My good friend Jonathan Brownell spent the summer of 2003 in Europe. Aside from being a creative programmer, an amazing musician, and a fantabulous juggler, he's also a very good writer. He works for Hewlett Packard and periodically attempts to encourage me to work in his section. I would, if I felt like programming was my calling. The annoying thing is this: I do better in programming than in anything else, and I find great satisfaction in it. Unfortunately, I also know what it does to me, at least in all the environments I have lived in.
Programming rips into my life. I know my problem. I love it too much. For a while, I am ecstatic, bursting with joy from the sheer mental challenge and the freedom of creativity, etc. Accomplishing goals, solving problems, coming up with solutions, tying things together, doing all the things that a mentally intense person dreams of. Then the long weekends begin to pile up, and the long hours begin to grow longer, creeping into the cracks between my relationships with God and humans, wedging them apart. And I begin to feel like a poison has entered my body, acid burning inside my gut. By then, I'm too deeply involved, too deeply needed to leave easily. And the cycle continues, at least, it always did.
Until I chose the path of a writer.
Anyway, Jonathan brownell wrote a really great account of his trip to Europe entitled "Wanderlust". The story combines photos of his experiences with plenty of insightful and humorous narrative alongside.