### [[Making Peace With My Many Passions]] #Self_Awareness #My_Quirks #Childhood #Mental_Wellbeing As a child, I had many random interests. I remember a phase where I was obsessed with collecting sea shells, and painting on them. I had quite the collection. I remember a phase where I was super into collecting mail stamps. I had whole albums. I mostly just bought most of the stamps as packaged collections, through Majed magazine šŸ˜› But I also remember actually mailing "pen pals" from around the Arab world, where we would exchange handwritten letters, and sometimes send each other local stamps. I remember writing "magazines" that I would exchange with my friend next door. I'd write a magazine for him, and he'd write one for me (mostly "copy pasted" and collages from the actual kids magazine Majed. I also was a "cat person" .. I got many books about cats years before I ever had my own cat, some which I still have till today (the books, not the cats šŸ˜›). I remember one of my first episodes of depression when my parents let a cat I got from a friend, run away. I think his/her name was Casper. Mid teens I became very interested in aquariums and fish. I think it started with a turtle. When I get interested in something, I dig DEEP! I got books, researched the internet (at a time where even google wasn't a thing), and till this day, people are shocked that aquarium fish can life for a decade with the right care. I also got interested in scientific stuff. I asked my dad to enroll me at a "summer science club" .. I changed my mind after the first session because "we had to work on projects" but I wanted to "learn stuff" ... which sounds silly now .. but I guess at that phase I was more thirsty for information, not for skills. I had to pick another club that summer, so I went with the "music club" which got me dabble into playing the accordion. I did that for one summer, but it didn't stick. BUT, I still remember how to play the part of Um Kulthom's song "Amal Hayati" till today, since I had to memorize it. In grade 6 and 7, around the ages of 12..13 .. people would have thought I will be the next Bill Gates. I somehow, pre 2000 .. found a way to be SUPER good at computer programming, using a language called GW Basic which I learned through primary school. I remember creating a program that took my teachers by storm (it was a text based game/entertainment program). I remember being asked to exhibit as a school science exhibition where only those in higher grades participate. I also was an entrepreneur; at 13, I created floppy disk copies of what mostly is a useless program and tried to convince a bookshop that was in our building to sell it. I SOMEHOW managed to convince them. Needless to say, me believing that people will just buy a random game on a random floppy disk isn't exactly a lucrative venture, none were sold haha. Everyone around me was taking it for granted that I will major in computer science, which I didn't. While I was SUPER passionate about programming, and computers (I had my own website as early as 2000) .. and while I knew that I loved the field of computers and technology, I also was very confident that my relationship to that field is merely for pleasure. My career dreams and "professional" passion was Media. A big shock to many around me back them. In my early teens, I "discovered" my siblings' on camera talents šŸ˜› . I was around 13 .. 14 .. and they were little kids who I would use as props to create "TV Shows" that I would film using the family's camcorder. I would have a script, take "calls", and my "channel" even had ads. Also acted out by my little minions of course šŸ˜› Thank you Mona, Youssef, Waseem. I sometimes did radio shows. for those, I would hide under the bed, so it's sound only. Sometime around 14 .. 15 I used to look-up TV station phone numbers in the massive phone book, or by calling 181, and call the stations asking if they want "a tv presenter for the Children shows" and get told "habibi, kids shows are at 5 .. bye".. back then I only Had : Ajman TV, Sharjah TV, and Dubai TV .. even satellite wasn't a thing yet. I would keep trying every few weeks, ... I wish I have quarter that courage šŸ˜› At 16, I self-taught myself photography. Digital cameras weren't a thing yet. Dad gave me a film camera that he got through his business. And I took it from there. Months later I was teaching photography at my own high school, through an after hours Photography Club I initiated. Sometime around 16 and 18 I also, along with a friend, launched a "break time radio station" using the supervisor's announcement system lol. At 17, I worked with other students to make my first short film which won in a school film festival, I wrote and produced another one a year later. When I was 17, I wrote a whole short story inspiered by the back-then TV sensation, Who Wants to be a Millionaire. (ala The Slumdog Millionaire, but years before that movie was made šŸ˜› ) A year later I plagiarized a short story from the internet. Only geeks back then could test for web plagiarism. My "plagiarized short story" was a sensation at school. A fellow student figured out that it is not really mine, I denied, but my inflated ego got massively punctured. From that day on, I developed a very strong ethic against plagiarism. And an even stronger ethic for honesty and integrity. Also at 17, I think I did the first Tiktok ever at a time when TikTok or smartphones never existed šŸ˜› I lip-synched along with a couple of friends a national song during UAE's national day (I lived in the UAE till 18) Oh .. I was also obsessed with Diana Haddad. I'm sure I missed some stuff, and I'll update this as I remember. And what is crazy, is that I used to do all that FOR MYSELF. Social media, likes, follows, fans weren't a thing! There was a a time when people would do stuff because they ENJOY the stuff! That in itself was the goal. People didn't need to know that you did them. ![[meyoung1.png]] Why am I sharing this?? I lived an adult life feeling terrible that I have no focus. Society wants us to be ONE THING. Otherwise we are NOTHING. I could do MANY things, and I had deep knowledge and interest in many things. BUT with all that .. society still manages to classify this route as a failure. The self-doubts are terrible. You keep wondering .. what went wrong? But when I looked back at myself I realized that nothing went wrong! I have always had many interests ... and I have always been proud of them. But societal norms still find a way to fuck-up our brains. What I was proud of at one point turned into a shame. It was a very long journey with myself that I gladly overcame a little less than two years ago. I'm now proud of every random interest of mine, and the more the merrier šŸ˜ƒ I have, however, fallen for the "attention culture" .. I'm still trying to find motivation that does not rely on external attention, praise, and numbers. Today, I have many interests, including sciences in general, technology, health, philosophy, psychology, marketing, visual arts, anthropology, space, futurology, artificial intelligence, sociology, and more .. I learned that most people who made a positive contribution to our world .. were Polymaths. I also had the best parents who let me be whoever I want to be. Thank you Mama Sabah, Baba Hassan ā¤ > [!seealso] Related Thoughts > > Related thoughts will appear here when available. Published: March 1, 2023