I really, truly can't do this work any more. I know I am not stupid, but I'm sitting in front of this fucking monitor feeling like my brain weighs about 3 kilos. Oh wait - it does. Well, maybe a lot of people feel like this, then. 3 kilos of mush in our skulls that works fine some days, and then on others turns into an electro-colloidal mess only good for poetry and compulsive noding.
I used to be a good software developer. I have a good, logical mind and a creative approach to solving problems, and I can work very hard when something motivates me. The problem is, when something doesn't motivate me, I just can't do it. I've been like this ever since I started going to school - standing behind my chair as punishment for playing and talking when the rest of the class were learning their ABC. Why didn't I want to learn my ABC? Because I'd been reading for nearly 3 years and I was so bored I would have cried if I didn't have such a famously sunny disposition. Instead of sending me to a higher class (he'll find it too hard to make friends) or giving me something else to do (there's nothing special about you, you know), they punished me in various ways which only served to make me lose almost all of my respect for people older than me. On my first day in school when I was 5, after several hours of making Lego towers and watching the girl next to me pee herself and cry, I walked up to the nun supervising us and asked when we would be starting mathematics. This became a funny anecdote for many years to come.
Fast forward. Age 27. I feel stupid. Am I any stupider than I was back then? I really don't think so. If I want to learn something, I can learn it, whatever it is. But, after 27 years of learning things, I have come to the point where the things I want to learn are mostly not known. You can read about them in books, you can talk to people who claim to have learned them, but mostly you have to just find your own way, like a planet-sized game of Blind Man's Bluff, all the little boys and girls reaching around for each other with giggles and bumps and stumbles.
I want to learn about compassion. Love. Enlightenment. Consciousness. I'm learning things which don't have words to describe them. I'm learning about things which most people don't believe, and most people who do believe them don't understand. I'm learning about how to be a truthful person, how to know when my ego is fucking up my life, how to sit still for 20 minutes and watch my thoughts go by. I'm learning what thoughts are made of: the tiny, momentary feelings and fragments that make up even the smallest concept that flashes through our brains. I'm learning about the complexity and fascination of even the smallest human interactions.
Fuck this software job - I'm learning about the software running in my own brain, modelling it, feeling it working, seeing where the impulses come from and where they lead. I'm learning how to redirect my thoughts, how to change the patterns of my life. I'm learning what the fuck I was born for in the first place, not how to waste my time here until I die. I'm learning how to throw things away, and how to gather the things that matter. They don't teach you these things in school, or college, or work. They don't even teach you anything that will help you to learn them later. They don't teach them to you, because they don't know. Or maybe everyone knows these things - maybe we all know how to be real people, but we've let ourselves be persuaded over time that it's not worth it.
It's not my job's fault. I doubt there's any job I could do right now without feeling like this. I just hope I find a way to deal with this without totally losing my ability to function as a useful human being. You can't eat enlightenment.