Career Reflections WISE women in computer science

On Leaving (again), Compound Effects and Falling Out Of Love

Empty room
Credit: DeviantArt / MadameM-stock

Someone tweeted that this post reminded them of my post about leaving. And I read it, finding it oddly compelling (even though I’m not excited by comics, or superheros), and then I found this quote.

it seems to me to be the worst thing in the world to want to do something that badly and then to have your love for it slowly leeched out of you to the point where you don’t want to do it at all anymore

And then I felt like I understood, because yes, this is often how I feel.

Maybe I’m actually doing better than that, because whilst I might have come to hate the tech industry I still love making things.

Two things. One bad, one good.

First thing. I remembered a comment a guy must have made… oh, 6 months ago. I remember my reaction, the double take “oh, did you really?” I think he thought it was a joke. I think jokes should be funny. And I realised, I put this in a box for the last 6 months. I didn’t run into him again, I didn’t think of it again, until I was meditating on the words that get used about women, and only about women, and I remembered this.

Does it really matter? If one guy says something stupid? If he thinks he’s funny when he’s not? I have a relatively dark sense of humour so I probably do that too. One guy, doesn’t matter. One guy each [day|week|month|quarter|year] starts to matter as the [days|weeks|months|quarters|years] go by. They start to add up. And on dark day it’s not one guy making that comment, it’s one guy articulating what they all must think. And eventually the dark days become everyday. The fear of “what next?” becomes crippling and constant. Eventually, it’s time to leave. Maybe that mental departure took place a while ago, a disconnection as a way to cope, but now is finally official, and real.

My coping strategy has just been to push harder, move faster, accelerate. To say, OK, 10 years, tops, make the most of it. Want to push me down? I’ll run faster, diversify, find a way to bounce back up.

Frantic. Frantic. Frantic.

Second thing. Take a deep breath. I am 29 years old. That is not actually that old, really. This reaction, feeling like I am running out of time, is actually just… madness. I have time. It’s not actually an emergency. I don’t need to have all the answers today.

Or even when I do leave. I don’t need to know exactly what is next, or if my departure is real, or permanent. I just need a starting point.

3 replies on “On Leaving (again), Compound Effects and Falling Out Of Love”

Comments are closed.