Most of the time you don’t really think about that. Most of the time you are busy just living through the day, worrying about some small things. Which pair of sweatpants to wear while working today? Maybe no pants at all? But occasionally a sense of clarity flashes upon you, making you remember that which you forgot, or rather didn’t want to think about. That, which you kept pushing to the back of your mind, as dealing with it is annoying. That, the knowledge that sooner or later you will die. Global pandemics make you remember it more often than usual, I guess.
You will die. And what have you accomplished? Some might be satisfied with their adventures so far, but I sure ain’t. I’m not even sure what I would like to achieve. What should I be doing? Where should I be getting? What is the meaning of life?
As probably most, I’ve spent time thinking about it. For a bunch of time, my conclusion was that the meaning of life is to be as happy as possible, for as much of your time as possible. To have plenty of joy and fun and minimal amounts of troublesome stuff. Seek out the good, avoid the bad. I’ve been living like this for a long time now. Working minimal hours, barely enough to buy food and pay rent. Spending the rest of my time playing video games and watching funny stuff on the Internet. But I gotta admit, this lifestyle ain’t doing it. It makes me feel empty. It’s easy to live by only following your instant gratification urges, but that won’t make me feel like I’ve achieved much in the end.
I recently reached a new groundbreaking conclusion that the meaning of life is not to do fun things at all. Instead, it is to do meaningful things. And the meaningful things might not at all be fun. Those things would matter in the end. And I could die without regrets. Unfortunately, I still have to figure out what those meaningful things to do would be. I have some ideas, but they are out of reach, because I’m too stupid and weak. Not even that stupid and weak, more like average. But the things that seem meaningful are pretty hard.
So the questions still remain. What should I be doing? Where should I be getting? What is the meaning of life?
I got into web development as a hobby in middle school and built a bunch of personal web pages. I loved building the things more than updating them, so I kept throwing old ones away and creating new ones. At some point, I wanted to start a new blog but didn’t know what to call it. So I built a tool that generated words from Japanese syllables. I ended up picking Furamo (フラモ) from the generated words. I kept updating that blog for around 10 years and the name has continued to be my online pseudonym.
Back when I started Furamo, I was a poor high school student, so I didn’t have money for web hosting. But my mom’s consulting agency had just opened its website, so I got permission to host my blog in a folder on that. So this blog started off more or less as www.someconsulting.com/furamo. I’m sure if my mom had been more savvy around computers, I wouldn’t have been allowed to host a teenager’s personal blog there. Fortunately, I got embarrassed about it soon enough myself and moved it elsewhere.
I was really proud of the crappy blogging engine I built, so I invited chosen high school classmates to blog there too. They didn’t write there for long, but later another co-blogger did. There was this one stranger who was a reader of my blog and also became a writer. Since she had regular updates and a bunch of readers like me, it felt like she was my partner in this stuff for quite a while.
Since it was 15 years ago and the Internet still had little quality stuff on it, you didn’t need to write amazing content to gain an audience. A lot of random people found my blog and became regular readers. Over the years there were many occasions when I would meet someone out drinking and they would tell me they know me from my blog. I found some good friends this way and even dated a few of those people.
It just kept going
I celebrated Furamo’s birthday with more enthusiasm than my own. For years it was a tradition to have a quiz for all the people at the blog’s birthday party where I showed a random blog post, and you had to guess which date I wrote it on. The one who missed by the least days in total would be the winner. One of my friends keeps reminding me to this day that he has this super ugly plushie that was given to him as a reward for winning one of those quizzes.
In 2010 a local flooring company replaced their previous name with “Furamo” and I’m pretty sure they stole the name from my blog. This blog was not online from 2012 up until now, but I guess I’m now back to tell people what the real Furamo is about. Not carpets. It’s about sharing ideas.
I kept developing the site, completely changing its looks and adding new features until at some point it was a fully featured Facebook clone where anyone could register and start their own blog. Well, its users were only my friends and acquaintances, so I wasn’t a real competitor to Facebook (or Orkut, which was our main social network).
While the blog had a decent amount of readers, I’d say its contents were questionable. I used it as an avenue to get rid of unnecessary thoughts and emotions. Some posts were cringy poems. Some were fiction. There were crappy self-insert superhero stories. There was also an overabundance of metaphoric text which I fancied a literary equivalent to abstract art. Well, I was young when I wrote all that stuff. But I still fondly look back to most of those posts.
Then it died
For years, whenever something interesting happened, I immediately imagined the blog post I would write about it. But as time passed, I started writing less and less. At one point, I was looking for a new job. A company that I applied to found my blog. I heard that after my interview they kept making fun of me and my blog at their internal meetings. I did have a ton of embarrassing posts up because I had always just written whatever came to my mind. I passed the job interview, but I felt humiliated about the whole blog stuff and didn’t join their team. Instead, I completely deleted Furamo from the Internet so that people wouldn’t find all that personal stuff when they google my name.
And now it is reborn
Now the blog is finally online again. I don’t really have any expectations for it, i guess I’ll see where it goes.
By the way, this post’s cover picture is a stencil I made of the imaginary personification of Furamo during the teenage phase when I thought graffiti was cool