Computers, People, and the Fact That I’m Selfish

I want, I want, I want. Almost all anxiety and anger and relationship problems I have can be traced to me wanting something.

I want people to like me. I want to be stronger, tanner, taller. I want to be better at sports, a better writer, or a more prolific speaker. I want more Twitter followers, more Facebook friends, more blog readers and retweets. I want the new Silverstein cd. Oh, and while I’m at it, I’d like the Silverstein t-shirt that’s tempted me for the past 2 years (and for only $15, why am I not wearing it?!). I want to buy my girlfriend a Lakers jersey or shirt before the season starts. I want new basketball shoes before intramurals start. I want to own season 7 of Scrubs, season 1 of Arrested Development, and seasons 1-10 of Friends on DVD. I want new jeans, I want new socks. I want new posters, music, some nice cigars, ties, etc. I want stuff.

I want stuff ALL THE TIME. The only problem with all this stuff is that it is either impossible to acquire or it requires me to give up something that I rarely possess – money. And that’s the problem – sure, I can clutter my life with all the latest gadgets, cds, shirts and movies – but a few weeks later, I’ll just start the cycle all over again. The trick, I think, is focusing in on those things that you truly love. For me, the two most prevalent things in my life (and those things that are most likely to affect my future) are computers and people.

Computers have been a passion of mine for a long time. Currently, they occupy not only a majority of my time in school, but also much of my free time (though “much of” might be a stretch seeing as I don’t get enough free time to justify “much of” anything). I love just about everything dealing with computers, and I have since high school. I am much, much more likely to get sidetracked working on computers than playing video games, watching television, or even surfing the internet.

Take today for example. I had lots of Calculus II homework to do, and since I wasn’t in class, I decided that my TI-83 might help to move things along a little quicker. After a little searching, I dusted it off, put fresh batteries in and turned it on. Instantly my eyes were drawn to a button towards the middle of the keyboard: PRGM. Oh, the memories. Promising myself I would only be sidetracked for a moment, I pressed it to see a list of all the programs I had written on this little machine in high school.

Believe it or not, that little button changed my life. I knew that day that I wanted to make a career out of this kind of work. From that day on, I programmed games and applications every day – during class, at lunch, in study halls, at home and every spare second I could find. I was called everything from a nerd to obsessed, but I didn’t care – I LOVED IT. And what’s more, it was free!

You see, computers appeal to me in a maniacal way that people don’t – I can manipulate them, create an idea and mold them into what I want them to do. I can put as little or as much time into them and receive a directly proportionate amount of joy from the results. I can have a problem (even something as simple as boredom) and make something to solve it. And what’s best, the selfish part of me can come out saying, “I built that. I made it, you didn’t, I rock.” It might not be the best, it might not help anyone else in the world, but it’s mine and I’m proud of it.

I feel as if the most rare and important things in life are those that require your time. Let’s face it, we are not all equal when it comes to money. You cannot base the meaning of something by looking at its cost. However, when people put their time into something, you know it means something to them. That’s why putting time into relationships is so important. In fact, if you get one thing out of this post, I hope it’s simply that you need to cut back on all the stuff you want and focus on somebody – anybody else.

People are very important in my life as well. I like having friends – I like knowing that I have someone to lean on in tough times, people to love, and people who love me. I consider a select number of my Twitter followers to be good friends – they make me laugh, they get me through the day, and I enjoy chatting with them online about everything from graffiti to Laker basketball to fantasy football. Aside from my faith, friendships are the most important things in my life.

You naturally spend time on the things that you love. Like to blog? Then bust your butt to be the best writer you can. Way, way too often I’m locked up in all the things going on that I start to neglect friendships and do things half-heartedly. A lot of times it just comes down to figuring out what and who is really important in my life – prioritizing things, making time for those that I love and activities that I love. By all means, do what you love and enjoy it – but make sure you aren’t neglecting friendships along the way.

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