Do you ever play the "now vs. then" game?
My mind is a little strange. But you probably knew that already. About 20 minutes ago it was wandering a bit and I found myself wondering what'd it'd be like if me now met me from 10 years ago and had a chat.
What might that be like?
It went something like this.
(I was a freshman in college 10 years ago.)
Then: Wow, this is so cool. I don't know where to start. What did you do today?
Now: Well, I went for a bike ride, drove some friends to the airport, got my hair cut, went to work, did a bit of consulting after work, came home, watched a George Carlin video, and went to bed.
Then: Is work fun? Do they pay you a lot? Are there cool computers? Do you have to wear a tie?
Now: Yeah, work is pretty interesting. Sometimes it sucks, but that's life. They pay pretty well, but living in California is expensive too.
Then: You live in California and don't have to wear a tie to work?
Now: Right. I can pretty much wear whatever I want.
Then: No shit? Wow. That's great. Do do have a girlfriend?
Then: Why not?
Now: I live in Silicon Valley. The ratio of available girls to guys is really out of whack here. As far as I can tell, they're really quite hard to find. It seems that everyone I meet is either already dating, married, or just not realistic. Usually they're married. And the few that are available and interesting... Well, I never seem to be able to ask them out.
Then: Oh. That sucks.
Now: You're telling me.
Then: Do you have a cool computer?
Now: I have, uh... (counting) ... 11 computers.
Then: (blank stare)
Then: I'll just pretend you didn't say that. What's this consulting about?
Now: I sometimes help small companies fix their computer problems or design software systems.
Then: And they pay you?
Now: Yeah. It's nice to make a few hundred dollars for a few hours of work. It helps to pay for my expensive hobbies.
Then: Damn! They pay a lot!
Now: Yeah, and it's really laid back. We met at the founder's apartment, had a beer, a cookie, and talked through their problems.
Then: You get to drink on the job? No way.
Now: Well, it's not what you think. Really.
Then: What's the expensive hobby?
Now: Flying gliders.
Then: All right! That means I'll get to keep flying someday.
Then: Hm. I don't even know what to ask next. There are so many things I still want to know.
Now: Well, I'm not going to tell you how to live your life. Life hasn't turned out at all the way I expected. But I don't regret any of it. (Okay, a few minor things, but don't worry about that.) You'll know what to do.
Of course, I have no idea what it'd be like. But that doesn't strike me as being too far off.
A lot has changed in the last ten years. But what's more striking is what hasn't changed. It's fun to look back. Especially since I'm no good at looking forward. "Where will you be in five years?" Beats me. Wherever life takes me.
Enough rambling. I'm tired. I have a big day tomorrow.
Posted by jzawodn at June 04, 2003 12:10 AM