When I was a boy, I thought I’d live in space. I believed this with such certainty that I had a resigned acceptance about the things I would be leaving behind. Things as in possessions, in particular the many spaceship models I’d built from kits. I’d look at them before getting ready for sleep, thinking about my future life aboard a space station and being somewhat sad that they couldn’t come with me. There would be no room, I knew.
I didn’t know what exactly I’d be doing in space. At the time, I mainly wanted to be a teacher. I figured even in space, they’d probably need some teachers. Only a few, to be sure, and I hoped I’d be one of the lucky ones.
Life in space didn’t seem far fetched then. I was boy right at the end of the Apollo missions. The Space Shuttle was coming. A session I attended at a science fiction convention filled me with stories of mass drivers sending ores off the Moon and solar energy satellites beaming energy back to Earth.
I remember as I got older, and progress toward space seemed to slip, that I worried about having been born to early. That we weren’t going to get there in time, and that if only I’d been born in 2000, 2010 or 2050. If only then, I’d have been right in the midst of a space culture.
I’ll never live in space. I’ll be lucky if perhaps space tourism evolves and cheapens to allow me to visit, to have at least a taste of it.
I still get excited to read a science fiction novel where someone has written about how some company or private individuals have transformed things to let us escape the earth (Mike Flynn’s Firestar and following books are a great example of this). The books can fill me with unrealistic hope, for a bit.
I guess my life in space will remain that I imagine or experience through books and movies.