Friday, October 14, 2011

My Journey: The Highlights

So what are some of the best moments of my life?  In no particular order:

During one of my two big backpacking trips, I remember standing at the edge of a cliff and staring out over a 10-20 mile stretch of mountains, valleys, rivers, and glaciers.  All sound receded into the distance.  For one of the few moments of my life, I fully felt I was part of something bigger than myself.  I was part of the universe, of reality, of nature.  All too often we humans try to separate ourselves from our environment.  I think that's a bad idea. 

Nearly two decades ago, I was rocking one of my infant siblings to sleep, likely my brother.  As his eyes closed, he gave me one last look of complete love and trust.  That little ball of potential had no concern of what his life was about; he completely trusted me to take care of things for him.  I have never found an adult who can give that look; there is always some doubt in their mind. 

During one of my graduate classes, we had to write a massive program throughout the semester.  To those who went through a similar experience, you'll recognize the Compiler course.  There were many nights I spent many, many hours in the lab.  It was one big solo (well, with a bit of help) problem solving experience.  To a programmer, there is an immense amount of satisfaction when getting a program to (finally) run the way you expect it to.

More recently, I have spent a few hours in a marathon call with business partners trying to figure out why something wasn't working.  Between their knowledge of the data and business log, and my knowledge of the technical aspects, we could work our way forward, pointing things out to each other until we either found how to fix it, or found that there was no problem in the first place. 

These may seem like minor things, but to me, these are some (out of a moderate number) of the best moments of my life.  I wish I could include getting married, holding my first born for the first time, or walking into my first house, but I'll reserve those for future highlights.

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