← Home

Moving, Meaning and Work

23 May 2019

In about a week I will be moving to Cape Town. A new job, new apartment, new tech stack. It will be a new start. This has been (and continues to be) quite a lot of admin, but I am moving with the unwavering belief that it will be worth it. It has been a culmination of a great amount of thinking and reflection, and I thought I might share some of those thoughts in case anyone else who is contemplating making a change of this kind.

I would like to start by discussing the relationship between work and finding personal meaning. It is often mentioned that, as a culture, we place too much emphasis on our profession and the professions of others. I think that this is understandable. A person generally spends a large portion of their waking hours committed to their job, and it seems natural to desire development and progression as a result. Further, I think that significance is an important factor of work. We would like to think that our work has some impact in the world. This might be the most strange trait of some people, that you can pay them well and ask them to do a non-challenging task, and they would find this to be a non-optimal state of affairs. I count myself as one of these people, and this broadly how I came about the decision to move to another software engineering job at another company across the country.

I believe adversity is an important part of personal development. We need to be challenged, and we need to be on the edge of our capabilities in order to learn about our full potential. The enemy of this is comfort. We get comfortable in our routines, and would rather conserve energy than incorperate new uncertainty into our lives. Everyone suffers from this, and it happens without us even noticing. We must not settle, and we must not be scared to be the instigator of change if it feels necessesary. We must constantly ask if things are where they should be, lest we become drifters and apathetic of our own experience. We need adventure.

This probably sounds quite dramatic! But I do believe that it is very important, and these are the concerns from which all other concerns are derived. You have my permission to do what you want, even if other people may not think it is a good idea. You will know intuitively whether you are on the right path. If life is in fact a game, it is one of imperfect information. We cannot truly know the what the full repurcisions of our actions are, but we can iterate over them. I feel immensely excited and nervous for this change, and I hope it brings about new friends, new opportunities and new experiences.

See you there.