i watched dimension 20 mentopolis° the other week, and it hit closer to home than i wanted. there’s a line from brennan in the talkback that goes (edited for clarity):
Like, a voice saying, “If we just keep going, we’ll achieve great things, and when we achieve great things, [we’ll become happy.]” And you’re like, “No! No, we won’t! Look around, man, it’s not working!”
It’s not that ambition can’t get you into better situations. But that instinct doesn’t produce happiness. If you wanna have that be a part of your life, awesome, hope you achieve great things, that’s so fucking cool. But the happiness is gonna come from somewhere else. That instinct will never go, “Ah, we did enough, and now we get to feel good.”
i watched my second broadway musical the other day, the book of mormon. it’s been running in the same theater since march 2011, it’s had nearly 5000 performances, and some of the cast and crew members have been with the musical since the beginning.
and it’s not like the work’s any different. it’s a different audience, sure, but that doesn’t change how the musical works. it’s the same script, the same music, the same dialogue and dancing. you’d think after a decade of doing the same thing you’d get bored, yet some people still do it.
the other day someone from my team left the company. it’s great for her, and it’s nothing personal, but i felt a bit sad about it. yet, if the average software engineer tenure is sixteen months, and my team has eight people, then in expectation someone in my team should leave every two months. we could have a completely different team two years from now. would that include me?
these two weeks in boston have been one of the longest two weeks i’ve had in the past few months. is it just that i haven’t been here in a while and have scheduled a lot of talking with people, and that’s why it feels good? if i stayed for longer, would this feeling fade away? or is it actually the case that my time in new york has been worse than my time in boston, and that there are things i’ve been missing in my life since i moved?
i spent nearly every lunch or dinner having a meal with some friends, and people would ask, how’s work, and i’d say something like, oh, it’s fine, i don’t hate my job, i guess i’m learning things, my coworkers are nice, okay, well it’s not great, i don’t wake up looking forward to my job, i’m not sure what exactly i’m learning, and i’m not comfortable hanging out with my coworkers.
being in boston doesn’t change any of that, but it shows me the things i’m missing. i miss being around people more like me.