I’ve been a year and a half outside the Silicon Valley work pace and I am still learning how not having work as my primary activity has and is impacting and changing me.
One thing that I’ve come to realize very recently is that my need for attention, validation, and positive feedback in my personal life has gone up. In other words, I’ve become more needy, particularly with regards to my wife and family.
I know, this theme is getting a little tired here on the old blog – I realize I’ve written about it several times in different ways. Maybe it’s because I’m realizing the thing, but haven’t yet connected all the downstream effects. I recognized that the old job was a large source of this type of “food” in my life, and could write about that, but perhaps hadn’t yet recognized which of my behaviors/mindsets were changing as a result of changes to that sustenance.
One theory I’ve been considering on the neediness I’m feeling is that it’s me attempting to fill a gap that my previous career used to fill. While I still get good feelings of accomplishment, learning, and recognition from the new job – it’s definitely not on the scale of the old job. So maybe I’m left with a dearth of that “food;” missing the dopamine or classic-male “attaboying” and seeking it from other sources available in my life and relationships.
Actually, the paragraph above makes it seems like I’m missing some alpha-male frat-boy version of recognition. And, while it’s true that may have been a type of need which was filled by my previous job, I don’t think I’m wanting to fill that hole with the same exact shape block. I think maybe I’m wanting to replace the end-result feeling I got from that work-validation with validation from other, perhaps healthier, sources. Things like child rearing, community of friends, marriage.
Anyway, there’s my neuroticism for ya. Written, as typical, in a way that paints me in the best light when some of this is actually pretty irrational and maybe just because I worry too much in general and am, for no reason other than being me, at times needy.
Love you guys; out.