Confessions of a doer learning to be
That Academy culture bleeds well into the hustle culture of tech and entrepreneurship. It's unhealthy over an extended period of time.
Leaving it behind was like stopped a train bolting down the track. It took 2 of the worst years of my life post military for me to stop it, look around, and start moving in another direction.
I took rediscovered reading again. Not just for productivity, but for discovery and even fun. Writing came back with it, and that's started to take me places. I see a viable path forward for making it into a "real job". It's exciting and satisfying that this unconventional path might be leading me somewhere I never knew existed in the past.
I hope it will be the same for you in the future.
It's hard living a cultural climate that allows no space for grief. Even the loss of a *person* – a loved one. We're expected to make quick work of the emotional trail. Our businesses are our babies, and that loss is real. I'm glad you're giving yourself what you need. You're a role model for taking space and meeting your experience.
Great to come across your writing by way of Sarah Fay's workshop this afternoon. We have some things in common -- first of all, the current (and perhaps not forever) name of my own Substack, Decide Nothing, came as a response to people asking me, "What's next?" starting about 10 minutes after I sold my business. Also a huge fan of CTFO -- and, more importantly, just being.
Also, I truly believe that if you let yourself "be" for long enough, you will figure it out.
Lolol that party experience...I felt that hard!
I felt really engaged with this essay. I've had the productivity bug for a long time and it still nags at me. Letting things just "be" is hard enough without everyone asking you about it.
I really resonated with this! When I left my job and decided to not apply for a new one, I used to hate when conversations turned about work and what I was doing. I had a lot of my own processing to do (thank you writing) and I think I felt a similar dissonance where I was happy and yet it was hard to explain to people how you could be happy without the next thing already planned out. Also, I know I can still be guilty of asking this too, which I always want to do less of because it's not even the thing I find most interesting about people.
This is good - one of your best, I think.
So, so good. The definitions - chef's kiss
"My soul goal is to make something beautiful."
Loved this, Latham!
I really love how this all came together. The last line. Man.
This is a line that I resonate with so much " My wife carries the weight of those responsibilities, but I can’t be selfish forever. I know I’m going to have to figure it out." . Beautiful essay, Latham. Might I say, I'm so glad that you're "just being" :)
“I can’t ignore the dread that I might be letting my family down.” - This hits hard. I feel this strong pull to walk away from my job and do something, but I'm not sure what. This feeling that I may be letting my family down by doing so is what prevents me from taking action.
I appreciate you sharing your feelings and your perspective on this topic.