In Five Years

7 years ago
15 October 2012

Yes, that is a photo of me in Vancouver in October 2007.

Whether at an interview or talking with you parents, there always seems to be that nagging question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. Many people have a very structured life and can rattle off some big milestones, but many others including myself, have no bloody idea what they are going to be doing then.

This weekend I was scrolling back through years of pictures I have taken and saw what I was doing five years ago. It made me laugh a little. If you would have asked me five years ago what I would have been doing today, even my best and most serious guesses would be off by thousands of miles. I could have never even dreamed what I would be doing today.

I spent a bit of time this weekend digging up old photos, looking at past Facebook statuses, saved instant messages, and every other memory I have to see what I have been doing this week in my life the past five years, and my outlook on what I would have been doing today.

One Year Ago (2011)

A year ago today I was on the slopes of Mt. Audubon in Colorado with my new co-founder Joel. I was still in awe that I had quit my job only 85 days before and was working full-time working on launching our company in just under two weeks. I was also still adjusting to Erin no longer living with me when she moved away just a few weeks before.

My “Andrew Rule” trips for October 2011 were two separate trips to Salt Lake City to watch Utah football games, and an adventure to Duluth, Minnesota.

If you would have asked me what I would be doing this year, I would be crossing my fingers that I would be working for the company I had just started, and that I had just quit my job for. Oh yes, and traveling more.

Two Years Ago (2010)

It had only been a few months since my life had been turned on its head and I moved back to Colorado to take a job in Boulder after 73 job applications. During this week, I had just been accepted into the University of Colorado – Denver to continue working on my master’s degree which my new job would be paying for. I also called in sick to work on Monday so Erin and I could adventure to the Denver Zoo for a day.

My trips for this month were to Washington DC to visit the White House and accept my award from the Department of Commerce for the job I had quit a few months prior. I also spent a drunken weekend with my family in Phoenix at my cousin’s wedding.

If you would have asked me what I would be doing this year, I would probably tell you that I would still be working as an atmospheric researcher and hopefully going on some field campaigns around the world. I would have said I would have owned a house at this point.

Three Years Ago (2009)

I was still setting into working full time at the National Weather Service after graduating from my undergrad in May and being offered a full time job. I was very happy with having a secure job and a solid paycheck that would increase to over six-figures over the next few years. I was also ripping up asbestos tile and laying my first hardwood floor in the house I was living in.

My trips for October this year were a business trip to Washington DC to present the project that would eventually win me the award in 2010. I also took a crazy 5 day road trip to Northern California and back to see my little brother, with my first ever stop in Napa Valley on the way home.

If you would have asked me what I would be doing this year, I would probably tell you I would still be working for the NWS and be extremely settled at this point. I also would have told you that I would have completed grad school as I was taking the GRE.

Four Years Ago (2008)

I was just starting my senior year of college at the University of Utah and was counting the minutes until I would have that degree in my hand. I had gotten a job within student government and got to spend a day this week having lunch at the university president’s house. I was happy with my internship at the NWS and was starting to look at it as a full time job when I graduated in the spring. I also visited Oklahoma for the first time in my life this month to give a talk on the University of Oklahoma’s campus on water supply in the western US.

My trips for this month were not only the trip to Oklahoma, but also a road trip around the southwest visiting the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, and the Great Sand Dunes, before running away to my parents house because it became freezing cold.

If you would have asked me what I would be doing this year, I would have said probably working for the weather service or some other weather company anywhere in the world that sounded cool. I also would have told you that I would never want to go to grad school.

Five Years Ago (2007)

There actually isn’t much about what I was doing five years ago, but I was just starting to increase my hours at my brand new internship at the NWS. I was enjoying being a full time student at the University of Utah in my junior year. I also was living with crazy roommates in a house far away from campus and spending lots of time hiding away from them at Erin’s apartment on campus. Additionally, I was still actively “poking” a lot of people on Facebook still.

My trip for this month was my first full fledged road trip where we drove all the way from SLC to Vancouver, BC and back, ending with Erin extremely sick the entire way back from Portland. The trip was 3,000+ miles, 7 states, two ferry rides, and all in 6 days.

If you would have asked me what I would be doing this year, I would have had nearly no clue, but would have hoped to be working in the weather industry. I also, probably would have told you I would want to be living anywhere but Utah.

So there you have it, my crazy life in the month of October looking back the past five years. As funny as it is, I have actually kept most of my goals of not living in Utah and still working within the weather industry, nonetheless with a lot more chaos thrown in for good taste.

So where do I see myself in five years from now? Hopefully still in the weather industry and if I play my cards right still being the co-founder of an awesome snow forecasting company. Hopefully I will be making a bit more money to enjoy life a bit more (and buy a new car for road trips) and traveling just as much, if not more!

Then again, when have I ever known what I will be doing in five years.