I am probably one of the happiest people in the world, but even I feel melancholy every once in a while. While I’m lucky enough that these feelings are both rare and invariably transitory, I’m struck by the fact that I feel like I shouldn’t write about them.
It’s not because I’m afraid that revealing that I’m not always happy will negatively impact my image or be bad for “the brand” (since everyone in Silicon Valley is contractually required to have a specific personal brand!). Rather, it’s the sense that I shouldn’t voice my feelings when I have so little to complain about.
The irony, of course, is that I’ve written about the need to have compassion for the fortunate:
“I find this lack of compassion appalling. The thinking seems to be that we need to compete on our miseries, and that ultimately, we must all defer to a starving genocide victim somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. I don’t believe that compassion is a zero-sum game.
Having problems, even first-world problems, is emotionally draining. Having difficult choices, even if all the options are enviable, is still difficult.”