*The following post was adapted from a fall 2019 private journal entry – which I’m sharing publicly here now for the first time.
28 Things I’m Thinking About at 28
Something about birthdays always gives me pause – almost as if it’s a biological reminder to reflect on my life – to give an annual accounting of how I’ve spent my time.
This year is no different – and in the spirit of the sensationalist, click-bait times we live in, I’ve aimed to present this year’s reflections in as thoughtful manner as possible.
So here goes nothing.
Journal Entry – 6:20 p.m. November 18, 2019
Transforming the errors of my youth into golden nuggets of wisdom and life lessons (so I don’t repeat the same mistakes).
Extracting more value out of life – both from my time & labor, as well as the little things.
Both wealth-building (present & future) but also why – I believe I have more good to offer the world if I’m financially independent.
4. Mental Hygiene
Practicing to live better mentally – less stress, more good vibes.
5. Physical Health
We won’t live forever. Both physical and mental self-care are critical.
This is a daily battle. But I believe it’s important to remain aware of the gift life is – and for what I have.
Happiness has been an afterthought to ambition most of my life. I want to enjoy my life in the present though. To live joyfully now – not just with hope toward the future.
I’m never as fully alive as when I’m in hot pursuit of something I must know or prove.
I want to be known – I crave to – as someone who deals honestly & fairly with others.
I’m at constant odds with my desire to reason & my capacity for being human – without the latter in tact, I’ve lost something of grave importance for living a full life, and for achieving my potential. Remember to be human.
I’ve spent most of my life figuring out who I am not – and who I do not want to be. I feel more aware and comfortable with who I am each time I make one more step of progress toward that.
I wouldn’t know what to do with my life if I didn’t carry an unshakeable belief that there is better out there – even if I can’t fully comprehend it.
There’s no sense in standing for anything except what I believe to be right – the world will try to screw us one way or the other 😉. So might as well be comfortable living with myself.
I have a default “all or nothing” setting. It’s tough to be at odds with that – but it’s also necessary to find and practice balance. Which includes being at harmony with myself and my emotions.
15. Friendship & 16. Family
What’s the point of any of this if we can’t share it with anyone?
We live in a time where being present is constantly at war with everything else happening in the world. I want to get better at prioritizing and cherishing the limited, precious times and opportunities I do have with those who are important to me – not just idle time together – but time well spent.
The world can be scary. The odds are not in favor of the good guy. And that makes it all the more critical to fight to protect our individualism.
We’ve all got shit going on in our lives – that does not excuse me from building others up. I wouldn’t be where I am had others not encouraged me. Remember to pay it forward.
Damn. It’s exhausting to feel like I’m always being a reactionary… I want to protect my sanity and joy by getting better at letting things outside my control play out before flying off the handle. Remember to breath.
It’s easy to take others for granted. I want to get better at acknowledging, recognizing, and communicating my appreciation.
22. Originality & Creativity
I have something unique and valuable to offer the world. Sometimes it’s hard, scary, vulnerable-feeling to put it out there. But it’s worth protecting that by persevering through.
Some days are tough. But nobody’s going to carry the water for me – and even if they offered, I won’t let them.
24. Personal Agency
I alone am responsible for my life, my actions, my choices, my words…and the consequences of those. No one else can carry my blame.
It’s not enough to work hard when the time we have is scarce. I must also invent my own way to prosperity.
Everything about being a man is part of the fabric of who I am – the good, the bad, the ugly. Masculinity is something to be embraced not renounced. Bridges and skyscrapers weren’t built by manicured hands.
My beliefs have been challenged more in the past decade than I ever imagined. I’m still working through the gaps – maybe I always will be . But I believe my life has a purpose higher than me. I can’t perfectly describe or articulate it. But I crave understanding of that purpose – and to be lost, wholly, in pursuit of it.
My capacity and patience for the mysteries of my heart have forever been tethered to my faith. In periods of spiritual stagnation, love has felt like something within my control – cold, distinct, in-form, and calculated. In periods of deep spiritual longing – it has felt totally overwhelming, fierce, and both entirely incomprehensible and far beyond my control and mental faculties. Yet, in spite of the ebbs and flows – love has revealed its steadfast qualities to me. Through its unwavering – and at times undeserved – loyalties from others. And thought it’s consistent, sometimes soft but never-absent calling.