Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Start With Baby Steps, Finish With A Sprint

I listed a few goals of mine in my previous post.  Here they are:

Become a husband.
Become a father.
Become a runner.
Become a competent pianist.
Become fluent in Japanese.
Be a lifelong leaner.
Become a systems engineer with a focus on space habitats and exploration.

None of these have been going all that well.  I've held off becoming a husband, and thus a father, until I was in the 'right' place.  My running isn't progressing as much as I would like due to several minor injuries.  I'm waiting until I have a house before I get a piano to play.  I'm having motivational issues practicing Japanese and have simply been listening to it.  I have been watching a bunch of video lectures, mostly on philosophy, physics, and such.  I have done little to move into a systems engineering track due to a myriad of dumb excuses. 

With a list like that, it becomes obvious that I'm taking on too much at once.  And I'm taking everything on by myself with little to no support for any of it.  Out of this list, I have one major supporter for running, thankfully the same person who inspired me in the first place to start running.  I have few enough friends to introduce me to women they know, few hobbies that put me in contact with women, and few enough social skills to seek women out on my own.  No one I know is into music enough to encourage me with much enthusiasm.  No one likes languages enough to truly encourage me in learning Japanese, and some even try to discourage me.  Very few I know think learning beyond high school (sometimes college) is worth much.  And those that know of my yearning to be a part of space exploration take it seriously.  While I'm no stranger is acting independently, it can get depressing after a while.

I'm not saying I need people to stroke my ego for me to reach my goals.  I'm saying that encouragement and the occasional helping hand would make the journey much easier.

Being out my inner philosopher, I have to wonder how true this is for others.  If I know a goal someone has, do I judge it?  If I judge it, does my support depend on how much I agree with the goal?  Aren't I supposed to encourage others in any activity they enjoy, so long as it doesn't harm others?  Am I a lesser person for this?  I'm not sure I have an answer for that.

Two weeks ago, I decided to suspend my goal of learning Japanese.  I've also decided to move up my goal of looking for a girlfriend.  Third, I also decided to take my lunar systems engineering goal a bit more seriously.  My search for the future Mrs. Matt's Journey will truly begin after my move this summer.  As it will take time to realistically move into a a systems engineering role, especially one that will move me toward space exploration, I plan on staying there for at least a few years.  My current career is stable enough I don't have to worry about that for a bit.  I have found a tiny studio apartment that will allow me to save up enough money to afford the down payment on a house.  Right now, baring any changes to my plans, I will be looking for a house this time next year.  It won't be all that big, nor will it be in the best of shape.  I want to spend some time fixing it up for if/when I do move elsewhere.

Having a house will give me the room I need to more easily build simple rovers and build up my credentials for my new career.  It will make it easier to start a family.  I can get my piano.  I can have a yard to putz around in.  I can even turn it into a smart house, which would be good practice for creating the control system for a space habitat.

Yes, I see the downside of having a house as well, mostly the extra hidden costs and increase of maintenance time.  The potential upside is a bit overpowering, though.  If I can fix up a house and increase its worth, I might be able to time it with a housing recovery and make enough to more easily afford a move elsewhere in several years.  There are risks, of course.  There are always risks.  But those who don't take calculated risks never have a chance to prosper.


  1. Good thinking...where is the new locale? Can I be a lifelong leaner, too (even though I am starting late on that?) Just kidding. Go confidently toward your dreams.

  2. Saginaw, MI. I'm already traveling there each week for work. While I don't mind occasional travel, I don't care for constant travel.