The random ramblings of a French programmer living in Norway...
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  Retrospective thoughts
Thu 30th September 2021   
This text was originally published on my Facebook page, but apparently it resonated well with some of the readers, so I decided to share it on the blog as well.

Thanks for all the greetings1 🙂

So as some pointed out, I've done the first half-century, one more to go (will probably need some sci-fi level medical help for that to happen though), and apparently it's supposed to be a good half point to meditate about what has been, to embrace better the what will be.

There's been some up and downs, people I met for a while and some that I met and are still in touch today, like many of you that I've known for 35+ years in some cases (obviously not counting the family there 😛).

Some of you I met in demo parties, some of you I only met online, some I had restaurant with, discussed code, or even taught you how to code, or helped you on your projects, while some other explained me some stuff I did not know and gave me advices on how to do things.

Life is kind of an exchange: Sometimes you give, sometimes you get, and it's not supposed to be a zero sum game, so I don't value people and interactions by keeping track of who owns more 😃

From the perspective of a 50+ French male, my contact list would count as "diverse", because there are some people from pretty much all over Europe, USA and Australia, Asia and as far as Russia or some islands in the Indian ocean, but on closer inspection its still mostly biased toward the archetypal "White male working in IT", but hey, it's not on purpose, it's just happens.

Life choices wise, moving to Norway was probably the best decision I ever made in my life.

I don't hate France, I still think there are plenty of great things, places and people out there, but as a place to live, I've no idea how you French people can handle the stress (and the pollution) of living in places like Paris or Lyon.

I don't have children of my own, but had a few "by proxy", who are all grown-up now, and I'm kind of wondering how their own life will be, considering how volatile the world has become, at least from an economic and climatic point of view.

By being born in 1970, I'm in this interesting generation which is at the crossing from analog to digital, the migration from the local small shop to the huge hyper-market, from the residential house to the large concrete housing block, from the steady "I can work my entire career there" to the "expect to change job every few years" hyper-unemployment.

I remember the day when TF1 (the French first TV channel) switched from black and white to color broadcasting the children show "L’île aux enfants" (the Children Island), I played some of the earlier game console where you only had 10 variants of the same "pong" game with switches on it, spent coins in the Arcades to play Kung Fu Master and Galaga.

I ended up working in Video Games by a succession of events which can be traced backward from working on demos on the Atari ST, which I got as an upgrade from my Oric Atmos, which itself was suggested by my team leader when I was in the Boy Scouts 🙂

In the same way I ended up in Norway after deciding to visit in the real world the people I had been in touch with electronically (mostly from the Demo Scene), so I visited people in eastern Germany, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, and finally Norway in summer of 2004 where I spent three very nice weeks, and realized that "I could definitely see myself there".

And then of course, after I moved, I got these private message from some people I knew, who said they wished they could do the same, but they had their family, house, job, car, dog, stamp collection, and many other excuses.

Ultimately it's the choices you do, and with modern communication and transports, it's really never been easier to move from a place to another while keeping in touch with people in other places.

I'm still talking with people I worked with at my first work place in Lyon in 1995, and if you think about it, most people move from one city to another, and then don't see the people from the old city much more than if they were in a completely different country anyway 🙂

My take on that is that if you are asking yourself if you should do something, maybe you should just go for it:

It's better for your peace of mind to try something and eventually fail at it than never actually try and wonder for the rest of your life "what if".

And if you've read it all until there, well done, give yourself a big hug!

Have a nice day everybody 😃

There you go, a little break from all the Time Commando articles :)

1. I wrote that as an answer to the birthday messages I got.
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