Tuesday, 01 August 2006

Six years

It wasn’t much of a first post, just kind of a “Hello, world, this is me…” sort of thing. Really feeble, looking back on it now. But it’s been six years; the blogging portion of my self is now a first grader. Though, given how rapidly the pace moves in the blogosphere, I’m sure we have something akin to dog-years multiplication to determine the “true” age of our blog-selves.

A lot changes in six years.

Since that first post on August 1, 2000, there have been four national elections, including two presidential elections. The first was bitterly contested, though even so, still showed the world how the rule of law can prevail and the change of power in a nation can be handled without violence and bloodshed. Our nation was brutally attacked on September 11, 2001, and a vast majority of our citizens finally realized the fact that we had been at war with radical Islam for more than two decades. I pray we continue to realize that fact, and what it means to maintain resolve for the next two decades.

Six years ago, not too many people had heard of Google, now officially a verb as well as a proper noun. Now, it has supplanted Yahoo as the number-one search destination on the Internet, though the latter still reigns as the top portal site. Microsoft has managed to ship only one new version of its flagship operating system. In six years. One.

Steve Jobs’ return to Apple has reversed the company’s fortune. Though our favorite fruit company may not be shipping any more Macintosh units now than it was prior to Jobs coming back, it has changed the face of the computing and music industries. The iMac. The G4. The G5. iTunes. The iPod.

Six years ago, the words “Macintosh” and “Intel” would never be found in the same sentence together, except for a Mac zealot excoriating the chip maker, or vice versa. Even more outlandish would have been the notion of a dual-boot Macintosh: one that can run the Mac OS or Windows. Pull that off, Michael Dell.

The weblog has become a serious element of what is called “New Media”, the power of the blog leading to, among other things, the exposure of Jayson Blair as a fraud, the ouster of Trent Lott as Senate Majority Leader, and, ultimately, the end of Dan Rather’s career as a major network news anchor. Web designers and programmers are able to do things now they could only dream about six years ago, as we witness the rise of “Web 2.0”. Six years ago, RSS (define it however you will) wasn’t a blip on anyone’s radar, and Atom wasn’t even a seed in the minds of its creators, yet today “feeds” are an integral part of the online experience.

Six years ago, I had one site. Today, besides this one, I maintain two others.

Six years ago, my wife and I hadn’t really been on a vacation in the previous five years. Since then, we’ve been to the Hawaiian Islands three times, Santa Fe, San Francisco, New York, the mountains of Arkansas, New England, and Wyoming. Six years ago, I was beginning to renew a love with photography, thanks to my first digital camera. My father planted the seed of this love, giving me his old 35mm camera when I went on the yearbook staff my senior year in high school. I was looking through my senior year book a month or so ago, and was fascinated by the number of photographs therein that were mine. Now, I don’t have to wait for photos to be printed to display them.

Six years ago, I was still in the beginnings of online friendships that are now deeper than I thought could be, having met, in person, these guys only a few times. Lee, Michael, Rob: my life is richer because of your being in it. I have invested in new friendships, and hope to grow some more.

Six years ago, a guy at the office was just a coworker who happened to be a fellow Christian. Today, he is a close friend, who helped me come in from the cold, get grounded and real about my faith. He helped me rediscover a love for baseball I had left behind in college, and has been a steady confidant. FranX, you embody the principal of iron sharpening iron, and I cannot tell you how much I value our friendship.

Six years ago we were in one house, in another city within the DFW metroplex. Today, we’re in a bigger house, in a slightly smaller town next to the city we used to live in. Six years ago, close friends from college were a fifteen-minute drive from our old house; today, they’re a two-minute walk away. We have new friends, who have changed our lives in profound ways, as we have witnessed the births of children, the failures in marriage, and the changing of jobs, both for them as well as ourselves.

Six years ago, my wife was on the road to partnership in a major Dallas law firm. Now, she’s working for the subsidiary of a Fortune 500, an in-house counsel with better hours and quality of life. Six years ago, I was employed by a Fortune 100 telecommunications company. Now, I’m three years past being laid off from that same company, the skill sets I thrived on there deteriorating as I struggle within myself to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I left behind coworkers who had become more than that, they were friends, and I thank God I am still able to keep in touch with them, even if for the most part it is through instant messages and e-mail.

Six years ago, my wife and I were beginning the long, hard road to become parents. Three years ago, we were handed a little miracle, and I mean that in every sense of the word: born nine weeks early, you would never know it to look at our son today. We are truly blessed.

Six years ago, we were still wandering in the wilderness of faith. We did not have a church home, and my walk with God consisted mainly of reading Christian literature and listening to Christian-branded music. Thanks to some of those new friends mentioned above, we now have a place to call home, and my own walk has been deepened as a result.

Six years ago, I was not as happy as I am now. I like to think I was pretty happy then, but in six years I’ve grown in many ways (while staying pretty juvenile in others). I am closer to my Lord, I am closer to my wife—my best friend and love, who puts up with and accepts me—and I am closer to friends, of which there are more today than before. I have this beautiful little boy in my life whom I love more than I ever thought was possible to love another human being.

Jobs come and jobs go. One career is left for one in another field. Scenery changes. Technology changes. The majority of the people in your life will pass before your eyes as if vapor. Six years ago, I didn’t have as clear of a focus on the really important things of life, and today I do.

A lot changes in six years.

I’m so looking forward to the next six.

posted on August 1, 2006 3:15 PM




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