It’s the day after Labor Day and it already feels like Autumn. Today is cool, overcast and slightly rainy. If I were still a kid back in Chicago, today would have been my first day back to school. I really miss those days – the anticipation of meeting your new teacher, all the new books, new things to look forward to learn (yes, I am that kind of geek).
This time of year also makes me wax nostalgic on my life. I’m rapidly approaching my 40th birthday and I’ve been thinking back to when I was approaching my 20th birthday. In some ways it feels like several lifetimes ago, and in other ways it feels like it was only yesterday.
At the time I was still living with my best friend and roommate – my grandmother, who I called Omi. She really was the best friend I ever had and I still miss her dearly. I was a sophomore in college at the time, and struggling terribly with school that semester. I took on far too much – 5 classes. The most challenging would ultimately prove to be Chem 112 (Intro to College Chemistry). Besides that I know I had a literature class, a German class, Political Science and something else I just can’t remember right now.
If you had asked me 20 years ago where I would see myself in 20 years, I would have told you that I would still be living in Illinois, having enjoyed a long teaching career, hopefully married and living in a house in the suburbs. Never in my wildest imaginations would I be living in Colorado, much less working as an independent consultant in a medium that, at the time, I hadn’t even heard of yet (and in 1991, the Web was still in it’s infancy).
What’s amazing is that 20 years later, despite all the adventures and misadventures I’ve had, I still feel like I’m the same person I was back then. Despite some of the more unpleasant phases I’ve gone through in my life, it has not made me more cynical or pessimistic. I’ve stayed true to myself and my nature and I find that oddly comforting in this constantly changing world.