If I don't love it, can I stop?

Programming has been my favorite hobby since I was young, and as a child I was told, “do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” What a crock of shit.

I did do various bits of manual labor as a child. Mostly the rough, outdoorsy, character building chores that I had little-to-no interest in. Picking rocks from the garden makes a siren’s call of, “…you’ll never work a day in your life,” to a 9 year old.

What I loved was obvious. My heart lay with indoor pursuits. My parents recognized my affinity at an early age. They were always supportive, and brought computers into the house. I learned every inch of those early computers, inside and out. Spending many entire afternoons spelunking in the System folder, bathed in the warm glow of the phosphors. The older I got, the deeper I went.

My hobby became my education. My education became my job. My job has become a chore. I’m not 9 anymore, but standing here in this metaphorical garden, I see stones everywhere.

Creativity and curiosity are dead. Their corpses drained by the realities of corporate life. Only middle aged mediocrity awaits. I once believed in the power of an idea, carefully crafted into software, to set the world on fire. Now I can barely manage a spark.