Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hobbies and Passion

I recently finished a small 1kb CPC intro for the retro Euskal competition. It makes me happy when I think about it and I am really looking forward for the end of the competition this Saturday night. The code of this intro (as with my recent CPC demo, Chunky Chan) was a very nice and smooth process (Chunky Chan was partially C code, while this intro is 100% assembly of course). I guess I have either become more fluid in coding or I am in a better mood for it.

Few days ago I met with two friends outside in the city and then we went to their homes and watched movies or played games till six in the morning. It was pretty exhausting the next day but really worth it. My discussion with one guy is what remained in my mind. He told me how he loved video games and how a passion helps you escape for a while from real life worries. He said "This is why we live for" (Για αυτό ζούμε ρε φίλε).

And then I remember this quote. These nice creative moments when I was coding this intro and tried to squeeze some stuff from 1700 bytes down to 896 (+128 byte header on the CPC), when I managed to finish it and submitted it, to the moment this will be out and I'll see all the other entries and I will read your comments on Pouet or CPCscene, those are some good things to live for. Those are the moments, especially the current days I am so anxious and frustrated with some real life matters (about studies or job seeking) and can't take it anymore, those are the moments I forget and live happily with something that is my own passion and means a lot to me. This is what we live for.

I am currently listening to some classic tunes in Kohina radio. It feels great and brings back memories. I remember a specific moment months ago when I felt relaxed and lay back and ran some classic AtariST demos in an emulator and one of them for some reasons made me extraordinary happy, I laughed, I then observed how I love the demoscene, that it is such a unique and special hobby for me, but it was such a moment of simple happiness that I still remember it. It has some bouncing 3d dotballs with such smooth animation that made me jump. This is what we live for.

And then I was thinking something else yesterday. I remembered many many years ago a girl who told me I should be grateful for having such a passionate hobby I can relate to, because for most other people this is a problem. Yesterday I searched in google for things like "I don't have a hobby", "Why can't I have a hobby?", "Do I need a hobby?" and I found enough questions of this kind (they weren't that much as "I am XX years old and I still don't have a boy/girlfriend" though :P) and people worrying about it.

And it seemed so strange to me. It seemed so strange because I never thought of this as a problem. I thought that one person can find a lot of interests, you can't just sit there and wonder what to do, because in all of my life I was having so much motivation for doing various things and I have only done a very limited amount of what I dream in life. Demoscene came naturally, it was computers and programming before, I had some passion for science stuff, space, looking at the stars, also reading stories about UFOs and such stuff. If I had never found the demoscene and never followed the programming discipline I could be studying physics now or be involved in astronomy as a hobby or maybe being one of those nuts looking for UFOs :)

What I want to say is that there are so many things I am looking forward with great interest, new things I want to get into in more depth, but it's not easy because I already have the demoscene, one big passionate hobby that eats most of my time. Having 2-3 hobbies (of the passion class) would be too much. But I do want to get into those other things! Thus it feels so strange when other people whine that they can't fill the time and feel bored eternally when you would like to have 96 hours per day to dedicate it to the things that interests you most in life.

I remember the days in my first job. Sometimes in the morning, while eating my breakfast and just before starting to work I used to surf on the web in various random sites, ranging from my programming hobby and the demoscene to blogs having to do with science or philosophy. I used to read articles (mainly simplified/popularized) on quantum mechanics or neuroscience or space exploration among others because these are some science matters which for some reason hook me up. I found them from slashdot at the time. Looking around the place to see what other colleagues where reading on the net, it was just the daily news and.. PAOK (a greek football team). Well, some funny guy near me was reading a forum about WOW and spent his time playing facebook games :)

But what is a hobby? Is it a leisure activity? Is it something that you do just to fill in your free time? Or is it a passion, something that you dedicate your life into, for a greater purpose, a feeling of fulfillment, creativity of great things, a thing of your personality? You know, in some of these questions I curiously seek in google to understand others position, I found things like "I tried this, I tried that, I watched movies for 2 hours, listen to some music, played a sport, read a book for an hour but I am here again being bored not having a real hobby". A friend told me that it's not just our creative hobbies that can take the form of a passion. One could make watching movies into a passion, knowing everything about movies, actors, history, etc. If he is hooked up into this, it won't be just a two hours leisure activity but he won't be able to find enough time for his passion. He will be in his job, waiting eagerly for 8 hours to go back home and watch the next bunch of some classic or cult movies and read every info on imdb. A movie-phile. It seems that a hobby no matter how passive or creative, how common or geeky, could either be approached as a simple leisure activity or a real passion that involves someone's true dedication into it.

Most people don't have a real hobby. And some of them who worry about it try to approach it from the leisure perspective which of course isn't going to fulfill their need to not feel bored in the long run. It still makes me wonder. Isn't there something that hooks you up so badly that you'd like to have more free time to dedicate into it?

I can't even understand what means someone's life to be boring. I am only using the word "boring" in situations when I am forced to do something that I don't want to for hours and I can only escape when this thing is over. But having plenty of time in front of you and not being able to fulfill this time with something meaningful? It's hard to grasp for me. However I should approach this situation not as something dummy but as a real hard condition I cannot grasp, the same way one cannot grasp depression for example. I guess I am on the outside now, staring at people with conditions I can't imagine how it would be to live with, in the similar fashion extroverted people would wonder about me at social situations. And then I realize that what I naturally have is a gift for most.

p.s. One thing. In the past, people made me believe that I don't have enough hobbies, that I am boring. When they asked me about my interests I'd say computers. They 'd say, emmm.. listening to music, watching movies, going to the gym, going for a walk. But those are things that everyone does in a lesser or great degree! I didn't consider them to be true hobbies that show who you are so I didn't mention them. I was boring because my interests couldn't relate with most people. What interests though? Leisure activities we all do at times? One passionate hobby compared to some activities one wrote in a form not necessarily because he genuinely is hooked to them but in order to show that he has many interests. That was the situation in the past. They made me believe I was boring. It doesn't seem like so..

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I don't want.

I am not feeling like writting this today.

Yesterday, changes have happened, I proposed new challenges to myself and I thought I adapt to them.
Today I felt so blue. I haven't felt so much before. I don't know why.
Maybe because there will be so much to do soon and sometimes I don't even know why I should bother.
Maybe because my personality which resides in my brain (no soul here) got scared of the changes and snapped it.

I know I am not making sense. But challenges are to come soon. And I don't know I am in the mood to take part in them. I don't know what to do with my life. I am angry with myself and some people. I don't know if any path will give me peace.

I don't want. Today. And only today I hope.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Dark feelings of the past

I forgot darkness.
I forgot when I took sadness and sorrow and transformed it into something else.
When I wondered why people like to paint their lives black and I could find the answer by looking into myself.

I realized that I forgot darkness.
And staring at it for a glimpse brought back memories.
I forgot self-pitty, self-victimization. The bittersweet feeling of taking your anyways awful days and transforming them into something heroic.

Maybe not. People hated us. We hated shinnyhappies. I am not an emo, a goth or any of those stereotypes. I am a simple human being who in it's worse moments constructs a more positive meaning (martyrdom, heroic, whatever) from all of negativity.

I realized I missed that feeling when I encountered it again. It's not only since I discovered the Zen that I have changed to the better but it must be maybe two years if not one and a half. So long since I last played the game of self-pitty. Of course Zen is the way now for me, I just found the opportunity to reflect back. Some old emails, some old history remembered, some of the old feeling to be absorbed by something I left behind, I even totally forgot I had left it. I just had some bad days and it left me so vulnerable and reminded my number one wish and fear, to not be insignificant, to be loved, to not feel like a failure.

I know that all these are just ideas, that one could feel content with himself, that you are chasing things all the time and never get rest, that you may be building stuff and then something will randomly break things apart, that life is dynamic. It's just the days and a lot of fear about real life in the near future and being exhausted by everything and angry at myself. It's just things that are happening, blows I have taken, things that will change tomorrow. They just happened in such a way that they brought that need for longing in the past affairs.

It felt stupid yet it felt unique, something in the past I was missing. One might look at other people and laugh at them but there is more than one world and we should pay attention to both. Even after finding Zen, I knew it wouldn't (and shouldn't) be the end, I knew there was still an interesting path in front of me, I knew I should try to travel back to my old habits and observe this time, live it, feel it, be it. The darkness and sorrow of the past. The big story I created about me.

It must be a long time since I last posted cryptic and sorrowful posts in this blog. I have moved some stuff in other blogs and all I post here is comics. Things have changed I guess. Now, take a blast from the past :P
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