I've had this blog since I was 18; the first post is from the beginning of my second year of college. In some ways, that was a long time ago; in other ways, it wasn't. It's been a bit over 5.5 years, though, and I'm feeling reflective today.

I'll often say I blog for an audience of one, which is my future self. And sometimes when I'm searching back through old posts for a link or a note I think I've put there, I'm struck by a phrase and think "ah, yes - and the future self I meant to write this for has turned out to be me, right now." Here's what caught me today.

First, something that's still very much true.

I’m not sure where people get the idea I’m organized. I’m really a massive entropy-spreading mess who’s developed a lot of coping mechanisms out of sheer desperation. --October 2, 2006

And then (with a spelling correction on "believe") something that has indeed been confirmed (in my experience) to be true - although I never dreamed that things like TOSW and opensource.com would exist back then. I thought I was just talking crazy.

I believe many unix/open-source development tenets are useful in engineering and business in general, namely small is beautiful, choose portability over efficiency, and use leverage to your advantage (meaning “don’t reinvent the wheel” and “build on / stitch together the work of others whenever possible”). --August 16, 2006

From right around the time I first met Greg and was told that what I was doing - what I'd been doing unconsciously for years, all the while feeling guilty that I wasn't spending all my time doing the "hardcore engineering" that I was supposed to - was community capacity-building:

Skills management. It is a problem. We are all learning how to solve it. This is a tough question, because conventional management training (I may be speaking wrongly, as I have little formal business training and have not read every book on the subject – but I’ve read a lot and asked around a lot) seems to focus on how to run things when you do have a chain of hired command. When you can’t order people to do things, you have to use other ways of getting things beyond your individual capacity to happen. How do you do that? --October 9, 2008

And something that still terrifies me to this day, and I think always will.

It scares me to be uncrippling myself. It is the right thing, and I’m much more… me, that way. Have more capacity to do things, good things, be a better person. And it’s dangerous for me to be that better person, because maybe because of something that I’ve unlocked today, it gives me the freedom and the ability to lash out and hurt someone badly. And I’d rather crush myself than have that happen. But I’d rather take the risk that I may have to do that later than to definitely suffocate myself, slowly, right now. --December 20, 2008

It's nice to see how much I've grown and changed (or haven't) over the past few years, and how much more infinitely far I have to go.