What's on your list?
A rough sketch of mine, at this current moment, is:
- Have fun with writing code. Experiment. Play.
- Get code written for various hobby project ideas.
- Do mathematics research.
- Have close friends and feel a part of a community.
- Spend plenty of time with family and at home.
- Learn. Do art. Read. Write. Try new things.
- Help others. Give back. Try to impact the world in positive ways.
Those are things that make me happy. That make me feel like I'm living. Everyone is different! And the list is also evolving.
I met with someone the other week and what they told me stuck in my head: "Try to live the life you want to live as soon as you can, because you may be completely wrong about what you actually want."
A couple months ago I took some time off to live closer to the life I thought I wanted to live. I was extremely fortunate to be able to try this. I lived in a small town, far removed from all big cities, on the coast for a while. It was beautiful and peaceful.
I realized that that was wonderful, but I was even happier in the city, surrounded by people, actively working with tech and on things I love.
After a while, I also ended up needing some more money coming in. As I dived into the world of business and finding contracts, I realized that I wanted to make business as close to #4 on the list as possible. Many people need help on projects, and many people make money off of them and are able to pay for work. This doesn't change the fact that I'm still working with a human. I try my hardest to make friends with everyone, to work with good people I love, and to build relationships based on mutual respect and caring and trust.
It also happens that I can do a lot of projects from home, which helps with #5.
And no matter what, I'm trying to always make time for research and learning. There are breaks between contracts and I can set my schedule, so I have no excuse not to explore!
These are just a few ways I try to get closer to living the life I think I want right now.
We create our lives, and it's important to analyze what makes us happy. I have a feeling happiness is an iterative process-- not something you can really work toward and then have "made it," but something you're always trying at and improving.
Creativity in how we live life is important. Maybe we can make our full-time jobs better-- working from home more, taking time for research, working with great people, whatever may be possible. Maybe it's not that hard to start a business like I'm doing. Maybe there are even better ways of living life-- making enough money to survive while striving for everything in our lists.
It's something I'm always thinking about.