I don’t get the impression that life wants me to be successful. In this context I define success as having adequate financial resources along with admiration from others. Currently I live in a single-wide mobile-home in a trailer-park and my income is below the poverty line — I’m at the other end of the success spectrum. I’m not in a bad situation though, so I have that going for me, I just don’t have the success defined above.
I’ve certainly tried working hard and following my dreams. I dedicate myself to a particular endeavor for YEARS and nothing comes of it. For instance, when I was younger I would train with weights to the point of being the most muscularly developed guy amongst my immediate peers in high school. I constantly watched fitness shows, worked out at home, went to gyms, studied nutrition, and eventually received an actual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. But being the size and body type I was, I never looked all that impressive.
I was in college during the rise of the Internet and the Dot-com Boom (but I studied fitness remember). I loved being on the computer so much that I used to go to the computer lab between classes and play around. At home I networked my families’ computers and installed server operating systems, replaced parts, added switches and routers, and tinkered with everything I could. Eventually my father was impressed enough that he asked me to help with the computers at his small business. I redid their entire network, ran some CAT5, new server, added workstations, printers, and helped them use their proprietary industry software.
Not satisfied with mere network administration, I eventually got into programming. Again, I spent years in front of the computer, reading computer science text books as I worked on software development projects as practice. I tried selling some of my creations but nothing much came of it. After that I became an at-home independent contractor for a small software development company. A couple years later the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 happened. The demand for software seemed to lessen and I had a falling out with the guys I worked with.
I tried to get back into development and sell my own software again, but it just didn’t generate enough income. Plus, I seemed to have lost my drive to work with software. Then came writing. I’ve been writing consistently, uploading most of it to this blog, for the last 4-plus years. I’ve self-published 2 short books in relation to the material I discuss here. And in that time, the blog attracted a bit over 500 subscribers and receives from 0 to 7 “likes” per post. So like my software, it seems my writing is not exactly popular.
Sometimes I imagine that life is giving me a hard time in the beginning only to surprise me with something grand in the second half, and I suppose I’m fine with that. Or perhaps I can only be successful in ways that no one else recognizes (ha) — I guess that’s fine too. But, the lack of recognizable success certainly doesn’t provide a sense of belonging or community — who likes to play a game they’re terrible at? I’m pretty good at sitting and watching though.
Now, I’m not complaining, I’m merely documenting my experience. Because of my detachment, I don’t ultimately care. I’m usually happiest just sitting and thinking. But you see, it’s not just me I have to deal with. My major weakness is that I need a friend in my life, just one, and I’m satisfied. But it’s not so easy for people to disregard their expectations of life, so my friend is far from satisfied with her living conditions. And of course, her frustration is something I must contend with.
For all that she’s given me, it’d be nice to shower my friend with gifts, providing her with the life she expects. A nice house in a friendly neighborhood in a cute little town with plenty of activities and an exceptional school. A place in which she can bake and garden and take pictures of all the pretty things she sees. I know that the external parts of life don’t ultimately satisfy, as a Level 7 I’m well aware of this, but it’s easier to change the scenery than talk someone into enlightenment.
Again, I’m not concerned, as it’s just one of the typical dilemmas life throws at people, and frankly it’s pretty tame. That life is providing me fodder for thought is something to be thankful for. Although I may never get to dwell in them, I research towns and look through listings of houses with the intent that I might live in one. But I must always remember: life is a silly little place, filled with silly little wants, in which we partake in silly little endeavors. To recognize life’s nonsense is to be satisfied with the silly little game we’re playing here. Fun comes when we engage lightheartedly.