Lessons and Legacy.

Within a singular week (and in retrospect, within a singular first half of a year) the exploration of options, the experiences of lessons, the successes of hard work, the travesties of loss, and the use of self awareness as compass has led me here: not a cross roads of ethics or decisions, not a “fork in the road” of destiny. No — a simple moments silence: where the noise isn’t turned off, but the channels just been changed.

Self awareness in principle is similar in approach just as the theory of a two week vacation: no one denies its benefits, everyone sounds willing, but deep down inside not many have the ability to acknowledge the challenges that underly. For me, self awareness has been a continual process consisting of a few key elements: the credit your gut deserves, the scars your hearts earned, your worth to have earned where you are, the ability to let go of imposed expectations and standards vs your own, and most critically: who you are at your core.

Although a lot of these lessons were given their defining shape from another source (shoutout to Gary Vaynerchuk), my perception of them have helped me have a larger value as to who I am. I am as much of a social butterfly as I am a recluse; I am as much of an entrepreneur as I am a drum beater; I am as much of an adventurer as I am a homebody; I am as much of a motivator as I am an oppressor; I am as much of a friend as I am an acquaintance; I’m as much of a lover as I am a user; I am as much of a judger of character as I am open to interpretation. These are my points of self awareness. And what I’ve realized over the past two weeks, and stretching that time frame even further, is that I have a personal ability to talk myself into all of those moods and circumstances as I do to talk myself out of them.

So through travels and the journey of self awareness, what are some of my personal gems that I’ve walked away with and hold onto? I’ll always cherish an experience over a location. Just because someones experiences are older and wiser, it doesn’t diminish the value of yours. If it isn’t solving an equation or answering a factual answer, never weaken your voice when giving your position or opinion — it’s only as strong as your confidence in it. Attraction can take many forms, can happen over different spans of time, and for different reasons: be open to all of them. People will buy into people, always. I firmly believe every successful person you can think of achieved that success through the participation of a team. Motorcycle racers, boxers, tennis players, politicians: they’re all singular individuals that parade success or victory, however there’s a whole world that revolves behind them and within them to bring them to that point. In the words of my incredible mother “we’re very good at ‘solid wall’ impressions: there could be an earthquake happening behind it, but the paint will show no cracks. The strong show the cracks’”.

Legacy. In the face of a tragedy that hit so close to so many people within a formal social circle of mine (including myself), I’ve found myself becoming obsessed with the theory of legacy: what is it that you leave behind that’s altered the course of the world, or of someones life, or the way of doing something? Of course there are always smaller lessons to be learned, and they’re simply short term substitutes for a bigger picture concept that I want to wrap my head around. You have historical, big picture legacies that have changed the course of the world forever: politicians, athletes, activists, historic figures. But for the other 6 billion people roaming this earth? I feel that legacy is eerily similar to life: it’s whats being created as life passes you by.

The beauty of maturity is that it’s like the ocean — just when you thought it couldn’t get any deeper, the tide sweeps in from underneath you and you realize how dark and black the bottom can be. I can see my opinions, my views, my objectives change as I try to swim a bit deeper: I hold onto labels a bit less, I hold onto expectations a bit less, I look for value a bit more, I want to impact a bit more. Maturity’s a great scope to realize that your journey- the lessons, the victories, the hurts, the triumphs, sometimes those are the legacy you leave behind. Sometimes, you live that path and those circumstances to finally find yourself THERE: that reality altering, focus blinding circumstance in your life in which a purpose, a goal, or a general existence become the main reasons for you to chase each breath.

I’m not totally sure what that will be for me. I can sit here in confidence and say that where I am right now is not where I’ll be later. That counts for this physical chair, that counts for this apartment, that counts for this state, that counts for this country, that counts for my job, that counts for me. Self-awareness: if I’m not surrounded by stimulation, if I’m not surrounded by the type of people that are searching for the same thing within and around themselves (and not the type created by substance or dependency- the type that once an idea grabs hold of you, it keeps you up at night) then I don’t need it around me. We’ve never lived in a reality such as today that gives us the ability to micromanage every part of our lives, almost to the point that we have the talent and the ability to manage it while simultaneously giving the impression of one direction while going another. In a world full of insta apps, 24 hour dry cleaning, Ubers, and the such: I’m looking for that one opportunity to work facing a singular direction, for that one idea that keeps me up at night. And if I don’t have it right now, that’s ok: what I’m living now will help me get to it and appreciate it later.

What’s another point of contention in all of this? I don’t want to do it alone.

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