While standing barefoot in my basement/garage, doing a workout that included performing 10 total deadlifts, one at a time, I started listening to the 1,384th episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, featuring Ari Shaffir. I was in a bad mood, ruminating on the state of some projects at work.
Joe Rogan opened with a sponsored reading from Brave. I felt smugly pleased with myself. I had been using Brave for a number of years, long before this particular day where Joe Rogan read a sponsored script. It was kind of like I was thinking, “Finally, Joe Rogan is catching up to me, the web developer who’s in a bad mood, standing with bad posture in his moldy, half-basement-half-garage amongst a number of spiders, the large ones of which I always fear could be brown recluse.”
It felt like most people I knew who also worked for start-ups as developers where at the presentation. I distinctly remember watching a couple of them quietly file out of the room when his talk was over. One founder of a start-up who didn’t code sat down in a seat near me and said, “Batman, are you going to ask him a question? We have to ask him a question, right?” A couple minutes later, I quietly walked out of the room and took a bus back to the office.
Standing in my basement, I started to feel better. In comparison to Brendan Eich, my career seemed meaningless. Eich created one of the world’s most popular programming languages — the language that I primarily make money from knowing how to use — and he drew a small crowd even at an institution dedicated to promoting knowledge. It seemed hopeless to think I could accomplish anything of note in comparison, and this hopelessness felt liberating. What am I so worried about right now? A project I may not remember when I’m 60, and that will be completely forgotten when I die?