It’s December of 2019 and you haven’t been working for the past 9 months. You moved back to North Carolina right before Miles was born. The plan was that you were going to take a while off, maybe even years, to be at home. The kids would be your next project - planning and carrying out appropriate for their stage of development. Just enjoying being home. That was going to be the thing that would make you feel happy and fulfilled. It’s not like you were perfectly happy with Statuspage right before you left but that’s neither here nor there.
The reality is that things haven’t really panned out the way you had hoped and that’s ok. You’re feeling hints of how you felt when you were depressed several years ago. Not really excited by the idea of anything. Nothing truly pressing to do but not getting the things done you want to do. Grouchy all the time.
You’re happier when you have a thing you can throw yourself into. It’s just how you’re wired. Or maybe it’s not? This is our running hypothesis for now though.
But what to do? Faced with the ability to choose anything you feel paralyzed. Every possibility prompts a part of you to question choosing that:
“So you just want to make a little bit more money?”
“You should devote yourself to helping others!”
“What’s wrong with you that you don’t want to just spend more time with your kid?”
“In ~ 100 years you and everyone you know will be dead. What’s the point of anything?”
It creates enough hesitation that the momentum of doing nothing carries you past this junction point. And nothing is what you’ve been continuing to do.
Let’s answer a few of these.
“So you just want to make a little bit more money?” Fair enough. I won’t pick something I’m not genuinely excited to do just for the sake of money. The flipping houses idea is kind of interesting but the reality is I think it will create more admin overhead, stress, blah blah blah than it will be worth.
“You should devote yourself to helping others!” My honest truth is that I just haven’t really felt called to any specific“cause”. And until I do, I’m not going to make it my main focus.
“What’s wrong with you that you don’t want to just pend more time with your kid?” I just haven’t really been happy hanging around the house all the time. I do enjoy getting to be around for lots of things but I don’t think I’m being a good role model physically present but mentally checked out.
“In ~ 100 years you and everyone you know will be dead. What’s the point of anything?” This one has actually been pretty heavily affecting you! The way your brain works is you like a bedrock of truth that you can trace everything back to. D is true because C which is true because B which is true because A. In your heart of hearts you don’t believe that there’s some intrinsic point to existence. And if that point doesn’t exist, there’s nothing to point to as the reason to do something.
Here’s the thing, if nothing matters to the universe, that’s fine. Things can still matter to you. You can make your own meaning by just deciding something is worth a damn. This is a situation where there is no right answer, so you get to decide what is the right answer for you. Sure, none of it actually matters outside of you. But you’re inside of you, so you can choose to believe that something matters.
At the very bottom nothing matters…or everything matters. You get to just will your own truth into existence.
Time to choose
Alright so we’re not going to do something just for the money. We’re not going to feel ashamed and paralyzed about picking something that’s not explicitly“for a good cause”. And we’re not going to sit around and wallow about how life is pointless anyway.
Right now you feel like getting back into the tech startup scene is your best option to find something that can fulfill that sense of“I’m building something”. So it’s time just get back out there.
For the next 6 months you’re going to meet w/ a ton of founders and VCs and just talk to them about how you can help.
Pretty simple I guess but it just took thinking about it and writing it down to feel good about it.
The situation today
Time to choose