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On the Matter of Direction

Hello again Live Journal. Been another long gap. A lot has changed in the specifics, but frustratingly, the overal scope of life is unchanged.

As always, I'm here to talk about something that's been troubling me. You see, years ago I had a direction and a purpose. I knew what my plans where, where I was going, what I was doing. Go to school so I can get a good job. Then either make a ton of money as an engineer so I could retire early and do nothing but fun things like inventing and video games, or use the wealth the wealth from the good job to woo a young lady, get married, have kids, and explore the adventure of being a parent. However, that whole plan iss pretty much kaput. In the intervening time, engineer salaries have become terrible so retiring early meant 60, not 35, and when I pivoted to the secondary objective, it became clear I was unsuited. To that end, you here would know far more about the pivoted efforts than any. I have fought tooth and claw against myself in terms of trying to do the "woo a young lady" step and found myself to be an impenetrable barrier to advancement.

So here I stand. I've pretty much given up on trying to get married, accepting that having made it to 32 and not gotten passed the "awkward high schooler" phase of interpersonal relationships it's pretty safe to say that I'm going to die in the same condition. I don't believe in talent, but I do believe in personal limits. Olympic atheletes don't run infinity miles an hour; for that matter, the average housecat can outrun the current world champion sprinters. This means that we are bounded, whether it's by the limits of our collective experience, by our body's physical limits, or any of a number of other constraints. I'm grudgingly coming to accept that I've hit mine; that I will never feel like an integral part of any social group (regardless of the people in the group's opinion) and that I will never feel "close" to people. Hell, I have trouble giving my closest friends birthday presents; it all feels so unnecessary and pointless. Yet I know that for me it's very exciting to receive birthday presents, even terrible ones.

In the end, the only thing I feel at all when giving someone a birthday present is satisfaction that today, at least, I managed to motivate myself enough to play societies games enough to seem at least quasi-normal. No sense of empathetic joy with the person who received it, no feeling that this has bonded us closer. Just a tick in one of the thousands of checkboxes on the list of "things normal people do".

Does everyone else feel this same kind of antipathy? Am I really a psychopath? I mean I feel a million times more enthusiastic when my program compiles correctly than I do when my friends get married. Or when they say they're having a baby. Or when they get a new job. And I always feel more upset about not feeling bad when someone tells me bad things happen to them than I ever feel about the things they're telling me. You uncle commited suicide? That's a bummer, but what I really wish is that I could bring myself to help rather than spending the next week feeling like I should have done more but not actually doing anything.

The worst is that there are quite a few people at this point that I think might consider (or have considered) me a good friend, that, in retrospect, I'm far happier if they don't say anything to me, and if they do talk, I genuinely wish they'd shut up far more than I want to spend time with them.

I don't know about that last one. That is probably a seperate issue that suggests I'm calling people "friends" that aren't.

Maybe that's wrong, actually. Maybe that's actually the same issue. Antipathy for people who I'd really just wish would shut up is probably the correct response. Maybe I need to be more careful with who I call a "friend". Just because I see them a lot and don't think they're a bad person doesn't mean I have to consider them a friend. Similarly, even if they latch on and call me a friend, I'm not really obligated to reciprocate. It's a double edged sword, of course. Nothing says that the people I want to think of as friends have any obligation to think of me the same way either.

I don't know. If I measure my friends based on who I'd go out of my way to bring a present to on their birthday, the number of folks starts getting REALLY small. Like 10, tops, including family, most of whom I'd just as soon ignore. And if I measure based on who I've actually done that for in practice, rather than just who counts on paper, the number is smaller still.

Anyway, this is all a distraction really. Long story short, I can't really bring myself to care about most people, and the few I do care about I mismanage so badly that I wonder how much time they spend worrying up front about how much energy dealing with me is going to cost. Ultimately this means that there's no way that I'm going to be sucessful at relationships.

But back on topic, this means I'm currently adrift in life. My original dreams are dead in the water. Retiring early, (truly early, not this joke where you retire after you've gotten your AARP card and complain about two flights of stairs being bad on your knees,) is also not really feasabile. So now what? I've launched myself kinda haphazardly at a project where I start a business I promised I'd never do with about 5 more months of cash and unsurprisingly my spirit for the project is essentially non-existant.

Ya, I can fail out of this project, go back to working for some company for half the money I need to accomplish any of my goals, but then what? Where does this go? What's the point?

I really don't know.

And it's been wearing on me for about a year now; right about the time I realized that my backup plan was probably a bust. Not just a "really hard to acheive goal" but a genuine impossibility. Arguably, despite all of my claims to the contrary, that may be fundamentally why I left my last job. I don't know though. All of the comments I made at the time are undeniably true. Even the boss who said I was wrong about the company didn't argue my points, they argued my conclusion about what they meant in the long term, and even then, only that he felt they were more likely to detect and correct the problem than I did.

But by itself, that's really just conjecture.

In any case, it's time for me to invest in me a bit in the more direct sense. I've setup a plan that will let me get some things that need to be dealt with in a timely manner, and then I plan to take a few days off to collect myself, and then I plan to launch into a period of discovery, for myself, my tiny, budding company, and my goals.

Hopefully that will give me a chance to find my fighting spirit again rather than toiling against a clock ticking towards an equally pointless job search. If I'm honest, that's the one thing I want to be sure of; if I fail at this business thing, I want it to be because I put everything I had into it and failed; not because I didn't even know why I was doing it, and as such, did nothing. Hell, let's say I decide this isn't the right thing for me. I want to properly do nothing, not sit here pretending to work like I would in an office to impress a non-existent boss. If I'm going to take this as a sabbatical, I'm going to right and properly do those things that I wanted to do but work was in the way.