When I wrote, "What a Girl Wants" it was an enjoyable time to write about Silicon Valley. The nerd culture. The lack of social skills. Being right-brained in a left-brained world. But somewhere along the line, that culture difference has widened and it's hard for me to see Silicon Valley employees in a fun light. There's just a pall of melancholy to the area now. Everyone seems to live to work, not work to live.
When I grew up here, you could drive to Tahoe and ski. (Traffic makes that nearly impossible without three days off now.) You could take your boat out onto the San Francisco Bay (no one but the wealthy can afford a boat now.) People had fun and parties on the weekend. Now, everyone seems to stay locked up in their little boxes. I don't know, it's just changed and people are more weary, more private and far less connected. It's like we have nothing in common with our neighbors any longer.
Yesterday, a man committed suicide at the Apple headquarters. (I live a block from Apple for those of you who don't know.) And my heart just grieves that someone was so distraught over life here that they felt it wasn't worth living. I want people to know there is a world outside of Silicon Valley, where people still actually talk to each other! It just pains me that people here are so lonely. You can see it in their faces at Starbucks. When they build this new monstrosity, I fear people will be even more isolated. It's across from my Starbucks, and I seriously don't know how they think traffic on Wolfe Road will handle all these employees, but I digress.
I'm not blaming Apple. I'm blaming a culture where the pursuit of fun and happiness is not valued. Where being an intellectual from the best college is all that gives you value as a human being. We are so much more than that! I wish someone told this poor man that -- how much he was loved. How he could never be replaced to certain people on this earth -- no matter what he created, no matter how much he was "worth."
I think that's why I haven't enjoyed writing about the people I live near any longer. It's not fun. It's grown disarmingly sad. Honestly, when they hand out those giant paychecks to young superstars, they should just hand some prozac along with it, because success is so much more than a career. When everyone is racing to that next meeting, I wonder if they stop and think -- I hope they stop and think -- about what they're going to do this weekend for fun. Silicon Valley needs some lessons from its poor relations.