My life is a cliche.
Each day, I get up and commute to my job. I don’t hate it, but I feel immensely unsatisfied. I’m smart enough, and have done well for myself. But is this really it? Is this my life?
Am I really just on autopilot until I retire or die?
I accepted this. I figured these are thoughts that everyone struggles with, and that accepting them is just something that adults must do.
But I’ve had doubts I can live my life like this. I’ve dreamed of early retirement, and as I got older and those thoughts became less realistic, I instead contemplated escape. I thought about suicide. I thought about ‘running away’ from home, abandoning my wife and dog and house and living in my car. These are crazy, escapist fantasias, so clearly something was wrong.
Over the summer an incredibly dumb thing happened to me. So dumb, in fact, I can’t even bring it up – not out of shame, but more because it wouldn’t make any sense.
It sent my life to rock bottom. I’ve since learned to be thankful for this dumb thing, because it forced me to realize that my mind was real fucked and that I needed to a) go to therapy, b) get on some medication, and c) figure my life out
I did all that, and it has all worked. Better than I ever could have expected, in fact.
As the fog that surrounded me all my life began to lift away, I was left with a surprising realization…
Maybe I do hate my job?
Not the job itself, mind you. Certainly not my coworkers or my boss. I love all of them.
What I hated was the idea of my job. The idea of giving up on my dreams immediately out of college and working at an office. An office! God, hadn’t I read enough Dilbert comics and watched enough Office Space to know that I would be unhappy there? “Nah, that won’t be me”, I thought once upon a time. But it was. It was exactly me.
I gave up on my dreams for this?
From one cliche to another, right? But I can at least keep a straight face saying this one. It feels true.
So what exactly are my dreams?
My entire life has orbited around video games. My earliest memories? Playing Secret of Mana co-op with my dad. Having my family wake me up when they finally beat the Vanilla Dome castle in Super Mario World. Playing Fire & Ice with an ear infection.
I know game companies better than I know most people. I own every console, every game I feel worth it. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars over the course of my life on games, books about games, art about games, games about games.
I went to school for Computer Science – why? To make games!
I moved to Seattle – why? Because that’s where games are made!
I worked at Nintendo in the crappiest position imaginable – why? Because it was my foot in the door to – you guessed it – games!
Then, I got laid off. I got scared. I went down to $35 in my checking account and began looking at Craigslist for something, anything. I settled for an office job – my current job.
I figured dreams were unrealistic, that I should just grow up.
Well. No more. I mean, I’ll still probably continue growing up, but that other thing? The giving-up-on-dreams thing? That’s over with.
Today’s the day I put in my 2 weeks notice.
Today, I begin my life anew – before it’s too late. Today I officially ‘launch’ WARP DOGS, whatever that means. Today I begin my new life creating video games, analyzing video games, writing about video games. Today is terrifying. Today is exciting. Today marks a change.
My last day will be Friday the 13th – a pretty fitting day to start making my own luck.
I’ll need it.