[The Listserve] Stop and Smell the Silicone Burning
I consider myself a lucky man, because I love my work.
When we are young, the world seems an endless place, full of possibility. We dream perhaps of scholarship, of parenthood, of wealth or of success. As we reach for these goals, we find they don’t live up to our expectation. I’ve seen friends disillusioned as slog towards PhDs in a toxic academic environment; others struggle under the leadership of an incompetent boss and are stifled creatively and personally; other still suffer the degradation of sexual harassment in the workplace and lose their happiness inch by mile.
If this is you, I want you to know that there is always an alternative. And if it is not, stop to consider how fortunate you are, and help those around you.
I am very thankful for getting to work on something that I love, that gives me constant pleasure. I work at Parsec, a company of seven people in NYC, and we build a way for people to play games remotely over the internet. Think Netflix, but for games (I’ll skip the technical explanation, but if you’re interested we blog about it often). I am a software engineer, and everyday I sit down and solve challenging problems, and see the fruits of my labor reflected in the users of our product - both in numbers as they grow, and anecdotally as people reach out to us in appreciation. It’s not work that suits everyone, but it happens to suit me - I love staring at seemingly incomprehensible language all day, and instruct countless machines all over the world to shape themselves into a pattern of my imagining.
Odds are that you, like me, will have to work for the rest of your life. Treasure that life, and realize it is too short to suffer miserable work environments, too short to keep waiting for reward that you won’t notice when it arrives. If you feel stuck, don’t let yourself down! Dare dream big, find what it is you want to do, and keep working towards it. You can find that enjoyment in the moment, even if the goal seems a long way off.
And if you are like me, don’t hesitate to stretch out a helping hand. They can be friends who’ve got a downward turn, who have made an unwise choice in their wandering path, or people around you who struggle hard just to make ends meet, who are nigh-powerless in their economic enslavement. Keep them in your heart, and mind, and do what you can.
New York City
PS. If you’re a gamer like me, don’t hesitate to reach out, you can find us online and on Discord.