This is a couple days old, I guess, but I forgot to blog that I finished reading You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), Felicia Day's memoir. (Maybe I should start keeping track of books I read and stuff like that.) I really enjoyed it. Heartwarming, of course, and I guess a bit inspirational, or it would be to someone not feeling the way I do currently. I was happy to have read it, though. Happy she wrote it. She's of my generation, the people who grew up geeks and were lucky if they found a place to call home before the world turned into...what it is now. This is something Gb doesn't understand, and he actually got upset when Tabitha and I tried to explain it to him a couple years ago. Being a geek has cachet now, or at least charm. Or something. It's not ostracizing, and it's not isolating. And the whole hipster thing has given people pride in not being mainstream, instead of shame. It used to be distancing to admit you weren't into popular things. Now people have to pretend to be bored by stuff just to maintain cred. I dunno. Surely I'm just a crotchety old man and these kids today don't know how good they have it, but there's no denying that here, now, in my adult life, I have been...warped, in a way?...because of the way I grew up. I'm not socialized well; when I'm not oblivious to social mores, then I'm uncomfortable. Which isn't a complaint, per se. My life is good. I've made my way. I like to think I've developed enough self-awareness so that I'm not totally lost. I'm not a great success, I'm not a creative force, but I'm doing what I can, and I'm doing all right, I suppose.
It's funny. Last night Tabitha and I were talking, I don't even remember about what now, but she poked fun at me (again) for being a "big-shot executive." I told her to stop doing that, because I'm really not. I mumbled something about bullshit middle management, and I half-jokingly wondered how it came to this, but she seemed to actually take the whole thing in stride. To her, it all makes sense...the mid-level corporate life, suburbs, middle class America. And honestly, I guess this was more or less the future I foresaw for myself when I was in high school, I guess minus the relationship, and I assumed at that time (perhaps rightly), that it would spell my soul death. That would seem melodramatic, I guess, if it all didn't feel so empty.
I've always been keenly aware of how...mercenary...I could feel with regard to working a job. That used to be fine; I could accept the terms of employment knowing that I would just bail if I felt like it. Same as the company firing me if I was no longer beneficial. It was a simpler transaction. I drew a lot of comfort from that; I only ever had to work as long as I wanted to keep doing it, and then I'd stop, and then I'd spiral into disuse and desperation and start it all over again. But this isn't just job stuff anymore, it's "livelihood" or some other equally complicated nonsense. Other people's fates are tied to my own. There are consequences to others at stake. It matters if I have a fucking paycheck or insurance or rent money. I guess this is that whole "responsibility" thing. That's some bullshit.
What the hell was I talking about? This started with Felicia Day's memoir. It was nice. I felt pretty warm and fuzzy afterward, the way you celebrate a friend's success, I guess. I've seen this played out many times on a smaller scale, I suppose, seeing friends get their games published and so forth. (Another tangent, speaking of games. I just saw today that Brooklyn Indie Games is joining up with Galileo Games. Sounds pretty cool; Tim's a great guy and I hope this is what he was looking for. I don't know Brennan, really, but Bulldogs is cool and all. Anyway...this was on my mind because I was thinking how I also recently heard that Trello is being bought by Atlassian. And, like...it's not even close to the same thing, I don't think, but I found it noteworthy if only because I remember Trello being this neato project coming out of Fog Creek Software, which was nifty to me, and Atlassian is all Jira and Confluence and all this corporate infrastructure jazz. I dunno. I used to think it was about not being able to control technology. I even remember ranting about it several years ago (when I thought I was out of the tech industry for good, and fucking look at me now, btw), but I'm coming to grips more and more with the thought that it's not technology that we can't control; it's capitalism. Jesus Christ, this had absolutely nothing to do with Brooklyn Indie Games. Okay, lemme back up...the original point of this tangent was that I was more excited about the Brooklyn Indie/Galileo thing than I was about Trello/Atlassian. Now the point is that we're being crushed by an uncaring system and we're all going to shrivel up and die. I am now exiting this tangent.)
That's twice now that I started trying to talk about this memoir and just wandered off onto some other weird direction. So...whatever. I enjoyed the memoir. If you're a fan of Felicia Day, it's worth checking out. It's also worth checking out if you want to hear one of those "keep pursuing your dream and working hard" stories, and also if you want to hear about being a success and having a mental breakdown. It's one of the great crimes that one can also have a mental breakdown and not have been a success, but there you go.
* * *
I'm going to back up a couple steps. What I was saying before about growing up a geek and it being isolating. I remember how Stuy was the turning point for me. A whole school full of geeks. What a watershed moment that was for me. Changed my whole world to be around people who were smart and cool. Now that's almost the norm. I mean it is the norm in most of the spaces I spend my time, now, I guess. I say "almost" because it's clearly still not the majority position, if politics is any indicator. It is so. Fucking. Difficult. For some people to believe that they just might not be the right person for the job, or the decision, or fucking knowing something, or whatever. Why is it so easy for me. Hell, I don't think I'm the right person even if I am the right person. I hate ego. I think that's peculiar. I mean, having been exposed to all these humans all these years, I've learned that ego is a Big Deal...but it's hard to wrap my head around. I don't know how people live like that. The conclusion that seems most reasonable for me to draw is that I'm equally as deluded, that how I regard myself is in some way objectively flawed. I dunno. I'm working that out in therapy, too.
* * *
This has turned into kind of a mess. I mean it's always going to be stream-of-consciousness, I guess, or at least adjacent, but I seem to have run off the rails a lot in this post. It's fine. This is just for the journalling. This isn't for a Pulitzer or some shit.
I'm pretty sure I'm depressed. It seems to be staring me in the face. I don't think it's bad. I'm still functional. I'm still...you know...doing what I do. I'm just so fucking blank, and I have to recognize the significance of that. Anhedonia. What a bear. Feels like there's nothing out there for me. Which I know is patently false. Grotesquely false. But there's just no telling people some things, sometimes. Stupid brain.