I'm out of a job...
My job is building Livewire and Alpine.
What's it been? like almost four years now?
Fun fact: that's the longest I've ever worked the same job.
Today I felt a tinge of something. Something I've felt exactly one zillion times over the last four years.
A little evil voice comes over the loudspeaker in my head and says: "Caleb, you're out of a job..."
Inertia was released? I'm out of a job...
Hotwire was released? I'm out of a job...
Petite Vue was released? I'm out of a job...
Livewire has a gnarly bug? I'm out of a job...
Livewire is missing a feature everyone seems to want? I'm out of a job...
Alpine was removed from TailwindUI? I'm out of a job...
Someone rewrote their Livewire app in Vue? I'm out of a job...
Remix was released? I'm out of a job...
React gets server components? I'm out of a job...
And this is just the highlight reel. I probably feel some form of this every day.
My heart rate accelerates. I feel agitated, worried, STRESSED. My brain says in response: "Oh shoot, you're totally right. I better stress out and feel bad."
Am I broken? Is my brain overly-sensitive to competition?
Probably yeah, but maybe I'm not THAT unique...
Maybe everyone else who creates something and is invested in it is feeling the same things and no one talks about it because:
- Reacting negatively to something elevates that thing even more
- It makes you look small and overly competitive
- Sometimes the people on the other end are your friends
- Negative vibes are just generally not good for business
The problem with feeling this way (aside from it just sucking in general) is the bad instincts it breeds.
Maybe I shouldn't invest my profits back into the business because it could all collapse tomorrow and then I'd have nothing to show for it.
Maybe I shouldn't share plans or upcoming things I'm excited about because someone with more time on their hands might steal my ideas and beat me to them.
Ugh, so many negative and broken thought patterns.
For better or for worse, my next response goes something like: "Nope. Over my dead body. I'll make my thing better. I'll try harder, push harder, and work harder than everyone else. THEN I'll win. THEN I'll feel good."
And after that maybe something with more resignation like: "Well you know what? Would it really be the worst thing in the world if it all collapsed? I could focus on other things. I could put down the keyboard for a while. I could buy land and live on it. Build that canoe and fish with it. I could be a nobody on the internet and a somebody to my family and friends. That would be a meaningful life right?"
Although that kind of acceptance might seem like a good thing. And sometimes it is. It's still an exaggerated reaction to a false premise: I'm going to lose my job.
So here's the reality:
I NEVER LOST MY JOB.
All those times.
Man, I thought FOR SURE. But still, here I am. I have a job.
People still use Alpine and Livewire. People still like them. In fact, more people are using them and liking them every day.
People write posts about them. Create tools for them. Contribute to them. They make money with them!
So why haven't I lost my job yet?
Because I stuck with it. Because I care about my creations. I talk about them. I hype them. I BELIEVE in them. I love them.
Maybe one day it'll all go poof, but so far, despite my fears, my lived experience has told me one thing:
The thing you're really stressed about right now that you think is gonna kill your thing. It won't. Or at least it won't right away. And you have plenty of time to make sure it doesn't. Just keep caring about your thing. Keep making it as good as you can. Stick with it. Don't give up. Take heart.
So here here. A toast to creating things we love. Freely and openly. Without regard for the big bad wolves waiting to blow it all down. Without. Fear.
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