Hey just-turned-twenty-six-year-old-you, I kept my promise. You are now officially back to your laser-focused introvert self. But, despite that, you’re not where you thought you would be. Surprise, surprise, you never will be – and that’s a wonderful fact of life.
Embrace it. Enjoy it.
Maybe it’s the physical manifestation of age, or recognizing too many patterns in your life to know that A rationally leads to B – but can also lead to C or even Z if break enough rules to make it happen and follow enough rules to not get into too much trouble.
I’m writing from a post-Bojack Horseman marathon (currently at mid-Season 3), with enough realities of life incessantly finger-tapping on your mental window late at night – or in my case, every vacant second.
What I knew at twenty four could’ve never prepared me for where I am now – still living under my parent’s roof, with drained bank accounts, figuring out how to keep my business from going under, undergoing counseling upon discovering my anxiety and situational depression, carefully selecting who to spend my time with and in a responsible effort to curb any paralyzing episodes, and still having a love-hate relationship with health and fitness.
That was bleak. Hold on, here’s take two.
What I knew at twenty four could’ve never prepared me for where I am now – obsessed with hanging out and learning from my parents slash mentors, growing at a rapid and overwhelming speed with enough tools at my disposal to whatever I need to do, running a business that was miraculously tailor-fit for me, finding solution after solution after finally undergoing counseling upon discovering my anxiety and situational depression, surrounded with the best set of friends who have gone with me through thick and thin, and still having a love-hate relationship with health and fitness.
The gift or curse of time spent is perspective.
I’m not raking in an absurd amount of money, I’ve dated more than I can remember, I’m not at my fittest, nor do I have a huge sphere of influence and power, and I still have a long list of bad habits to manage and get rid of.
But on the other side of the spectrum, my family has never been happier and united, I’ve never loved myself more than I have today, I’m no longer as clinically anxious and self-sabotaging, I’m more open to love and risks than I would ever admit out loud, with my pride incredibly diminished (most of the time), and my little sphere of influence that is my family, my friends and my staff has grown only deeper through time and effort.
There’s an undercurrent of peace in my heart that I’ve never recognized before – a profound sense of calm that carries me through every frequent storm.
I no longer have a clear set timeline of where I want to be at a certain age, I’ve already surrendered that timeline- not out of cynicism or laziness – but just a fundamental change of priorities.
I used to want to be on the list of Time 100’s Most Influential, or the Forbes Under 30 list, with a social media following in the hundred thousands, with multiple leadership roles in various organizations, living in my curated apartment, a Harlan & Holden wardrobe, with the annual calendar of living two months abroad every fall, having amassed a diverse set of skills, and a platform not just in this country but in this world to help others with their careers – whether through film, written word or with my voice.
Some of it may come true, some of it won’t. But that doesn’t matter to me as much as it used to. I’m less into the notion of labels and positions now, and I’m developing a hunger for action, impact, connection and long-term effects. This isn’t no wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am show anymore.
There’s a developing attraction towards respect, discipline, excellence, responsibility, humor and compassion – of running every step of the race well – and not torpedoing yourself to destruction or being lonely at the top of the hill.
What matters to me now is prioritizing what I can do today, the relationships I pour into, and the value that I create in being intentional and committed wholeheartedly to a few key items – which takes a level of sobriety, laser focus, smart work, persevering discipline, a humble heart, a compassionate mind, an unbreakable enthusiasm for possibilities, and a spirit-filled soul.