Today I posted to a Usenet newsgroup for the first time in over ten years. Actually, all of the postings I ever did before were in, like, a five day period right after I first had Internet access in the summer of 1993. For some reason, I sort of forgot about newsgroups for a while.
I have a rather unusual name. Or, rather, an unusual combination of names. I suspect that I'm the only "John Markos O'Neill" in the world. This means that when I Google myself, it's all about me.
So one day, after Google started archiving newsgroups, I noticed these posts that I made in a two week period in 1993 that I'd basically forgotten about. It was fascinating to look back on that time, which was both stressful and idealistic for me. I had just graduated from college and I was taking Organic Chemistry at the University of New Mexico, hoping to go to medical school. I hadn't started working at NCGR yet. I felt socially isolated. And I had just discovered the Internet.
Now I feel an interesting connection to that earlier me. Instead of being socially isolated, I feel quite connected -- marriage has really changed that for me, once and for all. But my unemployment means that I once again have hours and hours to ponder ideas and the future.
In one very important way, I have failed to meet the ambitions I had ten years ago. That is, I hoped and expected to become a physician at that time. In other ways, I think the 22 year old me would be glad to see the transformation into the 33 year old me. I think I am a happier person than I used to be then. Maybe I'm happier now than I've ever been in my life -- I think so. Thank you, Sara.