Part of it is because I've accomplished stuff: I've shipped a web site and
2 products here at Microsoft, and that's a lot of fun. I find a lot of
satisfaction in designing and shipping something that's better than it was
before. My personal accomplishments: in the last couple of years, I
graduated from a tough Engineering program, moved across the continent,
bought a house, got a cat, learned to juggle, learned to quilt, learned to
sail, got engaged, made a bunch of close friends.
(for those of you so bored that you're interested in my boring personal
life, here's my fiance's page: http://www.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/u/relipper/
We're getting married in june. No online pictures of cat or house yet.)
Another part of my current satisfaction is that I've got plans for the
future: I'm planning how many kids to have, what to study if/when I go back
to grad school, what to write my first book about.
And the last part is that I like what I'm doing: I hang out with cool
friends that really understand me, and I cook good food for them whenever I
can. I like having a job that involves technical design and going to the
IETF. Oh yeah, and the power of the job. ;) I go sailing, play in
orchestras, play softball, sing in a choir sometimes. I read a lot. I
write philosophical email.
Isn't this all pretty horrible? Where's the angst, the deep feelings that I
used to have which drove me to write some (pretty good) short stories and
poems in high school and university? Where's the deep emotion to fuel my
artistic urges? I used to dread being old and boring. Why is it so damn
satisfying to be old and boring? Where's the danger, the excitement, and
also the fear and disappointment that sometimes go along with that? Why is
it that the things which were important to me a few years ago just aren't as
important to me now? I used to say I'd never have kids, that I'd be a
wildly successful career woman. I also wanted to be famous (now I don't).
But people change. Desires change. There's no use hanging on to old
goals/desires just for consistency.
(Ahh, an opportunity for one of my favorite sayings, which should be in
Adam's file but probably already is: "A foolish consistency is the
hobgoblin of small minds.")
I'm not saying I'm "mature", I think it's a process rather than a goal, and
I'd like to mature in other ways still. All I'm saying is that it's good to
be where I am, 25 and working on software and getting married. I've found
it's pretty easy to be happy where I am. I used to emulate other people
very much, but now I'm happier being myself.
To bring this back to the original topic, I'd be surprised if Rohit is truly
that unhappy being 23. I don't know Rohit very well, but I'll apply some
female intuition here with unusual bluntness: I think Rohit really enjoys
a lot of what he's doing. I think he has high goals and measures himself
against great people. I think he always pushes himself. He probably dwells
very little on past successes because he's always looking to the future and
future goals. I'm sure he complains about not achieving as much as he
wanted to, or as much as Newton allegedly did, but that's part of Rohit's
odd half-humility. Really, he thinks he's pretty damn smart, but has
realized that bragging is rarely popular. On the other hand, comparing
oneself to high ideals and stating that one falls short is quite socially
acceptable. C'mon Rohit, isn't that true?
Oh, and by the way, happy birthday if this 23 thing happened recently!!
From: David Crook [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 1998 10:13 AM
To: Jay Thomas
Subject: Re: Why Rohit hates being 23.
Jay Thomas wrote:
> I Find Karma wrote:
> > Much as I love Charles van Doren's book "History of Knowledge"
> > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0345373162/forkrecommendedrA/
> > , I've never read it straight through. I just pick a page and read a
> > little whenever I have a little time.
> I've got to second that. What a great book, I hate putting it down,
> and yet, I only have opportunity to read it on the T ride to work and
> home every day. On p.120 (Thomas Aquinas) now. I'll finish someday, if
> I get a job with a longer commute.
> > I learned from the book today that Isaac Newton before he was 23
> > invented four fundamental things:
> > 1. Proof of binomial theory
> > 2. Calculus
> > 3. Mechanics
> > 4. Optics
> As someone who is turning 30 this Sunday, who hasn't discovered
> anything more useful than the depth of my bellybutton, just let me
> say, "Thanks Adam". You've really made my day :)
Damn, I'm almost 29 and I haven't gotten that far yet. I'd better go a
ruler or something, I'm really falling behind.
Dave "Time to form a bellybutton depth analysis task force" Crook
-- David Crook Programmer/Analyst Commwerks -- Industrial Strength Internet Solutions firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.commwerks.com