I look back now and I think, I really was doing okay. I'd thought that I wasn't, that I should have been doing better, but I was wrong.
I was living in Santa Clara, had a job tending server farms for one of the smallish companies that contracted out to retailers, was working with some good folks who weren't spoiled little hipster bitches that'd whine about the lack of Google-legendary job perks, was making decent money. Not a lot, but I could pay the rent and keep current on my student loans. I just wanted a little extra, so I accepted a headhunter's offer for a programming stint in a cryptology lab. Next thing I know, they're offering to pay off my loans if I do a little extra work. Then they cover my rent in exchange for a little more work. I'm halfway through that project when I realize what they're really asking me to do. I'm not testing SSL platforms for some Wall Street giant—I'm hacking into the logistics network of the Earth Defense Command.
I'd give it all back if I could. I wouldn't have just declined the offer—I would have run away as fast as I could. I want to give it all back. I didn't have a worry in the world before this, I had no real problems, no enemies at all. Now I have five, and I am so afraid.