Pride, Falls and a joke about trains

The joke was a lie. Sucker. I have a tendency, and by tendency I mean bad habit, of avoiding giving people a clear answer by saying “I’ll think about it”. I don’t want to do that anymore. So when I told someone earlier tonight that I’d think about I meant it. And here’s where I show my work. So, pride, much like football, is a funny old game. I think pride is often pointless, certainly the petty things people ascribe to pride (not going to lie, I think growing up in Dundalk may have skewed my view on this – pride in nothing at all was/is far too often the nominaml cause of meaningless conflict). But pointless or not I think pride is a sin in which I often unconsciously wallow, entirely unfounded and unsupported pride at that. Generally it doesnt really bother me, my unearned egomania is well entrenched and an old friend. It can become a problem though.

Because sometimes I make a decision and then end up endlessly second guessing myself – usually along the lines of “Did I actually make a rational decision or did my pride make it for me?” A case in point, and really the entire reason for this post. In an earlier post I outlined that I was taking a break from my PhD. In order to pursue a career in game design (among other reasons). I’ve been researching possible avenues to do that. Over the last two days I’ve received some pretty good advice from some friends as well as an offer which could aid me in this endeavour – a chance to meet with a sizeable portion of the more important people in the Irish gaming industry and get to know them/network etc. As the friend in question said, there’s no reason not to do this.

To be honest he’s right. Only. And here we go. Pride. While I think growing up in Ireland warps ones sense of scale I like to imagine that I am familiar with the scale of the world. I know I’m not. No fuck it cant’t write it. I know I’m unlikely to be head of my field in anything. These day’s its next to impossible to be the best in the world at something. In the words of Robert Smith, “Reality destroys our dreams”. I generally don’t feel the need to be the best, but I have to feel competent. Anyway I’m sure that my friend’s correct and that my level may be fine, his informed opinion is unequivocally more objectively valid than my feeling’s that I’m not worthy. But to call back to earlier post mentioned earlier, I’m a coward and that feeling of competence serves as armour. Upon reflection the appearance of competence may be far too important to me.

There is a second, even stupider reason, again spawned by my pride. This last week, actually deciding to quit/take a break from my PhD, various personal issues, etc. has been rough. I haven’t been able to sleep properly, this is one of the few times in my life I’ve been genuinely stressed and as always it is not a feeling I enjoy. I like to have a plan. So I came up with one. The future Michael plan (perhaps I should worry about my tendency to mentally consider myself in the third person). We have the technology. We can make him better. So the plan was this – stop PhD, work on upskilling myself so I can create Ave Imperator, casually look for jobs until December then go all out in the new year – but only jobs abroad. In essence my plan consists of me creating something by myself and didnt really consider getting a job in the Irish games industry.

I also really want to create Ave Imperator myself. I actually don’t think that this is particularly unrealistic. Given the nature of the game I’m confident that I can have the majority of the required skillset at a suitable level in the next month or two. Actually it’s not even a case of wanting to do it all myself. I genuinely feel I have to do this myself. I think to move forward I need to create something complete and alone.

I will fully accept that this plan is probably unrealistic and almost certainly stupid. But, its my plan. In some ways I feel that this next part of my life is my last chance. I don’t want to indulge in half measures. I don’t want to hedge my bets. I want to stick to my plan. No matter how stupid.

So there you go, I’m going to turn down this opportunity offered by my friend due to a mixture of shame and stubborness – because of my stupid pointless pride or because I’m a coward and secretly fear meeting new people because they’ll secretly judge me.

Ah. You know. I think I really need some sleep and just a bit of a break from stuff for a while.

Vent your spleen

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