Quotes to Contemplate for the Future

On and off, I contemplate my future especially in the realm of making a living.

I’ve been working in software since 1994 but I kind of wound up in it by accident. I had been an operator (“sysop”) of a bulletin board system (BBS) operating via phone lines back in the last 80’s and early 90’s. I’d also gotten onto the Internet back in the late 80’s as well. Those two things combined with an inherent geekness combined to put me in tech at the very beginning of the long boom of the Internet starting at Spry in 1994 doing tech support, eventually becoming a webmaster for the company and then moving into QA. I had begun to move into project management before I left Microsoft but my move cut that short and I was hired in the Bay Area for my QA background and skills. It is a year ago this week that I interviewed for my current job.

I’ve taken few risks with my adult life outside of my personal relations with people and my spirituality. I moved in with my girlfriend after college, we got married a year later and had a daughter two years after that. The next year, we were separated the same week that I started fulltime at Microsoft (which is a coincidence). Since then I dated and worked at the Borg, which I only left when I came here last year. In the meantime, I also met a wonderful woman and got married again in 2004.

I never got to graduate school like I had originally planned back in 1993. I was originally going to go for my PhD in Cultural Anthropology (which is what my BA is in) but the pull of living on my own and then not eating ramen for years got me into tech and kept me there. I amended this in 2005 when I started graduate school for my Master’s degree and I should be finished with my thesis sometime in the next two months (at a guess). The question is what to do after that. Do I continue in tech? I make excellent money and the work can be challenging but it can also be many iterations of “Let’s ship software!” (which sounds like with “Let’s make sausage!”). I could go do something radically different but the requirements of mortgage and lifestyle always make one afraid.

Contemplating this, a recent quote of Mark Twain’s comes to mind:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

– Mark Twain

It reminds me that I could do crazy things or completely change my life track. The question is to what and how?

Things worth thinking about…