So I was thinking about how to live a successful life, at least by my standards, and I was overwhelmed by the difficulty of it. Being successful seems to me to be the art of overcoming a steady stream of tremendously difficult acts, and of learning an increasingly complex stream of knowledge. This made me feel anxious and afraid. Afraid that I am unable to accomplish such a feat. Even anxious that my anxiety will prevent me.
In my world, I want to be a successful programmer, earning a 6 figure salary, preferably within the gaming industry. To do that I feel I must master the arts of compiler development, language theory, SIMD optimization, physical simulation, the complex mathematics of computer graphics, databases, web development, and more. I must develop a compiler, a GUI, a basic game engine, numerous graphics demos, basic AI systems, and a collision detection/handling framework. I need a solid education in software engineering or computer science from a respected institution, if not a masters degree.
I desire all this accomplishment, yet I failed at the respected university, I only get by at a community college, I've struggled for months just to come up with a type system for a programming language, I don't know any math beyond 1st year university, I've never coded in assembler or used SSE, I am unfamiliar with advanced web development, and have coded only basic particle simulations. Even then, the programs I am most proud of, I coded about 4 years ago. I no where approach my standards, and I'm already 21. Heck, I got fired from the only serious programming job I ever had due to punctuality issues.
I don't know if I have lost the spark, or if I never had it in the first place. But achieving this list of grand endeavours is my dream and my only passion. I don't know what I'd do if I was to give it up. Even though I have failed from university, every day I still dream of finishing my degree.
Looking at people that have achieved measures of this success, only makes my feeling of inadequacy worse. What do my many university friends, Moo, chevre, Trevor, Borkd and others have that I don't? What enables their success at breaking down this mountain of challenge and complexity?
Is life really as hard as I think it is? Am I a hopeless romantic? Can I achieve anything of value? These questions riddle me with anxiety, and prevent me from working with their irritation. I post them here in the hopes that someone can provide some insight into my condition, and set thing right once again.
Else, my bad feeling will haunt me until death do us part.