Although published back in 2012, every day I come to realize the truth in Shawn Blanc’s words just a little bit more. Even if he does discount the vast majority of his own counsel as general life advice more applicable there than on one’s website, I believe he makes an unnecessary distinction in doing so: when you begin to take writing seriously and it ceases to be something you have to do and instead becomes something you not only want to do but need to do, it has transformed from a hobby to a way of life inextricably linked to the person you are today. At that point, both have become one and the same.
I coded all morning in a determined effort to finish a long-standing project I intend to write about soon. Although I planned to spend only a short while on this before moving to other things, I ended up using the majority of my afternoon to finally, after months of work, just about make this script feature-complete. It was not something I had planned to do, nor was it particularly enjoyable — in fact, at times I grew quite frustrated with my lack of progress, and often thought of quitting. But I plugged away at it, and now I am one step closer to finishing this project as well.
I have always had an interesting — if not unique — mentality when it comes to money. Rather than a thing to be desired, I have always considered money merely a means to an end. The physical thing is only worth possessing inasmuch as it allows me to do fun and enjoyable things with people I like. When I take my girlfriend out for dinner, I don’t see the twenty dollars I spend on a meal as the loss of that money; I see that twenty dollars as paying for a delightful evening spent with a girl I enjoy being with and really like. Or consider the days I take my siblings to the frozen yogurt shop down the street from my house. One of the last times I took them, my sister tried to pay. It was a nice gesture and good that she did, but it is not her responsibility, at twelve, to pay for her own food; I was there and fully capable of buying our yogurt, which I did. I exchanged somewhere in the ballpark of ten dollars for a delicious bowl of frozen yogurt with my sister. I did not lose that money; to me, it was an acceptable trade in which I certainly got the better part of the deal.