If it's about the journey...


I talked to Mom today. We chatted about various topics, and eventually came around to the topic of my project that I've been pouring so much time, effort, money and life into. After I gave her a status update, she told me how proud she was of me, that I found something I was so passionate about, that I was focused, and smart and going to succeed with this project. It's a great idea, solves the needs of many, and it was going to work well. But even if it doesn't work out, she's still proud of me, because it's about the journey.

After she finished speaking, and heard nothing but silence on the other end, she knew something was up. She waited for me to speak, which took me a longer time than she probably expected.

Kris had made the same comment, that the outcome doesn't matter, it's the journey.

It's the second time I heard that it's not the end, it's the journey that matters, and I have to say no. No fucking way. No god damned fucking way is this journey worth it. I can't sleep at night, worrying that I won't be able to raise the money soon enough to buy that land. My stomach clenches into knots when I tell people what I'm trying to do, and how quickly I need to do it, and what will happen if I fail. My head hurts most of the time. I can't run more than two miles given how out of shape I am. I've left bills unpaid, not because I don't have the money, but rather because I didn't think to send payment because the loss of that 30 minutes means one fewer bug, one fewer feature will be ready. I regularly curl up into a crying ball of fear of failing on this which means so much to me, before I realize that the fear isn't helping, that courage is moving through that fear, and I sit back down and start working again. I haven't spent much time with friends, and the time I do is peripherally when I'm in the same room as they are: they're playing games, I'm in the corner programming. The neighbors hate me because my yard looks like crap, I haven't had a chance to clean it up since harvest. My business clients are wondering where the hell I am half the time.

And all I can think about is how do I represent a multidimensional array with internal linked lists in a flat file with defaults so that I can reread it and generate it into another format. How do I add this feature or that feature or save this data in the database, and extract it again, and what the fuck is that bug? Shit.

I don't want this journey. I don't want to be sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night. I don't want my stomach in knots because I may fail. This is not the way I want to lose weight. I want to skip to the end. I willingly sacrificed my twenties to hard work, I should be sitting pretty. I should be coasting, happy with my career choices, two kids, working if I want to and, eh, whatever, if I don't.

So, no, it's not about the journey. This journey sucks. The only good part of this journey is that it's over one way or the other in 6 months. Statistically, that's only 0.5% of my life, but I feel like the stress of those six months are subtracting more than six months at the end. I've probably aged more in the last two years than I had in the previous 6.

Not worth it.

No, way not worth it.

So why not do it?

Because the alternative, the alternative of not trying, that's even worse.


You are so right. It is not about the journey. But it is about pouring your heart and soul into something and giving it every breath, every fiber, every thing of your being. To have something you are so passionate about, and then not give it everything - yes, that would be worse than what you're going through.

I'm happy for you Kitt. Not for your suffering, but for your passion. For finding something that is worth pouring yourself into. I'm jealous, to be honest. I work hard, and I stress and I shorten my life by getting out of shape and missing sleep, but I haven't found (or, perhaps worse, haven't taken up) that thing that I would be willing to burn myself up over.

We're pulling for you out here. And when you finish this race, and collapse on the ground, exhausted and spent, then know that your friends will be here to pick you up and dust you off and continue to believe in you, no matter what the outcome was.

Go Kitt!


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