April 24, 2020

On Paper

6:34 AM

I had an interview yesterday, probably the last one I’ll have for a while. It didn’t go terribly but it also wasn’t exactly stellar, so I’m left with this ambiguous sense of dread and anxiety.

“We’ll be in touch in about a week with the decision,” he said. Why did he say it so formally? Is that an indication that they probably already decided they didn’t want me? Or maybe it doesn’t mean anything? Or maybe he just didn’t want to make me feel bad or something even though he knew I was going to be rejected anyways.

Shut up, I tell myself. Overthinking to this extent is pretty normal for me, although it is something that I’m trying to change. But what concerns me isn’t the possibility of rejection here specifically: it’s the fact that my career may never kickstart anytime within the next five years. That’s a scary situation to think about. Everyone around me will be getting their life together, going for internships that lead into full-time opportunities, setting themselves up for a nice, secure 10+ years or so of solid work. I’ll be continually looking for opportunities of my own, but with each rejection I will lose just a little bit of hope. Eventually I’ll look around and realize I’ve been left behind by everyone I used to know: while everyone advances their own life, I realize I should’ve been focusing on my career this entire time so I didn’t set myself up for disaster. But hindsight is 20/20, and it’s too late to have those thoughts. I just keep halfheartedly working on my own projects, hoping desperately that one of them will be my big break. Every day is a drag, just one more day of suffering in a dry and depressing spell that seems to have lasted forever already.

Of course, that’s probably not how things are going to go down. Unfortunately, that’s just what I do: come up with these outlandish worst-case scenarios in extreme detail, forcing myself to consider these nightmares as possibilities. After all, I tell myself, this could happen to you if you continue down this path and don’t regain your motivation.

You might call it jaded, but I really just don’t care anymore. Not in the sense that “oh, everything is meaningless” kind of thing (although everything really is meaningless), but more of the idea that I no longer care about advancing my own identity through projects and skills. I still think learning and practicing is very cool and worth doing, and I still put a decent amount of time into my hobbies to make sure that I can still find satisfaction in creating things. I’m talking about how as the years went on and I got to college, the worth of achievements in themselves depreciated significantly. I will work on a project with the utmost passion if I believe in the vision of the final creation, but I will no longer be motivated to do it for my resume like I used to be.

There are multiple layers of apathy in my personal philosophy. At the very core of it lies the idea that life is fleeting, this world is ephemeral, and nothing you can do will last. Of course, that would be a depressing moral to base my life on, but one layer removed from that is the concept of useless derivatives. The things I do and make are already going to wither away in time; how much more meaningless is the name and acknowledgement of said project? A few words on my resume, an extra link in my portfolio, something to talk about for ten minutes or so during interviews. These are all things that I find absolutely useless. And yet everyone is working for it, and I should be too, because that is the way basic economic theory works.

Super lame.

I must find a way to ascend past the artificial drive, the false motivation I used to live by when I was so intent on getting into a good university. There has to be more than this fake stuff, because I am very sick and tired of having to suffer mentally because I did not deliver a perfect interview.

Literally who cares?

Me, of course. But I wish I didn’t.

- Sam