.