If you came to look for game talk, this isn’t that post… Yet that’s kind of the point today. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably noticed lately a constant unhappiness with my job. Trust me, I’m probably far more annoyed with it dominating my life than you are at this point. My work/life balance has been waning since around last September and it’s taken a serious toll on how I feel about myself lately. It’s pushed me to spending my time to doing whatever and not really caring; going through the motions as they say. That’s become my approach both in work and outside. How’s that any way to live your life though? The reason this has been eating at me is because I feel some guilt for my choices that have lead to this point. My inaction is responsible for my unhappiness. My career has been with the same place since 2004, going through the ranks and climbing that corporate ladder you always hear so much about. I had aspirations to reach a certain point due to what I was capable of and knowing that I had the ability to meet those tasks. I never realized that the cost of success where I’m at came at the price of it becoming your lifestyle instead of a place where you report to daily and leave it at the door when you exit. Recently though I’ve began wondering to what end was I chasing these down for anyways? How am I any better a person or more complete on an emotional or spiritual level by further surrounding myself with people I can’t relate to or want anything to do with outside of collecting a paycheck? It’s not healthy.
Well I’ve decided to take a step down to restore some balance in my life. My ambitions at work have given way to the idea that I could be happier with myself if I redirected energy towards more fulfilling activities.
You never really consider the danger of gaming has created that unrealistic expectation that life is a grand adventure. Personally for me it’s instilled the fear of a life most ordinary. Things are interesting and epic in all the worlds I traverse digitally. Strange journeys, powerful friendships, and memories worth keeping. The meatspace we inhabit doesn’t allow for such fantastical occurrences. In the real world what we cherish most seems to be stability, predictability, and a lack of true adventure. Seriously though – It’s created a level of disinterest in careers that revolve around RoI, bloated tiers of useless management, and a company of men that refuse to talk about anything other than their glory days constantly. It feels like I’m in a retirement home for a generation long forgotten in our creative digital age. Any skill set I have from a hobbyist level goes to waste in an environment where smartphones are still considered “more than enough technology for me.”
Simply put my heart lies elsewhere. Little hints have given way to the fact that I’m ignoring what I want to do because it’s convenient to just do what I’ve always been doing my adult life. A Twitter question of what would you be doing if you didn’t have to work, and then an article about what drives millennials being the most eyebrow raising circumstances as of late. I’ve realized I’m not alone in wanting more. It’s not just me being discontent with my life or feeling immature with that desire to want more. It’s that ol’ chestnut of corporations being soul-sucking blackholes of humanity, that isn’t just hyperbole I’ve learned. I genuinely feel exhausted after ever shift while dreading the next day, versus being energized and excited to come back again. Seeing all the happy’ish people online who chase their passion and are rewarded for it makes me realize that could be me as well. I owe it to myself to at least try.
So this has to be going somewhere. “Legacy” is a strong word, but I want to create things and bring them into our world. My notebook that I keep with me for ideas is packed with at least 15 different projects that I want to see through regardless of their success. Board games, video games, serialized blog dramas, novels, blogs, etc. My wife being a visual artist is a constant reminder that creatives exist and if I wanted to work towards it I could be one of them. How cool is the notion that I could be putting something out there that didn’t exist before I willed it into creation? Inspiring thoughts, perspectives or emotions within others? Connecting with humanity instead of watching it from afar since I’m too exhausted to participate or withdrawn due to concerns of it getting back to the people handing me a paycheck? I feel empty in my current existence.
Either way, I’m officially changing positions within my company by July to restore a bit of that work/life balance and begin focusing on some creative endeavors. I’m considering it my birthday gift to myself. I mentioned awhile back some goals I’ve set for myself and I fully intend on seeing them through. First being to finish a short story I’ve been working on. A science fiction piece set in space that I intend to have done before 2017 comes to a close. Currently I’m working on the first draft after finalizing all the story beats, characters, settings, etc. I’m excited to complete this and make it available for others.
The second has accelerated a bit as I intended to build an RPG before I’m 40 (giving me 7 years). I plan on learning RPG Maker this year with a small tech demos, and then hopefully began seriously building that game during 2018. I’ve had the story mapped out for a few years now but have left it on the back-burner while dedicating myself to work. Now I have every intent on correcting that mistake I’ve made and plan on diving back into gamedev, something I’ve not done since I left school in 2013. Time to jump back on the horse and ride that code into the sunset.
I’m modest and have no dreams of being rich from any of these. What I do want is to be able to look back at my life and not regret the fact that I let my life be directed by people other than myself. I want to look back at what I’ve accomplished and feel a sense of pride. If that means stepping down from where I stand and potentially derailing my career for the time being? Well, that’s a decision I can live with regardless of how it turns out. Cheers.