On Friday of this week, I’ll turn 28 years old. That means that ten years ago, I was just a few months away from graduating high school. At that time, I had little to no clue where I was headed. I knew my parents expected me to go to college and that I had an interest in working with computers, but in reality I had no idea where I’d be today.
In retrospect, ten years feels like an eternity but also feels like it was just yesterday. When I consider what’s taken place, it’s clear that while we can hope and dream about where we’ll get in a decade, it’s pretty hard to tell. As I think about the next ten years, I wonder where I’ll end up. Will I accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself? Will I be living in the same area? Will I be alive?
Right now, my focus is on building a company around the education of software development. What’s funny about that is ten years ago I had literally zero programming skills. At best, I understood how to cobble together a website in Adobe Dreamweaver. Everything I know and do today for a living did not exist in my head ten years ago. Hell, it didn’t exist nine years ago! What’s exciting about that is musing about what I’ll learn and do over the next ten years. Where will I go, what will I see?
My hope is that I’m successful in building a company. That has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. In fact, I recall a friend and I coming up with a business in elementary school called “RC, Inc.” What did we do? Something involving Kawasaki motorcycles, if my memory serves me well. Our biggest undertaking was scribbling the letters “RC” on a beanbag toy which we promptly lost underneath a vending machine in the cafeteria. We filed for pretend bankruptcy soon after, never to speak of the company again.
Thinking back to this time really warms me up. It reminds me that, through all of the meandering and randomness of life, I’ve kept my sights on a single target. You could say I’m “there” today—I live on the proceeds of my own business—but I don’t feel like I’ve quite lived up to the image in my head. A custom office somewhere, chocked full with cool furniture and equally interesting people. Working on something “big” (whatever the hell that means). Instead, it’s me, my cat, and a whole boatload of coffee. Whether that will materialize into something bigger is a mystery, hinged on my willingness to push forward and get better at what I do.
And it’s that—the idea of willingness—that intrigues me the most. The drive to keep showing up, to keep working toward some infinite point. Why? Why not just be lazy? Why care? Why do anything at all? The only way I’ve been able to answer is with a simple shrug. Just like ten years ago, I literally have no idea where I’m headed or why I keep moving in that direction. Perhaps it’s in pursuit of that dream I had as a kid. Maybe it’s the universe giving me a nudge. Who knows?
All I know for sure right now is that I’ll keep going. I’ll keep doing what I do, in pursuit of the next big thing. Whether I’ll end up anywhere of merit—in my own eyes—remains to be seen. For now, I’m just going to enjoy the ride. I hope this website still exists ten years from now. I’d love to come back and re-read this, sitting at a desk inside that custom office.