What do you do? That answer was always simple, and I guess it still should be but it doesn’t roll off the tongue anymore. The confidence and pride is gone when I respond. I was given my dream opportunity and I’m flailing.

A taste of independent development even without financial success still feels a bit like success. The problem is I didn’t earn it. And this is what has been nagging at me for almost 2 years. I was given the opportunity based on a job relocation for my wife.

I digress… So much of a working age person’s identity is wrapped up in a career. I achieved a level of success coming up through the ranks as a programmer, developer, team lead, etc…and that was my identity. I built stuff and loved doing it.

Yes I’ve successfully shipped an iOS app with a full fledged web back-end which takes a full-time amount of work to improve and run. But, lets be real - Jottpad makes enough money to pay server costs and barely that most months. For me to tell people I’m an independent software developer only because I’m lucky enough to have a spouse kicking ass feels wrong to me.

What to do? Getting a “real job” feels like giving up on the opportunity of a lifetime. To keep banging my head against the wall pushing Jottpad forward is a bit like the definition of insanity.[1]

Obviously something needs to change, I need a way to measure progress that doesn’t end with me feeling selfish by sticking to this failing dream.

I don’t have some big epiphany to sort this all out. I’ve never failed at anything I’ve committed to but at some point pragmatism wins…

  1. “Doing something over and over expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein  ↩

AuthorRichard Hochstetler