Where did all the curious people go?

I’ve heard people say they see “unlimited potential” when they talk about kids. When I was in high school, I had about a dozen friends I thought were so creative and curious and I interacted with about a dozen more.

Even in high school, these people were writing books, making videos, programming games, doing standup comedy. I was so sure we were all going to grow and do crazy, weird things that I wrote a list of who to keep track of.

The list is at least 10 years old at this point. I figure by now enough time has passed.

It is simply too early to tell for about half of them.

One them simply disappeared from the internet after high school. For the last 10 years, his friends and family still tag him in photos on facebook and leave comments, but he doesn’t respond to anything. No idea what he is up to.

Another I recall inspiring me to be more funny and social. He dropped out of college a few times and is still trying to figure out life. But a bit ago we collaborated on some music, he has such a great ear for that. I think in the future he may try more.

Another joined the Air Force academy and still has mandatory service. Last I checked he was on some secret military thing so he doesn’t really have time to do anything.

One who inspired me to try out new things and excel still has another THREE YEARS on his Phd. Looks like he is developing something to automate cancer detection. Not bad.

Several people have already been trying out things on a small scale

One makes lots of little websites. Looks like he and his brother run one for up and coming bands in our suburb. Looks impressive.

Another who was the very first standup comedian I ever saw is still doing funny things. He inspired me to try out standup comedy. He still puts things up on youtube although he seems to not share or promote it anywhere. Each video only gets 8 views or so. To be fair, that is about as many I get on these blog posts as well.

Another who wasn’t really on my list but I suddenly remember is running for local office in our suburb. I think that counts as something interesting and not just another cog in the machine.

I feel I fit in here as well. I’ve done some startups, I have this blog, I am trying out some other things like a graphic novel but they aren’t public or finished so anyone who Googles or checks up on me would probably put me in this category for now.

And then there were friends who have at least appeared to have given up

One extremely politically minded friend works for an airline. I don’t even understand his job title, but it sounds many layers deep of bureaucracy. He was always so active and volunteering for political events, I figured he would be working there.

Another really funny girl ended up becoming a nurse. Not much else to find online.

One guy I don’t even recall knowing, but there he is on the list. He is a history teacher now.

One close friend who inspired me to get into tech and coding and a lot of things really has a job helping kids learn tech. But he does not seem to have much of his own projects.

One friend actually went out and tried something and now I can’t find him online anymore

He inspired me to really get into music. I never got that good at it. But he had an amazing job and quit it to tour around the country. But the last post on his bands page was 3 years ago. Maybe the money was not enough. He’s back in graduate school now so we will see.

There were two people I knew who are really going all the way with their interests

One I did not put on the list but remembered. He was a quirky, curious guy as well. He made and sold his own board game for awhile. Then tried composing short movie musical scores. He spent the last 10 years trying out youtube videos, pranks, and being a pickup artist before making enough to go full time from Patreon in his weird niche. He invented this musical glove instrument and is touring the country as a strange robotic band. I have no doubt he will be big in 10 more years.

The other guy I did not even consider would do interesting things. He always seemed kind of normal. He ended up creating one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies and is now a thought leader in the space. At one point, his cryptocurrency was worth 400 million dollars.

After reviewing my list, I think it is a testament to how long someone has to try at being creative to get anywhere.

Life gets in the way. For many people expected and unexpected marriages and kids probably distracted them. 10 years is simply not enough time. I wonder if they will start things up again after their kids get older.

It is also pushing me to start on my own endevours more. I really focused on startups and my career the last 5 years and there are so many creative things I want to try. I have some videos I edited, and games, and comics books in the making. I want myself to be much more impressed before the end of the year.

I think I will also do this exercise again in about 10 years. I also met many many more creative, curious people in college and after that have already done crazy things and may do far greater things yet.