Another Change of Approach



I had a couple of birthdays a few weeks ago. I turned 26 at the end of September, and the next day was my 1-year anniversary with my company. Happy Birthdays to me.

I’ve been feeling this coming on for a few weeks, the nagging, the itch to come back to this blog, to start this again. I have a habit of trying to develop myself in cycles, of feeling motivation and going really hard at everything for a few weeks, but then the motivation drops and the difficulty increases and I get busy and I give up and about six months later I do it all over again. Or five months in this case.

I’d love to say that things will be different this time, that I really have my head in the game, that I’ll be consistent and rise to glory and all those things…but I don’t know that. 25 was a year that passed with few celebrations or personal developments. At 26 I’m now consistently stressed, haven’t put nearly as much effort into the things I care about as I claimed I would. I work a job that doesn’t make me happy very often, though admittedly I work with fantastic people. I’m fifteen pounds heavier. Some would say to get over it, that this is simply how becoming an adult works. Though I don’t believe it, I can’t doubt that it rings with a bit of truth.

If none of this sounds optimistic it’s because I’m not optimistic. I’ve been unhappy for a year (more than that, really), and it took me until recently to finally conceptualize that it’s not my job, not my relationships, not my writing I’ve been unhappy with. I’ve been unhappy with me. I’ve been disappointed in myself time and again, made mistake after mistake without feeling like I’m progressing towards being a successful writer or entrepreneur. Some of you might have known me in high school or college and thought me a bit…confident. I don’t have that confidence anymore.

In its place now is a bit of trepidation, a bit of fear, and a lot of humbleness. I’ve done everything someone is supposed to do at my age: moved out, got a quality, high-paying job, started paying off debts. And amidst that I feel like I’m backsliding. So, like the dramatic scene at the end of the action movie where the hero desperately claws for something to hang on to as he slides nearer and nearer to the cliff, I’m reformatting, changing my approach, grasping for a new mentality and dedication to power myself into a better self-image, a better position in life…to happiness, really.

When I look back on the last year I realize that, though I’m not in the place I wanted to be, I’ve learned a hell of a lot. I’ve learned how to put in crazy hours and how to stop putting in crazy hours when they become too much. I’ve learned how to be frugal and I’ve learned how to stop caring about the cash and have a good time. I’ve learned how to set concrete goals and measure progress and I’ve learned how to shut down and just let life happen around me. I’ve learned how to micro-manage and I’ve learned how to deal with letting a project grow its own wings and fly. I’ve learned how to give myself a break, and I’ve learned how to expect more of myself. Much of my growth came directly from the very job I felt was holding me back, and it’s been hard to admit that what has caused me so much grief has also given me so much. But now that I’ve done some growing in general (and hopefully some maturing), it’s time to realize that simply growing isn’t enough. I have to decide how to grow, where to grow, and when to make the decisions that will make me the man I’ll be for the rest of my life.


A couple nights ago I came up with a system to make myself accountable for the way I spend time, to allow myself some flexibility in the way I strengthen myself, but also to make sure I focus on the skillset that I want to grow, the strengths that I am proud of. I’ll be setting concrete goals, rewarding my successes and penalizing my failures. I’m going to push myself consistently, set realistic goals, and understand that with struggle comes success. I’m keeping the details under wraps right now, but I’m hoping to shape myself into someone I know again.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don’t know who I’m looking at. I feel like I don’t know I am anymore, I don’t know how I got here. But if I tripped and stumbled into this life, then I’m damned lucky. I have an amazing family, spectacular friends, a stable, challenging job, and, if I take advantage of the opportunities in front of me, the whole damned world at my fingertips. Because even though I might not be optimistic, even though I might not feel a ton of confidence in myself, I still see potential. I still feel hope. But I need a change of approach. I need a focus.

This blog will undergo a change of format at the next post. This won’t just be me venting about my life (though I can’t guarantee that won’t seep in occasionally). HTML will go back to its original purpose: taking back life. Whether it’s taking life back from indecision, mediocrity, stagnation, depression, addiction, whatever the matter is….it’s YOUR LIFE. It’s MY LIFE. Either we can do or be done, change or be changed. Sit back and let someone take charge of your life, or stand up and say, “Hey, that’s my life.”

I’ll be taking it back now.



4 thoughts on “Another Change of Approach

  1. I was just mentioning your blog to a long time friend tonight while simultaneously remembering I hadn’t heard from you in awhile… and suddenly an update a few hours later!

    What strikes me most about your post is the metaphor about looking in the mirror and not knowing who is peering back. A bit melodramatic but effective; though we walk alternate paths I certaintly have done the same recently. If anything, I am coming out of a dark time, to the point everyday boring life brings me more happiness. Without getting into details, suffice it to say that stopping these destructive behaviors has been a day by day process that ultimately has led me to a greater appreciation of simply being alive and still yet full of youth. Your words resonate deeply not with the facts and figures that copose the last few ,years, but with the feelings and spirit of these times. While this comment has been deliberately ambiguous,

    • And as you can probably tell I had more to say… that is I wrote a ton but it all vanished as my phone’s browser crashed like Bill Goldberg’s career post-first-loss. And at first it was disheartening to see all my words drown into nothingness, especially since I admire your writing, but it seemed like an opportunity as well; Sometimes by no fault of our own we are punished by fate and luck, and like how I’d argue both concepts are two sides of the coin, perspective can make all the differance. Despite the problems that you describe, your words resonate with many intellectuals of our generation, many buried underneath the weight of econmic disparity and/or joy derived from their work. We were told we could become anything we wanted and have become to realize thats way easier said than done. What I was originally going to say was that I was coming out of some dark days, and that the details are both private and unnessary; your words describe a dissonance with your own sense of self, yet deeply resonate with a my own experience. I have no insights to offer but I had to say your timing could not be more appropriate. I’m deeply distressed I lost everything I wrote. I had to take a pause after the anger of my loss set in to realize it was mostly because of my admiration for your writings that I cared enough to write so much and subsequently submit to frustration so easily. Mostly, thank you for bringing intelligent and insightful thoughts into my world; I simply have seen too many of my peers fall into an abyss of low wage work, drugs, alcohol, simplicity of thought process, and the mon

      • Monotony of everday life. Somewhere out there is a fellow soldier in the fight for reason, self-actualization, and the promise even placed in our constitution – that all humans deserve a chance to pursue a lasting happiness.

      • Wow…thanks for those kind words, Rob. I know the pain of composing anything on phone browsers in the first place, and the idea of recomposing lost text is even worse…that means a lot to me.

        I think we’ve been on the same page pretty frequently as life’s gone on, and I’m glad that the blog had made you feel less isolated. I usually post BECAUSE I feel isolated, but then I find that more people than I thought are still connected to me, even those I’d lost touch with. I think people all over are going through the same things we are, particularly those who feel isolated from their creativity. That being said, I feel a bit of hope for the future regardless.

        A popular saying as of late is “Life is all about how you call with Plan B,” and I think so many of us see ourselves as resorting to Plan B that we truly forget about Plan A, forget to make Plan A, fail to truly believe in Plan A or our ability to achieve it, and so our Plan B (or C, or D) becomes our life. It’s just like you said: being who you want is usually A LOT harder than we give it credit for. But there’s good in Plan A, and we can get there if we have faith in ourselves and determination to adapt and succeed. I know I don’t know what you’ve been through lately, but I think you can still achieve your dreams, you’ve still got it in you.

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