dad: isn't it time you got a better car?
me: maybe I should get a better paying job first. not a lot of money these days.
dad: i know you lost some in trading. how much was it?
me: the portfolio was about 40k when I started, at the highest valuation, it was around 90k, and when i existed it was 7k. well that was more of a study in resilience - i was trading with money i could afford to lose.
dad: well ok, if you have money to burn.
me: i did. it's training in the ability to have money, and to just let it go. poof. i had to let myself put some in high-risk assets and allow it to just, go.
dad: and what is that point of that?
me: it's training in the ability to walk away from anything. walking away from family is too easy. in order to know that you can walk away from money, you need to have some first, then let it go. in the future i'll be able to say that I did that. it's good preparation for dealing with larger sums. i can afford to do it because i don't have to make anyone else happy but myself. i certainly don't care what you guys think on this account, and I don't have a family to feed, so it's a good time for training.
dad: when are you going to think about what other people want?
me: like you?
dad: like god, and what he wants you to do with your life.
me: have you asked him what he wants me to do with my life?
me: and what was the answer?
dad: [silent smile]
me: well then, let's find out the hard way.
Then I drive for an hour to my flat. Six weeks into the new job, I've managed to pull a couple of 100-hour weeks, and piss off a bunch of people. But it's been a fairly positive week, in terms of vibes that people have been sending me, so I made a point to take a half day off to go home and clean my flat. I hadn't been home in 3-4 weeks, having opted to do laundry nearer to the office, and pretty much shuttling myself between the office and a room I rented nearby. The cleaning of the flat was on my to-do list since before I started this job.
I took this job to help a friend who seemed to have had trouble hiring programmers, over the years. I was tasked with the building of a new website, already half-designed. The business value of the site was graphic refreshment, but the CTO suggested rebuilding the entire application as the existing code-base was somewhat messy and unconventional. I started with database architecture, and the selection of libraries to be used. After a month the project manager was annoyed that I had exceeded my initial one month estimate, and hit only 10% of expected delivery in his view - two weeks ago, at a meeting where I was about to explain how to take the non-technical drawings and modify them to fit our chosen styling framework, I was told to abandon work on anything but direct implementation of the drawings, as drawn. So I abandoned prioritisation of the styling framework. Needless to say, thirty pages of non-cascading styles resulted in a lot of code... about 3400 lines of SASS, including a weak attempt to reuse certain styles. He's in better spirits these days, since I've spent the last week building visible things.
Having been admonished, with my job on the line, I went about rustling up month-old leads for other jobs. Strangely enough, I happened to interview with a VC who had been considering involvement with this company. Speaking of VCs, I've seen so much press from the latest-greatest local government startup accelerator, that I've been wondering if the press is making fun of its CEO more than helping, or if the press is really helping to publicise the accelerator. We exchanged notes without ever mentioning the name of the company where I work.
These days, I've spoken to yet other women I admire. A rationalist, at a pseudo-startup. A former mathematics student, at a consulting firm. There isn't much to say. I started out by suggesting five stories, and we've reached the magic number.