When I was in high school, people asked what I wanted to do in the future.
When I was in college, people asked me what kind of job I wanted in the future.
When I was in grad school, people asked me what career goals I had for the future.
Well, I never knew how to answer them. Now, though, I am getting a little daring and starting to let my dreams take shape as they are informed.
It looks like I will be able to continue working this current web analytics job for the next few months and possibly into next year. Metrics is a pretty interesting field and I've been able to utilize my information science background there. The projects have been keeping me busy and I've been able to work with some great software companies. I hope to continue in this field and in this area for a time. During the warm season next year, I plan to again volunteer as a crew member on the Spirit and to continue building up my skills as a sailor. Eventually, once I am skilled enough, I'd like to volunteer as a sailing instructor for the adult sailing classes on weekends. I really love helping others to make sense of new information. The key is presenting the information in ways that are simple, clear, and useful. Even a basic framework can begin to provide a learner with clarity and confidence in approaching that knowledge area if that architecture is carefully constructed. It's very much like good web design or good poetry. I just find that it's fun to help open eyes and doors to new concepts that seemed too distant or blurry before.
Eventually, though, if I could pursue my greatest dream, it would be this: to work as a sailor-educator aboard a tall ship. Ever since I stepped foot on the ships at Mystic Seaport, I've longed for the comfort of a prism glass-lit bunk among a crew of fellow sailors. There was just something about that place that felt right to me. There was a strange balance between myself and the space, as though I fit there. It was like being home, even though it was a completely foreign location. I've traveled to all sorts of places and lived in all kinds of houses with various families, roommates, classmates, and friends, but nothing besides home in PA has ever been quite like those ships to me.
So I am going to continue where I am as I am with that dream in the back of my mind. It will be the runner just ahead who unconsciously spurs me on to a faster pace. Perhaps I will catch that dream. Perhaps I will not. Perhaps God has other things in store. Or, perhaps this is the path God intended for me from the beginning of time. No matter what happens, I am at peace because I know that God is the one in control and that He cares for me. The merchant sold everything he had to buy the precious pearl (as told in Matt 13:45-46). I am in good hands. "And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:26).