Today's thread is a little more of a holistic mumbo, as the calm before the storm is upon us in 40k due to the rumors of a new edition around the corner (some may drop out, some will stay, some will come back from the abyss, take your pick).
The majority of us do not have such a blessing/curse as that of being a full-time pro 40k player and we all do have our own lives outside of our hobby or have other interests that will often be the main thing that drives us.
As of this moment, three things define me in the real world; saxophonist, psychology student, geek.
One of my running passions in the real world is my alto saxophone, and I do have a few of them (2 as of this moment, one in Malaysia and one in the US itself). I have been playing the alto saxophone since I was 16, and I have always loved the sound and the vibrant nature of a saxophone as unlike a piano, you can put even more 'soul' into your sound and make it your own. Every saxophonist have their own sound, and I do strive to get my own sound which I will say is an unending process as my taste may change, or my body will make that change for me.
The pretty one (a Temby Alto Custom) that is in Malaysia right now. Pure Silver lacquer and 24 carat gold buttons.
The Yamaha YAS-475 that I currently own in America.
So far in my quest in mastering my saxophone, I am now attempting to play the altissimo range for my saxophone and also to master really hard jazz pieces such as Charlie Parker's 'Confirmation'. It will be a bumpy and noisy road, but a fun one nonetheless. Besides, it is a way cooler instrument to play than the guitar and the piano and I also tend to be the center of attention whenever there is the topic of 'What musical instrument do you play?". Downside? I am sick and tired of having to play people's request for 'Careless Whisper' a.k.a That George Michael Song a.k.a Sexy Sax Man tune.
Another main aspect of my real-world persona is that of a psychology student. This one is somewhat of an accidental thing as I never really think too much about taking psychology in the first place. The only reason I actually knew of its existence as I once followed a friend of mine as he asked our high school counselor for some fields that he could major into, and one of the offered majors is psychology. To be honest, the field that I wanted to go into is the field of zoology but due to my grades not meeting the requirement for the field I am on a lookout for other things, and I remembered that psychology sounds fun. And BAM! I am now a psychology major and never regretted it.
It is odd how a simple encounter with the field itself actually allowed me to be in a field that I feel truly comfortable in as somehow throughout my studies, I always seem to incorporate psychology theories and stuff much easier than anything else and always seem to score above average grades. That saying, I always have a great yearning for the simple question of 'why people act the way they do?" as a result of a not-too-happy childhood and that in itself could have helped me in assimilating myself into the field. As of this moment, I am a senior and I plan to focus more onto the field of social psychology as I find that field unnaturally fun and practical.
Last but not least, the part that defines me the best is actually being a geek. This part I believe ties into my 40k hobby but can be considered as a distinct element in itself. This is because I tend to be a geek and also to a certain extent a nerd as I always like to incorporate knowledge and weird concepts into my mind ever since I was a kid. My mom even encouraged me to read whenever possible, with kid encyclopedias, comic books, etc. But the time I was 13, I have finished reading the Encyclopedia America and have moved on to the internet for my thirst for knowledge. It is in this capacity that my family and friends tend to say that I am somewhat knowledgeable and all the other words that is often associated with intellectualism.
As a result of this particular thirst for knowledge, I tend to have at least some working idea about most of the subcultures or I am already part of a subculture such as otaku cubculture, Whovians, military buff, and brony subculture. Sometimes my desire to know about such subcultures borders on the obsessive and I tend to remember or at least aim to be very familiar with any material that I have my hands on. This also translate to me being able to read about international politics and other scientific fields without even cringing and able to get a working knowledge of the world as some subcultures are linked with the scientific field and/or political movement of the world and allowed me to have a very open mind to the ideas of the world. Of course I will have to put my feet down to some of the ideals I believe in, but basically I am quite happy to try out new things or hear new ideas even if I disagree with them.
With that, I can conclude that these are the things that keep me going in addition to 40k, as they define who I am, what I am and how I came to be. 40k is a part of my identity too, but being overly focused upon 40k will make the hobby less enjoyable as too much of a good thing is a bad thing and I prefer to have fun with all aspects of my identity.