Last Friday night my friend friarpuck posted a thoughtful and provoking homage to his friends. I was one of many referenced in his post. That alone made me feel a bit special (but not in the “I need a helmet” way). It was very nice to be remembered by someone whom I admittedly have not been in contact with for way too long.
As Miguel had noted, we have known each other since 1996 when I went to work for X-Stop, a parental control and filtering company. I was there for roughly a year, but in that time we became good friends. It really IS amazing how porn can bring people closer. Those were some good times back then… When I left X-Stop and moved on to another support job, we stayed in touch. Mainly using ICQ, we’d message each other every now and again to touch base and keep up on life’s changes. Through 3 or 4 more jobs and houses, I’d shoot off a message at every milestone to let him know where I was and see how he was doing. We’d chat for a bit and end up getting involved in our own lives again and lose touch for a year or so. It is truly one of those friendships which stays right where you left it and is as comfortable returning to years later as it was when it had only been a night since we had last spoken.
More to the point here though is how Miguel was able to identify one of the main-stays of our friendship in words that I had not come to as yet. And he was right. We are both addicted to personal growth. While I have identified previously that I am always growing and in search of new adventures to open my eyes, I had yet to realize that it was indeed an addiction that has resulted in more than one friendship being formed. Like Miguel, everything I do is based in a search for self and identity. This is often my downfall in the professional world as I tire of a job once I have tackled it and know that I can survive and at times excel in it. A brief glimpse at my resume will show you the frequency of boredom with having one job too long, with the exception of my current employer whom I returned to after mastering technical support in a single person department.
I have a feeling that’s why Miguel enjoys coding… it is the challenge of finding new and more efficient ways of performing a task, which in and of its self may seem menial. But it isn’t the end result that is important; it is the process and elation of creation that keeps him coming back. It is the constant drive to excel and find that better way of doing something; that when he finds that way, he has found knowledge and a very deep personal achievement which may not be visible to anyone but himself. But that alone is not enough. Like myself, he wants to break the boundaries of stereotypical knowledge and become that jack-of-all thinkers as is evident in his second to latest post about Thomas Paine’s tract “Common Sense”. Being the student of life that he is, all knowledge is deemed valuable, no matter if it is agreeable to his own ideas. More to the point, is that he and I only have vaguely formed ideas which, while we will defend them to the death, are constantly changing based on our current places in the intellectual realm. If, by chance, a new bit of information is presented (or more likely stumbled upon), we adapt our respective ideas to allow for the addition of knowledge.
We live our lives for change. We seek out information (my guess is Miguel –still- has a number of Operating System disks that he will install every now and again just to “play with”) and test the waters with what we have. We spend way too much time on the internet because we have found the abundance of information available is just too great to ignore. Some may think our addictions are to the direct objects we interact with. This is not the case… the internet, our computers, even LJ are simply the tools we use to further advance our own personal understanding of the world we are creating for ourselves. Our personal growth is an integral part of who we are and, once identified, is easily seen to effect every bit of our beings.
So, to bring this post to a close… Miguel, I can’t wait to hear about your latest intellectual adventure… but in the mean time I will continue to search for my own and will let you know what I find. I wonder if there is a support group for people like us? Oh, wait, there is!!! It’s called MENSA! (Ok, that last bit was purely for comedic value and bears no truth to my actual ideas….)