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..