From the hard to the soft sciences and back again

The trajectory of my studies is interesting. My early years were consumed with numbers. All I cared about was math and science.

Then I fell in love with a girl with an eating disorder (among other things), and decided psychology was the way to go.

From there I fell into religion. By graduation I had become a youth pastor in an evangelical church. It combined everything that mattered to me: I was able to help people, teach, analyze difficult texts, do public speaking, lead groups, and pursue questions that were too large to answer. Philosophy was now my god.

Then a dissolving marriage, a liberal turn, an inability to deal with my own problems. I run. I take a job in retail, spending the next 7 years doing hard, unfulfilling work. I let my capacities wither, my relationships crumble.

A friend allows me to help him in his remodeling business (which I love). This leads to a position in shipping and receiving in a small engineering company.

Now I find myself surrounded by people who are as educated as I once was, who do not take their training for granted. I am motivated again, and it’s been so long that I don’t remember what it is like.

Thus I found myself a little surprised: as I was reading about binary I decided to put down my book, grab some paper, and work out the counting from zero to approximately 50. In the left column I found myself making a basic mistake. In the right I correct it, only to make another mistake near the end because I was going too fast.

It’s hard not to smile when I see this. This is the person I once was, and is perfectly in line with all my philosophical endeavors.


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