“Are you okay?”
A lot of emails I got from friends this summer started this way.
I have to admit: not really. So I understood why they were concerned.
I’m 36 years old as of today.
I thought by the time I was 36 I’d be a lot further in life.
Do you ever feel that way?
I thought I’d be married at 27 but it didn’t work out.
I thought I’d be rich by 30, and I almost got there but missed.
I thought for sure I’d have kids by 35. Maybe I’d have enough money to retire or at least not work so much. And I thought I’d have done something significant by now: own a skyscraper in a big city, corner the cadmium market, write a life-changing book, be on Oprah winfrey with my life-saving invention. In the words of Lou Reed: “I just don’t know”. None of it happened.
I’ve always been a little early to the game and a little late to the game. Don’t ask me to explain that, but it’s true. In some ways I’m 80 years old and in others I’m 19.
Do you ever feel that way?
Some of my friends are married with kids, some are divorced. Some are happy, some are depressed. Some have had success, some have failed miserably. Some have died or almost died, or rebounded from an addiction, or become addicted. Some are sick. And I feel like in some ways, I’m just getting started while having lived 5 lives already. So maybe I’m late to the game.
But all we have is now. History exists only in the clues it leaves behind, in the things we grasp. The brain is like a puppy that needs training: “drop that thought! quit chewing on that emotion! don’t poop in that dream! it peed on my ideas again. darn puppy brain.” And I can choose: leave the puppy to itself, or train the puppy to do as I say.
So I’m not okay. My puppy brain needs training.
Actually, I think I’ve gone totally crazy. Time is too short to keep living someone else’s dream and allowing the puppy to run wild. How’d I get to 35 and how am I 36 today? I don’t want to be a slave anymore. Someone please stop this train. I tried to stop it but the train wouldn’t stop.
So I had to do something. And with a little help from a few people, I did.
I left the job that I expected would make me rich (the stock price says otherwise), I went all-in on a relationship that was in limbo and it didn’t work so I cut it out completely. I got rid of all my overhead – sold my home in Portland, Oregon, gave up my apartment in Boulder, CO, put my things in storage, and have zero-debt and zero obligations except to myself. Luckily I have some cash in the bank, an amazing family, and an amazing (new) relationship with someone I love.
And I have skillzzzz.
I’ve done a lot of things, helped a lot of people and made some people some money.
I’ve written about some things, and you’re going to be able to watch the rest as it unfolds real-time.
This is not a test (but it is an experiment).
I’m in mid air.
Everything has been building to this moment.
Because over the last 5 months I’ve been behind the scenes working on stuff while publicly bleeding my guts into blog posts and articles for other publications.
It’s no coincidence I’m in Maui literally running around the island going places where most people don’t go and talking to people most people don’t talk to. This is the gift to myself. A new start and part of a bigger life project (I’ll explain that one later).
It’s the turning point in my plan: from here on out I’m taking full control. As my friend Kash said: “I’m Calling Myself Out”.
From now on it will be “Before Maui and After Maui (BeM, AfM).”
I’ll still bleed my guts out for you to read, but I’m going to show you what I’m doing step by step. I’m going to become a source for you to see what to do and what not to do as I pursue the ideas I want to pursue. Learn from my success or avoid my mistakes.
Don’t know how to register a business? Great. I’ve done it a lot and I can show you how.
Have an idea and don’t know where to start? I’ll explain what I do and what I’ve seen that works.
Don’t know where to get a nondisclosure agreement, a licensing agreement or how to structure a deal? I’ll tell you what I use.
Want to go somewhere? I’ll share my favorite places and what to do there that may be off the beaten path.
Having a hard day? I have them all the time, and I’m going to share how I cope.
Just need someone to relate to? Read this blog.
I might fail at this. Some of my ideas won’t work. I might need your help at some point. I may need your couch (seriously).
Maybe this will help you take a step towards doing those things you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe it will make your life better. Maybe it will just make you smile a little bit. If that happens, I’d consider this experiment a success. At least we will share the human experience as the layers of expectation peel away and unveil the horizon of dreams being chased.
Some people won’t be happy. “You Can’t!” they’ll say. “Ha! That’s not a business!” they’ll taunt. “Who do you think you are?” They’ll ask. And that’s okay. I see them in the rearview mirror all the time.
What happens next will all be real and exciting and I just can’t wait any longer for someone to say it’s my turn. It’s always been my turn. It’s always your turn. You just have to start.
So I’m 36 now and I’m not getting off the train. I’m hijacking the damn train going full speed ahead to my own destination.
Just so you know: I’m not okay, I’m great. I’m refreshed, energized and excited. It’s now or never.
Thank you for the Birthday Wishes via facebook, texts and calls. This is my new beginning and I hope you find it entertaining. In the mean time, I’m in Maui and I’m going to play in the ocean. Happy Birthday to me.