A Short Origin Story — Part 1

It all began around this time last year…

I dropped out of university, moved out of my parents place (again), and swore off social media. There was no direction in my life.

I was lost.

Fortunately I’d been in this situation before, and part of me knew how to get out of it.

Breaking The Cycle & Cultivating Healthy Habits

I felt guilty, powerless, and anxious about life. My day consisted of coasting through work and distracting myself on the internet. If this sounds familiar, you know how hard it is to break the cycle.

The cure:

Begin doing one thing, every day, that encourages growth.

The rest will follow.

Reading (translation: a source of inspiration)

One day after work I decided I’d do something before my usual 5 hour internet binge. In my room was a box of books I still hadn’t unpacked, so I decided to start there.

The first book that jumped out at me was “Into The Wild” by Jon Krakauer. In true procrastinating spirit, I decided to just read a few pages before putting the rest of my books away. What began as a few pages turned into a few chapters, and before I knew it, it was 11pm and I still hadn’t made dinner.

Two days later and I finished it.

This began a dramatic shift from binge browsing to binge reading. I consumed books about adventure and perseverance (Into Thin Air, Endurance, Annapurna). The inspiration from these books began to manifest itself in another healthy habit…

Running (translation: testing my limits)

All those mountain climbing books I had read inspired me to get training. I wanted to conquer the highest peaks! But I figured the best place would be to begin out my front door and up the tallest hill in town.

It took less than 5 minutes before I nearly collapsed.

I had gotten maybe a quarter of the way up (it is a big hill), but I vowed to get further the next day.

And I did.

It went on like this all week. I ran every day, each time to near exhaustion. I ran until I couldn’t breathe. I ran until my legs became jelly. My body ached every morning, but I didn’t care. I just kept running.

Eventually I learned how to control my breathing, handle my pace, and grew more in tune with my body. I developed a route and began making playlists on my phone to keep me going.

After several weeks I was doing 5 km in 30 minutes. It felt amazing. Seeing (and feeling) the progress I had made in such a short time was great, but I kept looking forward.

Where was I going?

What was next?

Writing (translation: finding the answers)

Most days after work I began making small to-do lists that I’d check off that evening. It consisted of simple chores (get groceries, do laundry, etc…) that I’d normally put off for hours. I’d also give myself time limits to perform certain tasks so that I’d stay on task.

It was like a game. I strove to get through that list for the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

I also began writing down quotes while reading, or how something I read applied to my life. I wrote about my dreams. Soon enough I was writing down full journal entries about my life that day.

Writing is a curious thing. Things you’ve struggled with in your head become perfectly clear on paper. It’s one of the great joys I’ve had while writing.

And despite my personal growth over the past few months I still didn’t know what I wanted to do…

… yet.