When I was a child, I didn't know what the future held, but I could do math.
It was 1992, and I was 7. I picked up pennies from the ground wherever I found them. Some were shiny and new, they said 1992 right on em.
Some were brown and worn, and said strange numbers -- 1964, 1973, 1985 -- hey, that's when I was born!
Some even had wheat on the back and said even stranger numbers -- 1959, 1945, 1919 -- hey, that's when my grandfather was born!
It seemed strange to think that new pennies that didn't exist yet would say the strangest numbers of all -- ones we all had yet to live through -- 1993, 2000, 2018.
To think that I would witness that changeover from 1xxx to 2xxx. From that dark bedroom in 1992, 2000 seemed impossibly far away, another whole lifetime yet to live for that 7 year old me.
When I was a teenager, I didn't know what the future held, but I could use imagination.
It was 2002, and I was 17. I'd discovered this place, and its promise to contain everything. I read voraciously.
My world was school, home, my best friend's house, the movies, the mosque. It was a small world.
I didn't know what I was looking for, but I wanted to find it. All I knew was where I was was not where I was supposed to be.
I'd read the evocatively named articles on this site, quick glimpses of a first person experience someone else somewhere else was having. Perhaps they knew what I needed to know to get to where I needed to be. Every node I'd read serving as a single vector of the overarching mystery that life still seemed to contain. It still seemed like there was somewhere "out there" where things were really happening, where some discoverable secret wrapped itself inside an adventure I'd yet to begin. Could it be possible that this secret knowledge I needed was tucked away at the end of a path that started in the very same world of drive thrus, daytime TV and sensible middle class career paths? Was there any mystery in this world?
I am now an adult, and I don't know what the future holds, but I shape my part of it with my choices.
It is 2018, and I am 32. Serendipity leads me back here once again. A newish friend shared an oldish experience with me, here, on this very website, 15 years ago.
The world has become mundane. In this era of communication, it has gotten even smaller. I haven't gotten very far. And yet, when the warm breeze of spring greets my face and the sunlight does not make me shield my eyes, I know I am not alone. I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be. The mystery is real, and yet I know it.