Being Told You Can’t Do What You Love

by cognitivelycomplex

The title for this post is something I never thought I’d hear in my lifetime. In fact, I promised myself that if I ever did hear those words come out of some asshole’s mouth, I’d walk away, likely erasing the thought of that person’s existence from my mind. How dare anyone tell me what I can and can’t do, especially when it deals with my life.

But that day came roughly a year and a half ago. It wasn’t in the context of a smashing my dreams, mind you, but it did take significant time away from something I truly love to do… code.

I’m a programmer. Or at least I was. In today’s world, I would be called a project manager. I figure out how to make an idea technically work, draw up the designs, and hand it off to someone who can handle the grunt work. I’m too valuable to be doing that kind of monotonous labor.

The reality is that every waking moment I’m not running through the paces of that monotonous labor, my skills continue to diminish. They’ll diminish all the way down to the point of no return, a point my bosses have long surpassed. They’ve become dinosaurs, and the ideas they spread these days are more detrimental to the growth of our company than they are helping us succeed. I can’t become that. I won’t become that.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a hard time dealing with these facts. I love my job, even in its current incarnation, but I feel like the end of my coding career is some sort of ploy by my company to give me no options if I suddenly get angered by low pay or terrible raises. Five years from now, they could give me a 0.2% raise, and I’d say… fuck that! Their reply? “Where are you going to go? You haven’t developed in five years! HAHAHAHA!”.

So, a goal for this year is to try to find some projects to do part-time, and those projects would allow me to incorporate new technologies. Hopefully, that will keep my up-to-date while also maybe getting me some side income to help remodel the house.