This week marks the beginning of my 50th year on the planet. I'm not one to put stock in "milestone" birthdays (birthdays that are evenly divisible by 10) but some people find value in reminiscing and reflecting on previous decades of their life, and I'm all about the reminiscing and reflecting here. So, if this is the reminiscing and reflecting because I can now divide my age evenly by 10 then so be it.
While cleaning up some file folders I came across some notes from 2010, the time I was laid off from what I considered at the time to be my dream job (working for an open source company). The notes were the usual stuff I've written over the years: being hard on myself for not doing more, worrying about my career, and admonitions of buckling down and doing better. Reflecting on what transpired is enlightening. I got a new job and over the next five years I still struggled with not feeling like I was doing enough and wondering if I should be focusing on the things that I wanted to do. I felt like I never had time to do the things I wanted to do. I kept finding excuses.
Fast forward to 2020 and I'm sure there's a digitized piece of paper or a scrap in a notebook that says exactly the same thing I said 10 years ago. The difference though is I have made time. I wrote "The Mediocre Programmer" in the mornings for 10 minutes a day. I put out over 200 episodes of Open Metalcast. I helped my family through some difficult times. All the while I did it I still felt this urge to do more.
The difficulty with more is that more is never enough. You can't sustain more. The end-goal of more is the known universe and despite what science fiction tells you to believe you can't own the whole universe (Sorry, billionaires).
When I think about the overarching theme of the last decade one word springs to mind: "healing". This was a decade where I had my longest bout of unemployment yet, It's the one where my assumptions about who I am were tested to the fullest. It's the decade where I faced my fears the most. It's the one that brought me the most challenges and the one where I finally feel like I don't have to consistently prove myself.
It's the decade that bot me to think deepest about what is important to me and who is important to me. It's the decade where I let go of many concepts and ideas that I thought were sacrosanct.
It's also where I'm finding out who I am and saying "fuck the impostor syndrome, because I'm fantastic."
Let's just say that 50 is just around the corner and I'm ready for it. Buckle up, world.