30 Years

June 20th, 1986 I started a new adventure at a new job and in a place that would become home.

Since then, I’ve had an amazing career, traveled the world, married my best friend, and with her founded a non-profit that’s changing lives.

I’ve thought a bit about this journey, but I’m not sure what to make of it all. There have been successes and failures and many lessons learned — often the hard way. I can point to this incident or that decision and see some doors open as other doors closed. But what have I learned? How have I changed? It’s hard to explain that, or even to understand it fully myself.

Even as much as I’ve grown and changed, I know that it’s still difficult to separate my own notions and assumptions, or to really understand someone else’s. I catch myself proclaiming someone’s motivation. I think that I see and understand someone’s struggle, when I should wonder at their accomplishment, or just know that I can’t know.

If I were to put milestones in my own story, it would be easy to mark my growing confidence and focus in the early years at Silicon Graphics, or the fullness of the ideas behind Square Pegs. There is a thread connecting them. These have substance and weight in my life.

But anyone with a sketch of my story could see that. I’m inside it. Shouldn’t I see more?

Or does living this life make it more difficult to comprehend? Does being inside it effect my perception?

That date, June 20th, 1986, marks for me the beginning of my adult life. It was a small step, really.

Thirty years later, I feel like I’m beginning to understand. Small steps are what it’s all made of.

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