I was listening to a podcast recently where they discussed how we all have various “chapters” in our lives, often only seen when looking back on them. I thought it’d be interesting to see how mine shake out so far.
I thought they might be tied to each time I’ve moved, and that’s certainly a factor, but I’ve moved 11 times in my life and really only have five chapters. The number of moves is a bit misleading because 8 of them happened in my 20’s (moving out of home, with friends, to an apartment, then a house, etc).
Here are my five chapters so far:
1976 – 1988
Birth through sixth grade. In sixth grade we moved across the state, met new friends, etc. Also, middle school is a pivotal time in many lives, and that seems like good place to call it a chapter break.
1988 – 1998
This was the rest of the time I lived at home. We moved across the state again in the middle of that, but it was less of a major shift. I was already in high school and was active in track and cross country, so that move wasn’t really a new chapter.
1998 – 2002
In 1998 I moved out of the house and down to Georgia, met my wife a few years later, and got married. Certainly a noteworthy chapter there.
By far the shortest chapter, but we moved to Alabama for two years, had our first daughter, and then moved back to Georgia. A short chapter, but certainly a noteworthy one!
2005 – present
This is my longest chapter so far, but it’s seemingly coming to a close soon. With one daughter off to college this fall, and the other a sophomore in high school, things are changing fast. That said, I’m not sure that this chapter will have a clear end. Is it now, with one off to college? Or in three years, when both are out? Or what if one of them moves back home for a while?
I think in the future I’ll be able to look back and see it more clearly, as I have for the other chapters, but right now it’s very fuzzy (and that’s ok).
This could also be a fun way to look at our company. How does that break down into chapters? While each hire essentially makes for a “new” company, I think I can simplify into a few bigger chunks:
- 2005-2009: The pre-years. I met Ali, we worked together at a different job, and we slowly came closer to starting a company.
- 2009-2013: The early years. We started the company and it was just Ali and I for the most part, figuring things out as we go.
- 2013-present: The real company. In 2013 we got our office and made our first few hires, and it’s been onward and upward ever since then. This could be broken down a lot further, but it seems like a solid chunk to keep in one chapter for now.
What do your chapters look like? If you break them down, how many do you have so far?