Sometimes for me the hardest part of writing is picking a good title. Usually, I settle for a mediocre one. This time, I've just given up altogether.
This is something about happiness, love, philosophy, etc.
If you consistently take the time to read my blog you should stop reading it. Instead, read Mark Manson's last two books. Then you should read Ayn Rand. Maybe some classics. A half dozen other blogs. Maybe after a few years, if you're really bored, come here. I just scratch the surface on what others have covered much more effectively. This is pretty low rate reading material and you can probably do better.
I partly like to write to normalize ideas. I like keeping unpopular ideas in the collective intelligence maintained at a level that they can sit, festing, and eventually the true bits of the idea get combined with other experiences to form new ideas. This is partly why I write on controversial topics. I also like to write about my failings because way too many people write about their successes. Reading only good things helps people with average lives feel worse as they get a skewed view of how life should really be. Frankly, I think life is supposed to suck a lot of the time and yet I don't think I'd trade my life for anyone else's. I'm grateful for my life. But a lot of it is, almost perpetually, not what I want.
As a man I'm supposed to be some rock, some standalone thing that needs nothing external (this part exaggeration, part reality). Yet, I'm not. I don't know if it's because of a decision I've made of what to want, or if it's basically just how I'm wired. I can have my own schedule, the ability to travel almost anywhere, almost whenever, a great motorcycle, wonderful parents, the best friends I could ask for, and sign a million dollar contract for SporeStack. This is almost entirely true, as of last year. Some things fell through there (obviously) but still at the time, that list is not all that far-fetched.
Even with all of that, I was notably unhappy to a degree. Not that I didn't appreciate any of those things, but there's always been one thing I wanted above the rest. It feels pathetic to write and admit, but I hate being alone. With all of that I was still missing the part of life I long for the most. I had almost all of my ducks in a row but didn't have the one thing I wanted the most (go figure, we always want what we don't have). You might think, if I'm telling the truth, that you'd be happy with all of that. And you probably should be, I probably should have been. Yet despite all of that, I wasn't. I'll go ahead now and journey back to the happiest part of my life.
I had quit Rackspace for 9 months. I said I was retired. I burned through a fair bit of my savings and trapped some in gold/silver bullion. Got into Bitcoin microlending (big mistake!) and lost probably 150+ BTC (back when they were $10 a piece, roughly). Of course joining back at the same company was a bit of a failure. But I did it. I did get a raise and a promotion out of not working for 9 months, so that was pretty great.
But all in all, no great successes. I had moved back in with my parents. I would occasionally make a cast out into the Craigslist dating sea (I went fishing today, hence the terrible reference) and got a bite with my Multi-function Alarm Clock ad. Two days before starting work again, I went on a date. It went wonderfully well.
So the happiest point in my life ended up being maybe a two week period, being back at an old company that I'd gotten burned out at before, living with my parents, but coming back every evening to a well-read woman in a dress, with freshly baked cookies in her RV. Never even had sex with her and yet somehow this, to this day, was the happiest I can recall being. Everything else, by definition, has been downhill.
It didn't last long. Things went from incredible to difficult very fast. And what could have been a very good (though very difficult) relationship was ended. At some point she told me that if we were both 40 and single, we should get married. This was a notable change and it took me a couple years to realize that it should probably have offended me greatly.
So anyway, despite fighting myself on this, the happiest I think I can be is wrapped up ultimately in something that I can influence but not control. And my influence is not really a positive one. You'd be surprised how few women immediately lose interest over "I think I'm going to die being shot by the FBI. Yes, I'm serious." but it certainly doesn't help my cause. Trying to show a positive light to sides of Hitler doesn't help either. The unfortunate thing is that I realize it'd be much easier for me to find someone if I wasn't who I was. But I think it's short changing myself, even if I'm probably less happy for it. I just can't sit off in the corner and pretend not to have these ideas. I don't like to try to fit in. Yet of all of the things I have, other than friends and family I think I would trade anything to spend the rest of my life with one good woman who was partly sane and cared about me.
This brings me to another side of my personality, wondering what the root is. I almost obsessively think I have to understand things. I certainly don't understand all that much, but I was a particularly slow learner for riding motorcycles and for driving cars. Now, I will think through tiny details over and over. I have some inner formula trying to understand traction, handling, predictability, door locks, damping, whatever. I should probably find some good example. I guess today I was thinking how slow and tedious electronic door locks can be. It took probably a good ten seconds for my Dad to manage to let me into the truck. In my Tacoma, I have to lean over and unlock the door which only takes a second or two. But why would I care about that? It's a safety risk. If you can't unlock the door to let someone in in time, it could be a fatal result. I think over and over about protecting those I love (and possibly, on a deeper introspective note, those who I want to love me). The one thing I daydream about the most. Why? Maybe because I don't think I can convey how much I care about someone in words or every day actions (of course if you neglect those, you don't care). I probably would die for those I love, certainly would put myself in significant risk. It's the only way I can show how much I care. But aimless death is stupid, I want to be competent. I don't know if this fuels my detail focus or if internally I justify it this way. You can be willing to die to protect your kids all day long but it means so little if you're not trying to grow and learn so you'd actually protect them effectively. Maybe you believe nothing bad is likely to happen. I do. And if it doesn't, I'd rather be on the safe side. Quite a bit of Fifty Two is spent addressing the preparation obsessed and those who live more in the moment.
I'm trying to understand myself, what I value, and why. I can be very unusual. I don't want to be something other than myself but I would like to get better and better.
One last bit of food for thought. What if you knew you'd never have the thing most important to you in life? Would you still want to live? I guess this is one of the blessings of not being able to see the future. You might arrive at the end and realize it was worthwhile even without. Alternatively if you could see that far ahead and see yourself unhappy, from only your present perspective, you might not try at all. I'm not sure what I would do. A lot of things eat away at me but I just have to keep on moving.
Thanks for reading.