It’s weird when you realise that you are absolutely, totally average.
I would call myself absolutely, boringly average. Five foot ten, 150 lbs (though that’s going up since I’ve been working in an office), shortish dark hair, lower back problems, and my name combination is one of the most common in the planet.
I’m an average developer (I can get and laugh at most of what gets posted at thedailywtf.com but I still don’t get functional languages).
I understand what gets said at news.ycombinator.com ( mostly ) and I can see the motivation, desire, pure drive that motivates the entrepreneurs there. I feel a combination of envy that I don’t have that in me, greed at the sums of money that they’re talking about and pity for the people burning up their time setting up and running these businesses.
I do the typical white middle class westerner geek things .
- When I was younger I had a period of interest in role playing games.
- I occasionally do yoga and feel like I should do it more often.
- I’ve got about a grands worth of gear for surfing/rock climbing but rarely practice and never get beyond my comfort zone.
- I spend too much time playing computer games.
- I enjoy reading sci fi/historical/scientific books.
- I check out all the typical geeky sites online to reinforce my choices (slashdot.org / guardian.co.uk / news.ycombinator.com / gamerswithjobs.com / rockpapershotgun.com).
I my twenties I was really into indy music, outside of mainstream hairstyles (between shaved and ponytail length), extreme sports, martial arts and hanging out in alternative bars/clubs. All of which is very normal by trying to be abnormal.
I would have described myself as a left leaning, individualist with a desire for personal responsibility and small scale local government but I’m cynically realising that power and wealth inevitably centralise and people are short sighted and selfish.
I have dreams of things I wanted to do and a track record of starting but never finishing any of these projects. I don’t remember when it was but I started ignoring these dreams because I accepted that I would not achieve them and because they made me frustrated and sad.
I always thought that life’s purpose was to ‘achieve something’. Create some great work, set up some company, build something, whatever. So now that I realise that I probably never will, and that in fact, most people never do, where does that leave me?
I’m not sad about any of this. I’m not depressed. This isn’t something that’s just revealed itself to me but rather a growing realisation over the last few years.
I’m trying to think of a good way to wrap this up without sounding either twee or overly depressed.
Twee would be pointing out that all those individuals who achieved exceptional things are average in their own way too and that it was a combination of good fortune and hard work (mostly hard work of course) would allow anyone to achieve these things too.
Depressing would be pointing out that even given that point, I’ve been here too often before. I know how the start, middle and end will be and I’m just too tired for all that shit. I give up and I’d rather spend my time doing something fun rather than something frustrating and ultimately doomed to fail.
So average out those two endings and go with that.