A Confluence of Weirdness (Almost)

A Confluence of Weirdness (Almost)

A bunch of totally unrelated events have happened and it moved me to finally write something here.

First – (mini) Book Review

Earlier in August, I read Felicia Day’s bestselling book “You’re Never Weird on The Internet (almost)”. It’s easy to say “Of course you love it; you love everything she does” (and that would be true). She certainly doesn’t need my endorsement to help her sell her book, but I’m giving it because it’s a fascinating look into her creative process and (without giving away spoilers) could be a cautionary tale about the price of success and losing who you are.  I highly recommend it.

Second – Work Sucks

Yes, I know everyone’s work sucks (It’s why it’s called work and not fun, right?). But this week has really pushed me to the brink. I won’t go into gory details, because no one really cares, but suffice it to say, I felt like I was five minutes away from just getting up and walking out (with no particular plan). Fortunately, the rational part of my mind stopped me.

Third – One of those Stupid Facebook Personality Tests

Last night, I took one of those stupid Facebook Personality Tests.  Here’s what I got:

Facebook Post


Do You Have A Point, Mike?

So because work has kicked me down, all I could think of last night was “If I’m such an overachiever, why do I feel like such an <expletive> loser ? (yes, I could use the real word and I often do in my own speech, particularly my internal monologue, but I guess I’m too hung up about putting it in print.  At some point, I’m just going to have to do a blog post whose complete content is the f-bomb – we all have our hang ups). I hate my job, it’s demanding more time so I can’t write, my books sales are non-existent, my new book sucks…and from there it just generates into the whole “living in a van down by the river, dying alone and being eaten by cats” riff (even though I don’t own a van or a cat).

Enough Already; GET TO THE POINT!

I decided after reading Felicia’s book (I’m hoping it’s OK we’re on a first name basis, Felicia. I know you don’t know me – but you did respond to one of my tweets once!), that I wanted to write about what it meant to me. So tonight, I start skimming the book again for probably the fourth or fifth time.

And BAM!

Realization set in. I probably am an overachiever – much like Felicia, I’m driven by making adults/teachers/bosses happy. I did very well in high school, pretty well in college, and I’ve mostly had very good performance reviews at work. I’m very competitive,  as my family can attest when we play Monopoly. When I’ve completed something, it’s usually because there’s a goal or challenge involved. I wrote my novel because I wanted to “win” Na-No-Wri-Mo (don’t know what I’m talking about? Check this out), I’ve been walking like a mad man because we’re having a 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge at work (this is one part that doesn’t suck). I work hard all summer so that I play well in the local summer bands and am then very critical of myself.

And you know what? That’s fine. It really doesn’t matter if I’m “successful”. What is that anyways?  I think that success is defined by how you measure it.  If you set a goal and achieve it, celebrate it! So what if only fifty people read your book? If those fifty people really liked it, you’ve done something valuable. (Aside, I just deleted a then in that statement because I remember hearing that you can tell when a programmer is writing because he/she always uses “If….., then” – it’s true – I work very hard not to do that).

I’ve done many things in my life that I’m proud of that might not have been deemed a success, but I’ve done them. For three years, I had my software company and I wrote software that someone actually paid money to own. Me, the tubby kid who hated gym in school, ran/walked a 5K race. I’ve been paid to play trumpet. I’ve written a novel.  I have a wonderful wife and a great son. Maybe none of these have been successes in the financial sense, but they are personal accomplishments that mean a great deal to me.

And I was reminded of that tonight because of your book, Felicia.  Thanks again so much for everything you do!

(OK, I feel weird keep calling you by your first name because we haven’t met, but Ms. Day just seems really stuffy and formal).

(NOTE: Just because I said that I feel like a success because I’ve written a novel doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy my book! Please buy it and tell all of your friends to buy it!)

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