Everyone spends their lives doing different things, pursuing different hobbies and making use of their time in plenty of different ways. I happen to enjoy reading, writing, photography, occasionally making videos and gaming. Especially gaming. I spend a crazy amount of time gaming, and I think the ‘Total Time Played’ counters on a lot of games are three hours away from saying Maaaaybe you should consider going outside now.
Sometimes, I admit, I start to doubt myself. I look at how much time I’ve spent doing these things, especially gaming, and I think to myself, look at all these hours I could have spent doing something better, something more worthwhile, something more productive! I work full time, I’m pretty happy with my social life, and I get a lot accomplished on the side, but when I see that total time played go up and up, sometimes I start to wonder.
But then I realize that I’ve spent every minute of that time doing something that I like. What is considered worthwhile is completely up to each individual, and I get a lot of fun out of the money I spend. I could have many more expensive hobbies, so I’m quite proud of this. Putting hundreds of hours into $60 games is pretty darn worth it if I do say so myself. But even that is a justification. I don’t need to justify anything; I have fun doing what I do, and that’s what makes it worthwhile. That’s all that matters.
So many people are concerned about what they do being accepted by others, as though their enjoyment of life should be influenced by the arbitrary stigmas that society enforces. That’s utter nonsense. Going by the adage of middle school girls everywhere, ‘you only live once,’ so you should spend every minute of your time how you want to spend it. Have fun, do cool things, do whatever makes you happy. This isn’t a popularity contest, and people being judgmental aren’t going to stop you from having a good time.
I know that I can get pretty geeky. I’ve had it used against me by people who have to start nitpicking at issues because they want to degrade me as a person in some way. (If me using the internet and playing games is the only thing someone has on me, I’d say I’m doing pretty damn well, all things considered.) For a while in my past I wondered if what I was doing was The Right Thing. You know, whether my parents would disapprove, whether people would think it was weird, etc. And this applied to everything I did, from playing games to career choices. But that didn’t last very long. I want to spend my time doing what makes me happy, not what makes other people happy.
The same goes for anyone reading this or trying to come to terms with their own ‘lifestyle choices.’ Do what you like and do what makes you happy. Your life is your own, so don’t let anyone else live it for you. Whether it’s winning a race, taking a great photo or opening the secret cow level (which doesn’t exist), if it’s worth it to you, then you’re doing The Right Thing. Make it so.