When I graduated college, and people asked me, “so what do you do?”, I never had a comfortable answer, as I mostly just sat in my childhood bedroom in front of a computer. Eventually I put all that computing practice to use at my father’s business, but only part-time and only for a couple of years. Later on when I became a professional software developer, I was comfortable with that answer — but the career only lasted a few years.
Why don’t I pursue a career in the traditional sense? Because I’m not compelled to do so. For instance, my mother works not for financial reasons, but to feel useful and to interact with people. I’m naturally very detached from the world, so I’m not motivated by much. Most of my life consists of my body sitting in a small room, while my mind explores anywhere and everywhere. So being outside of my room, engaged with the exterior world, takes me from my thoughts — confining me within a limited world I rarely appreciate.
In other words, I’m compelled to sit and think, and not much else. Everything about me has always imposed this outcome — my appearance, my personality, my preferences, my interests, my impulses. My mother would often worry about my solitude, referring to me as a hermit or monk, but she was projecting her own preferences onto me — she could not stand solitary sitting and assumed I must have been suffering — when it was actually my ventures into the external that led to much discomfort.
To be who I am seems to require my retreat from external interaction. Back when I was sitting in front of the computer everyday, I learned all I could about computing and networking and eventually programming, I had no external goal, just an urge to explore. But because of that, in my parents’ eyes at least, I turned from a pitiful hermit into a modern-day wizard, a priest at the temple of Dell-fi (Dell & wifi, ha!). Nowadays I explore the meaning of life and the path to happiness — I can only assume at some point I’ll exit my current cocoon, into a wizard of another sort.