And I'm Not Sorry About It
I didn't send a newsletter at all last month because PAX. That was intentional. I did plan to send one a week ago, but I was too busy. Now begins the part of the year where I have tons of free time. Rymily is going to Australia for two entire weeks, so I'll have even more free time. Tons of free Scott-only content headed your way. I guess if you like this newsletter, you'll be happy about that. Enjoy.
Not a lot of replies to the newsletter lately. All I've got it is this one from vaguelyweird that I shall post verbatim with no reply necessary.
Lol. Both of you guys bullshit all the time. One of the reasons I like the newsletter is because I think what you say becomes less of a social experiment, and more thoughtful and humble. Also, you are a different person without Rym as a counterpoint.
I didn't know how to reply to your last letter. When you drop your walls, you are a funny and sincere person, with a diverse set on interests. But then you get all jaded with the theater of socializing (whether it's in play or not) and stop interacting on a personal level. Obviously, I have no idea what you're like on a date, but I can't imagine you're all that different (you seem ideological committed to consistency). You're also not very good at caring about other people's (non-mutual) interests, but I'm pretty crap at that, too. Eh.
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Ambitiooon, Ambition... Ambition!
That subtitle should be sung to the tune from Fiddler on the Roof. If you haven't seen Fiddler on the Roof, I am shaking my head a you almost as disapprovingly as I would if you hadn't seen Star Wars.
At least once in this newsletter, and numerous times on the podcast, I have complained about my career situation. I won't bother with that again. Just know that my current job has gotten just ever so slightly worse over the past six to twelve months. As a result, I've begun to entertain other offers slightly more seriously. All the recruiters ask me what kind of job I want. They want to know where I want to go in life, so they can find a place that fits. I have an extremely difficult time answering this question, and that made me realize something.
I used to have a huge amount of ambition, and I now have basically none.
When I was younger, even in college days, I always had a goal in sight. My whole life I followed the path that was laid before me. I went to school, get good grades, went to college, graduated, got jobs, got moneys, lived independently, and generally "succeeded." Every step of the way I knew where I was going next. Even if I didn't work as hard as others, I still worked enough to get where I wanted to go. At least until I achieved the goal of moving to NYC.
Since that time, my entire life has plateaued. For the past seven years I've had the same job, lived in the same place, been with the same people, and done mostly the same things.
This is a problem because my body seems to like routine, but gets increasingly irritated when the same routine continues for too long. Major life changes used to present themselves at appropriate times, whether I asked for them or not. I graduated and moved up to new schools. I moved to a new town. I changed jobs. Something always happened to shake things up and carry me forward. Then everything just stopped. The irritation started growing, and it is about to increase exponentially.
It's easy enough to recognize I need some change, but what change? Where do I go? What do I do? Change jobs just to do the same shit at a different desk in a different office? Leave New York, my favorite place, and my favorite people and go someplace new? Quit my job, live the best six months of my life on the beach, and then be broke and homeless? It's too late for me to become an F1 driver. I don't see realistic options here.
Remember when I talked about not drinking? How when I look around I just see people drinking everywhere? I know at least a small number of other people that don't drink. I don't know even one other person with as little ambition as I have. I see all of my co-workers and friends working hard, and they all have career goals. One co-worker is also a full time student! Holy shit.
Everyone has goals outside of work as well, like making babies, buying houses, creating works of art, or completing some other kind of long term project. Yeah, I have things I do outside of work, but I have no aspirations associated with them. Rym wants the podcast to make money and make him famous. Two seconds ago he just excitedly told me about his YouTube subscribers going up a tiny amount. I give no fucks as long as we can keep going to PAX. Rym is the one that wants to start a game studio. That doesn't sound bad, but if I could afford to do such a thing, I wouldn't.
Even people I know who suffer from problems like depression have goals. What they don't have is self confidence. I also see lots of people with some degree of imposter syndrome. They want something, they just don't believe they can get it. They don't believe in themselves. I have the opposite problem. I have tons of self esteem. I believe I can get anything I want if I work hard and put my mind to it. I just don't want anything, so I'm just doing the bare minimum to hold the fort.
To make matters even worse, I very clearly know what I do not want. Ever see a kid who is whining and complaining to their parents that they are hungry? The parents offer all sorts of different kinds of food, but the kid rejects each and every option. Protip: that kid is just trying to get candy. Don't fall for it. Now imagine the parents do fall for it, and the kid rejects the candy. That's me. I'm hungry for change, but all of the myriad options available are even worse in my eyes than changing nothing. The word we use for this is inconsolable.
I have occasionally asked for help in this regard, but no useful advice has been forthcoming. In retrospect, that's obvious. It's impossible to help someone with a problem like this. If someone is asking for directions, but can't name their destination, how can anyone help them? They can suggest some destinations, but if they reject every suggestion, just give up. This person can not be helped. They are going to stay put. Also, I'm pretty good at finding directions. If I knew where I wanted to go, I wouldn't need any help getting there.
Now, I realize a lot of this doesn't sound so good. It probably comes across as "Oh, my life is so good. Living in NYC. Good job. Good times. Woe is me. The ennui. I've already reached the peak. Wooooe." Believe me. I do not take all the good shit I have for granted. I very much realize how lucky I am to be where I am now. That's a large part of why I am so reluctant to risk losing any of it. Its like I have these non-transferable concert tickets. I know tons of people who would love to have them, and I understand how valuable they are. I know how lucky I am to have these. Yet, I don't like this band nearly as much as anyone else does. I kind of want to throw the tickets out, but I would feel extreme guilt.
So yeah, I just might force some kind of major life change in the near future just for the fuck of it. My job is probably the easiest to change. Moving is almost definitely not going to happen. Even if I fuck up, at least I'll get some excitement and variety to make up for it.