The Worst Things I've Doneupdated Feb 2, 2023
I try to keep a general index on the things that I am the least proud of in my life. I find that by sharing these things transparently, I am better able to grow from them.
I have been in two serious romantic relationships in my life. My first relationship had a high degree of codependence that continued after our separation. My second relationship began with a bad power dynamic (age + career + maturity gap) digitally during the pandemic and also had a large amount of codependence.
These two experiences, especially the second, have caused me to fundamentally reexamine myself. I have spent a lot of time breaking down how my formative relationships with women and my observation of my parents' relationship influenced my understanding of what it means to be in love.
I am embarrassed by the duration of my life for which I used relationships as a crutch for my own insecurities and of the extent of the harm that I caused to my partners. I am deeply apologetic to those partners.
A major goal of mine is to be a secure and supportive life partner and father. I choose now to be much more intentional and careful in initiating relationships, avoiding power dynamics and codependency and focusing instead on who I believe sharing my life with will mutually benefit the most.
I've spent a lot of time reflecting on these relationships. It's really painful to me to have burned bridges and hurt people that I cared dearly about, but I understand that I was young and foolish and that I have gained significant wisdom and maturity from these experiences.
The seductions of attention, money, and power have held a strong grasp on me throughout various parts of my life. I have ended up wasting time and causing minor harm at scale through my tendency to gravitate towards shiny things.
One of the major ways in which this has manifested has been in the creation of "popcorn content" on social media. I believe that social media is causing generational harm and I know that some of the videos that I have made have contributed to this harm. I try to be much more intentional about making videos that will have a positive influence on viewers now.
I have also created and abandoned a number of projects that resulted in disappointment and wasted time and money for different individuals. I abandoned an effective-altruism charity video project where I was going to visit top rated givewell charities. I created a video game that wasted time and money for a number of people. While I believe in the "move fast and break things" mentality in general, I have seen firsthand the harm that it can cause and I choose now to be more intentional and transparent with my degree of commitment to various projects.
I can be pretty bad at keeping in touch with friends when life gets hectic. This was especially true during the pandemic as I ended up ghosting a number of friends.
I have been much more intentional in recent years about the relationships that I put energy into rather than deeply committing on a whim and then disappearing (as I did for many years).