I never considered myself an ambitious person, but it’s a label others have applied to me. I’ve always been a project junkie: RPG maker, UTAU, fandubbing, conlanging, NaNoWriMo, Bitsy, vlogging… Heck, once I even started translating The Mencius into Esperanto. This blog and my podcast are just the latest in a long list of Internet-based/derived hobbies. But surely this isn’t a sign of ambition? After all, they’re pretty niche.
To a lot of people, though, it seems the desire to have a kind of creative stamp on anything is emblematic of ambition. And now, facing the reality of adulthood, as opposed to the fake adulthood of being at uni, I’m gradually shifting to projects that have the potential for marketability, or those that can feed into the projects that can feed me.
Besides, my goal has never been bright lights or big bucks, just adequate financial comfort on a rockbed of spiritual wealth.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I moved recently and it’s the first time I’m living with someone I’m actually friends with. Before this, I was effectively living alone à la ruthless Silicon Valley optimalist – I woke up at 5am every day, Pomodoro’d my daily quota of writing and lesson planning, filled up my commute time doing language study, and slipped into bed at 8:30pm. Now this could be called ambition.
Living the housemate life, I’m far more relaxed now, and my Grand Ambition has cooled off considerably. Hence the title of this blog. I don’t desire to complete my projects any less now, but it’s almost as if… my Ambition was a void of loneliness from coming home to an empty void? Oh, and probably also a coping mechanism for being emotionally and spiritually exhausted from commuting three hours every day. It’s hard to accept this as progress and not regression, when capitalism tells us our productivity is our worth. Calling back to my thoughts on smartphones; are the aforementioned produ-tech bros suffering under a similar yoke of alienation?
Probably. I really need to get round to reading Das Kapital.