There are several kinds of people. For example, there are those who take a big-picture approach, have an overarching goal in life and try to work their way towards it. There are also those who take strides in all sorts of directions from where they are, trying to discover what they like and what they can do. There are probably more. Anyway, I'm almost certainly more the former than the latter.
Am I making any progress? I think so. I don't have grounds for complaints in the big picture, career-wise, in terms of friends, experiences or environment. In terms of relationships - I know what I like, what meshes well with me and am seriously looking.
Last summer, I had the first opportunity to experience down-under (not that down-under... what are you thinking?), Melbourne, Australia. I give a lot of talks about a rather unusual subject with a lot of social, technical, humanistic issues. So, I'm pretty used to having to explain myself over and over, and slowly getting into the meat of things.
One awesome surprise for me was the amount of knowledge and understanding that Australians from all walks of life seem to possess. That was true, even when the talk was given in a free-for-all event at St.Paul's Cathedral. No, not preaching... actually, it's rather surprising how happily the Anglicans invited a core agnostic into their midst ;-). You can see a photo of that event among the pictures.
My creative interests are broad, preceded and became the reason for my dive into science. A fairly new creative activity is composing and performing electronic music (see photo of our recent performance at DNA Lounge).
I am dead-set on improving the odds for our species, and that is what I do in my professional life. This is more of a mission than a job, and you could say I'm completely dedicated. Consequently, I run a couple of organizations, one non-profit that takes care of the big-picture work and essential networking, and a start-up that fills in some of the essential practical bits... literally on a neuron-by-neuron basis.
Of course, work can't be everything, because if you don't experience life then how can you appreciate its myriad parts and understand what it means to improve things? A little over two years ago I discovered that despite my unrooted multi-continental life from childhood through adulthood (I'm European by nationality, but that's about all), and despite my earlier hesitation about west-coast surfer-dudes, the Bay Area, and San Francisco in particular are the special place that I call home! If you dare to dive in, there is no way that living in SF could leave anyone wanting for experiences!
I could go on about dancing, kayaking, the desert, friendships in overlapping alternative social circles, futurism, travel, speaking engagements, writing, and so much more, but no doubt there are many other sections coming up that focus on these things.
I like to build strong friendships, be part of communities and organize events.
Friends have remarked that I am particularly resilient.
I am a science-techie type (yes, so common in the Bay Area), though it's very clear to me that our goals come from drives and feelings, while rationality is sometimes a useful tool to more effectively get from here to there.
I have had to become a strong networker and a leader of select causes. I curate a very ambitious project, which is a big-picture task. So, my expertise is really to be able to step back, look outside the box, understand bigger issues...
Above all, I try not to take myself toooo seriously. :)
I have been called intense, but believe me, when it matters that is a good thing! Look me in the eyes, and you'll see what I mean. :-)
Another top-of-the-list is Frank Herbert's Dune cycle.
A less well-known book that had an unusually great influence on me was "The City and the Stars" by Arthur C. Clarke. (If we go on a date, I will explain why!)
Films: I loved Kubrick's 2001, the David Lynch version of Dune... but also Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. :)
My musical tastes have varied and grown over the years.
My favourites for dancing are now in the Dubstep / Industrial genres. Don't believe what they show you in the youtube videos! My regular dance partner and I have invented a new manner of Industrial Partner-dancing that has flavor bits in common with capoeira, without quite as much acrobatics. I'm tickled to notice that some others have now also started doing it!
So yes, I do head to goth clubs (mostly DG @ DNA) where the atmosphere is good and the emphasis is on dance and not on grinding.
I also love music events put on by the music/art collective False Profit (www.false-profit.com)!
Aside from these, a constant in my life has been my love of Classical music.
I grew up playing instruments. My mom was - among many wonderful things - a ballet dancer and music teacher. I have been known to head to the occasional Opera. Seriously, those are best enjoyed in the intimate little theatre of Schloss Schoenbrunn in Vienna.
I'm not exactly a foodie and I don't have a specific diet. I do like good food, and I can tell the difference! It simply isn't something that I focused on - there were so many other things!
The proliferation of diets in the Bay Area has been a source of confusion as well as amusement to me.
Friends who are also confidants!
The love of family!
Something to write on!
Oh, and exclamation marks! :-)
Big-picture: All aspects of what it takes to give us all the option to be so adaptable that we can be significant contributors to all of space-time rather than just a tiny passing blip. I can explain... ;-)
Personal: Finding the person who complements my attributes and has the characteristics that I have learned fill me with love and passion, brightening every experience made together. Yes, that stuff is real. I got close, I know it exists.
Heh, you should have asked me about Monday night! ;-)
On a meta-level, I used to struggled with a tendency to consider possibilities to the point where I could end up doing the wrong thing in the short-term based on anxiety about potential future fall-out...
Long-term and big-picture deserve courage and are worth taking a few near-term bruises.
I've learned to keep a close eye on that - it is so good to be comfortable checking in with close friends and their insights when something seems unclear or unsure. Communication, people!
Oh yeah, I also admit that I'm a grown man who likes emoticons! :-)
A compact addition to our language that conveys so much... seriously, try reading the same paragraphs without them and see how different they feel!
You are self-confident and able to take care of yourself. You have ambitions. You are able to be rational, but not fooled into thinking that that is where the drives come from that give us our individual objectives. You have insights, but you don't think you know it all, or that you can judge everyone else. You may be technically inclined and/or driven to be creative. You love travel and new experiences. You are open-minded to many communities and interests. You are able to form deep and meaningful bonds with another person, and you crave an intimate connection that really improves experiences made together. You have an interest in the future and in shaping how that turns out.