Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins

I can’t really even remember how I came across this book, but it sounded interesting so I picked it up.

In Carrying the Fire, Michael Collins tells his story about how he got to be in the space program, and what it was like orbiting the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were down on it.

The book itself is sort of an interesting read, as it does go into a fair bit of technical detail, which I liked. That might be a turn-off for some, but I quite enjoyed it. I did get a bit bored with it half way through – a bit like watching a movie when you already know how it ends, but you still want to know exactly how everything plays out so you keep with it. The book itself really isn’t bad, and I’m not sure there’d be another story quite like it to compare it to.

That being said, it did get me thinking about a few things. Toward the end of the book, after his Apollo mission, Mr. Collins talks a bit about what he did after orbiting the moon. He talks a bit about the other astronauts and how they handled it as well. It must have been rough, knowing that you’ve probably just passed the pinnacle of your career – and possibly your life. This got me thinking about the following:

  • What will be the pinnacle of my life? Have I already reached it? How will I know when I get there? What will I do afterwards?
  • What do I want to be known for? What will be my legacy?

I might never walk on the moon, or I might never be the amazing rock-star game developer that I once saw myself being, but that shouldn’t stop me from doing cool stuff and being an awesome person.

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