When people ask how I spend my copious amounts of free time, I usually answer “playing video games.” In reality, though, a large amount of my time is spent navel-gazing and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. The problem with an extended period of unemployment is that I’ve spent so much time introspecting that it’s become repetitive: I find myself going through cycles of possible life plans:

  1. Go back into corporate software development, and carve out a comfortable, bourgeois life for myself, even though it means kissing my soul goodbye;
  2. Go into games development, and work in a field that produces something I care about, even though it’s the ass-end of the software industry from a methodology perspective;
  3. Focus on playing video games, be a QA grunt for game devlopers, and see where that leads me, even though QA will never lead anywhere interesting;
  4. Focus on writing about games, be a critic, and get a job in games journalism, even though gaming magazines and websites seem to be little more than outlets for fanboys;
  5. Go into writing in general, and try to swing a career as a magazine/web journalist, even though I’m not all that interested in writing about the random topics my editor throws at me;
  6. Figure out what it is I am interested in, and go back to school to study it, even though I’ll be poor and in debt for the rest of my life.

I’m currently sitting in Phase 6 of the cycle, trying to find schools and programs that will allow me to geek out while getting my fix of critical theory.

Of course, now I’ve crossed the line into navel-gazing about my own navel-gazing. How sad is that?