Crash! My glass of milk lurched across the kitchen table, spilling its contents on the centerpiece and dinner plates.
Over the summer between the eighth grade and freshman year of high school, I sprouted some four inches, and in the process, embarked on a daily struggle to calibrate my burgeoning limbs. On my way up from a diminutive middle-schooler to a moderately tall young man, there was a lot of spilled milk.
In the years before and since, there have been many challenges to which I’ve had to adjust, but fortunately none have been quite so clumsy or destructive. From moving to New York City for college, to finding a way to remain here working as a writer, I’ve actively sought out unfamiliar and difficult experiences—perhaps in a subconscious drive to relive that tactile achievement of growth I experienced as an adolescent.
Of course, it’s not always within our power to choose our battles. On occasion, providence deals us an unexpected trial from which there’s no option to shrink, and we must meet it head on, doing our best not to knock things over. These are the tests that make us bigger people.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons I was attracted to this industry. Beyond my lifelong passions for both audio and video, I’ve always been enchanted with the inherent challenges of their underlying technology. Like the bright lights of Broadway, high definition video walls and projection pulled me in, and I became inspired to understand how images make their way from computer to screen. Beautiful music played from powerful speakers, and I was compelled to learn what combinations of components produce the purest sound.
But here’s the thing: just when you’ve begun to feel like you’ve got the hang of how something works, there comes a new, better way of doing it. And like the unforeseen watershed events in life, there periodically happens a breakthrough so revolutionary it renders your accumulated expertise all but obsolete—and you have no choice but to step up and learn anew.
I’m sure all of you share in my affinity for this formidable nature of technology to some degree; otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this magazine. So ask yourself: are you comfortable, or are you growing? Are you clinging to what you know, or are you striving to become fluent in IT or a new programming language? It won’t be easy, but when you look down at where you used to stand, you’ll know it was worth it.