March 5, 2021

I'm married to my career.

It's always been a tempestuous, abusive relationship, with the highest highs and the most gut-wrenching lows. And there are a lot of lows. My love doesn't love me back, and that's kind of how it is.

We started off sort of as a fling. I was considering breaking off my "arranged marriage" type of situation with computer science for the sexier, more erudite physics program. But I was asked to troubleshoot a roommate's computer one day, which (as it turned out) had gotten hacked and was being used as a porn server. Well, one thing led to another, and somehow I found myself on the east coast working in tech security.

It's had its fun, sexy, exciting moments... along with some harrowing ones, in no small part to some of the company I've kept and people I'd met. It's a double-edged sword, this industry, with many different approaches and ways to play. I learned a lot about being fearless, experimenting, exploring, and never giving up. But if there was ever an industry that's reminded me of my smallness and non-belonging, that has also been this industry. Seems like I've never been enough – not quite deep enough, not quite general enough, not quite hardcore enough... And it brushes over or diminishes the knowledge, persistence, and ambitions I do have. I feel like I'll always be the foreigner, the one who should have been something else.

Will it ever get any better? I keep switching jobs in hopes that it would. There's always newness and excitement at the beginning, when I start out with all these hopes to do something that really matters. Then things always fizzle out and fall apart somehow, and I move on with a sense of bereavement over what could have been.

Too bad I don't really know how to live any other way besides going all in. If I give my time, I give my heart. For me, that's as axiomatic as Newton's third law.

Even if it's all just a stupid game, and then we die.

When I think of it like that, it at least takes the edge off.