Its 12:07am on August 17th, 2010...its official, I just turned 30...
I am sitting at my desk with the window open and I am looking out at the moon lit black ocean listening to waves crash 9 stories below me while drinking a very refreshing gin & tonic reminiscing on the past 30 years of my life, that have passed so incredibly quickly...
My parents just got in town today visiting for the week and are fast asleep next to my office so I turn down my stereo and put my headphones on as I blast my favorite song EVER, 'Bittersweet Symphony' by the Verve (press play now as you read this post, it will enhance your reading experience :)
Its funny, about 2 years ago I paid 1000$ to go to a 3 day workshop and all the Forum Leader / Speaker said for those 3 long days was 'life is empty & meaningless'.
To say the least I felt a little ripped off, both personally and financially to hear that there really is no 'meaning' to life at all. But the more I think about it I am starting to understand what that meant (more on that later).
Its bizzare, seeing my parents today and remembering how when I was alot younger, my dad would always say 'son, enjoy your youth and freedom because before you know it you will have a son and a career with bills and responsibilities because life moves so fast...so ENJOY IT!" Thanks for that great advise dad (and also thanks for your great genes too! you are 68 & you look just 50 and now that I am 30, I still even get ID'd at pubs!)
But at the time I was too consumed with Nintendo and basketball to pay it any attention, but here I am, a couple decades later, and now I know exactly what he meant. I am still in total awe that I have a son that is already 6 years old! I am sure that all you other parents out there know what I mean!?
It feels just like yesterday when I was changing his diapers and building his crib! Now he is obsessed with Star Wars video games on his laptop, playing tag with his friends and also practicing basketball just like his old man :)
I had a dejavu moment this weekend when I was telling my son Ethan the same thing my dad told me, 'son, enjoy being a little boy, life moves pretty fast so enjoy these care free years', but being just 6 years old, he didn't really grasp the message...yet.
Ethan at 6 Months
Ethan at 6 Years Old
Through out all of the trials and tribulations of 'growing up' I sometimes wonder if other people felt as overwhelmed, confused, uncertain and conflicted about certain aspects of both the past and future like I have during these times of change and development.
Sometimes I wonder what the meaning of all this 'stuff' really is and what the point & purpose of this thing called 'life' is all about?
Ask yourself, have you ever felt like that too...?
Then I started to ask, does any of it really matter?
Or is it like that speaker said, its all just 'empty and meaningless'?
I have come to this conclusion, that our lives mean whatever we MAKE them mean.
We have the 'choice' of how we want to perceive our existence & experiences.
For example, I can look back on the past 30 years one of 2 ways, in awe, inspiration and gratitude of all the great things I have gotten to experience and feel blessed with all the amazing people I have met and developed relationships with....
I can feel unsatisfied, unfulfilled and disappointed with those exact same experiences that I have done so far.
Here is the interesting part, nothing has changed; meaning that I have the same results, same experiences and same outcome, but depending on the perspective from which I perceive all these 'things' from, depends on what I make it all 'mean' and how I feel about them...pretty deep I know, but it makes sense and I feel a certian comfort knowing that we each are in complete control of our life experiences; the good, the bad and the ugly.
I guess it comes down to seeing the glass as half full or empty. I have always attempted to see the good side of things, but its not always easy.
For example I have been hit with a TON of adversity, especially in the past 5 years, but those challenges made me a better and stronger person. I could choose to let them affect my perspective in a negative way, but I CHOOSE not to allow them to.
Its just like when people say, 'oh man, turning 30 sucks' that may be true for them, but I am STOKED about it. I see it as a new beginning, a fresh start and a new chapter to create a new reality that I can design.
Am I were I thought I would be at the age of 30? Well, to be honest, not really. There are alot of things I wish I had or have accomplished, but from learning alot of my mentors and friends I see now that life is a journey, and not a destination.
I find we live in a society that focuses on the 'past' and 'the future' too much instead of enjoying the present 'now'.
Also, I have observed that as a population we focus on what we DON'T have instead of all the things we DO have.
And hey, I am as guilty of this as anyone. I remember being in 3rd world countries with families living in shacks on the street and they were SOOOOO HAPPY, expecially compared to the over worked, and over stressed corporate employee who has it all, money, cars, houses, investments but has no peace of mind and very little happiness...
All in all, I have to admit, its been one hell of a journey so far! And to be honest, my parents always joke that I have crammed more 'LIFE' into the last 10 years than most do in a entire lifespan -
22 countries traveled, hundreds of cities, (many near death experiences and adventures) met and developed relationships with thousands of people all over the world, then immersing myself in a business world I never knew existed while most importantly fighting for my fatherly rights even through a 5 year court custody case to obtain my rights to co-parent my son. This is by far my proudest accomplishment, especially when 97% of other guys my age would have all walked away from that responsibility after all the legal and emotional hoops & BS I had to go through to ensure that I would develop a strong relationship with my boy, as I finished what I started and those 5 long & hard years were well worth it to be able to have the rest of our lives together as father & son.
Its been an intense journey to say the least - but I wouldn't have changed it for the world!
Now entering this new decade of the 'dirty thirties', I see that a few things have and will continue to change. For example friends are getting married, having (more) children, getting fatter, going bald, and complaining about work more and more...all that good stuff that comes with age, hahaha!
It really is amazing that last weekend my old college roommate & b-ball teammate just got married! it still feels like just last month I moved away from home after high school to go away to college...and now here we are, 12 years later, married with children!
Remember, all you other 30 somethings out there who feel you are missing out on marriage or the whole 'dating scene', let me tell you this, there is no perfect partner 'out there' besides the perfect you already in you...
Since I have been single and dating alot, its kind of sad seeing how many people feel the need to 'be' with someone, almost anyone. I guess its because most people don't have a strong relationship with themselves and feel the need to fill that void elsewhere. I have a ring that a friend game me that says "Perfect, Whole & Complete' and that is each of us are as humans...
I will leave you with this 8 second clip from my hero, Ferris Bueller that says it all
All I have to say to wrap this decade up is that "20 is the new 30 and life is like wine, the older we get, the better we get."
Its true so far, for example today on my Bday I already did hot yoga, infrared sauna at the spa, played Bball, worked out, hit the hottub, had a great lunch and dinner with friends and family and ended the day with a great massage! I can't ask for a better day than that!
Now I am packing up to to go to Tofino on Vancouver Island to surf and camp for a week just me and my dad :)
Life is good!! (not 'empty and meaningless':)
Thanks to all my friends and family who called, texted, emailed and Facebooked me to wish me a happy 30th, thanks for your words, I really appreciate it and I really appreciate all of YOU!
Much LOVE from your '30 Something' year old blogger,
(a girlfriend of mine gave me that necklace & flower to take that picture - Good Times :)
Onward & Upward,