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The right metric

Before I quit my job I worked in data analytics.

I wasn’t quite a wizard, but I could certainly baffle the townsfolk with my fine displays.

I enjoy playing with metrics.

So I thought, at first, I would keep doing that, at least for a while. That data wrangling would be how I made my living, just on my own terms.

But I soon accepted my heart wasn’t in it.  And something I have always been very bad at doing is, well, anything, when my heart isn’t in it.

So I had two choices.

I could find a way for my heart to be in it; I could dig at the problem ’til I found something shiny. Or I could follow my heart to a different venture; where we could both happily reside together.

I was stubborn, and frankly scared of the metrics in my bank account. So I tried, for a while, to do the former. Emphasis on the word try.

I had left my job because the metrics didn’t matter to me, but finding ones that did was harder than I thought.

And there were many shinier things dancing all around me. Fun things. Novel things. Things outside the ordinary. Gradually, they coaxed me further and further from the metrics, until I really couldn’t find my way back.

None of the shiny things really mattered to me either, beyond the first flash. But what they did was draw me out into the open, so I had to make a real choice about where I was going to go.

Now I make money writing. As well as a few other fun things. But I don’t even care that I do.

I care that I can continue to exist, of course. That I can ensure my son keeps existing too. But the money itself is inconsequential. The metric that so intimidated me a few months ago, and that seemed so important to solve for, has faded to insignificance.

I’m measuring something different now.

I don’t precisely know what it is.

And maybe it’s better that way. Better that I couldn’t possibly build a dashboard to monitor whatever it is, or trick anybody into thinking I know what the fuck I’m doing.

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