As ridiculous at it may sound, being awesome is the goal of my life. Yet there’s a balance to attain a level of awesomeness that’s not easy to reach. How do you pull it off without being too cocky? Unfortunately, there’s no instruction manual on being awesome as far as I can tell, so I have to wing it.
The most important thing methinks, is being yourself. Of course, this is easier said than done. Underlying the cliché phase of “Be Yourself” comes the existential questions: What is “yourself”? Is it the natural self? Is it the mask you put on to fit in society? If the self is ever-evolving, what is true and what is not? I’ve asked these questions for years. I found the sad truth that life is more or less shaped by the precious resource known as time.
So how do I manage to balance time, stay ahead of the game, and not burn myself out? I’m working out the kinks right now. The good news is, I’m finding my strengths and fortifying them in a way that works. Whether it’s trying out piano, guitar, illustrating, gaming, or studying languages and sciences. I’m somehow comfortable that one of my biggest strengths is this: writing.
On occasion I get compliments when I write. Whether it’s evals for work, editing a buddy’s e-mail for his resume, my grandmother complimenting me, or friends saying my words are well-written. It’s something I sometimes take for granted. In fact, I hate taking credit for writing and I often go in the background as some sort of mysterious ghost writer. Why? Because I love to write. In fact, sometimes I’ll go through an entire well-written prose, toss it, and rewrite the whole thing in a different way (in fact, I rewrote the first few paragraphs of blog post about 2–3 times).
How did I get this way? No clue. I’ve always had a knack for writing, and started reading 700-page adult novels by the time I was 11. I started my first web site when I was about 13, and before there even was such a term as “blog” I was already making content tailored toward specific interests. If I hadn’t been pulled from High School and steered toward a different artistic path, I might be writing articles for websites right now.
There’s the belief that once you reach a certain age, you stop learning. Your career is set and you will live in that path for the rest of your life. I’m not so sure I follow that. Age is nothing but a mere arbitrary number that signifies certain milestones in life (when you can drive, when you can vote, when you can drink, etc…). Yet you are who you make yourself out to me.
For my path? My future? I have a few areas I want to focus:
– Not making my job the focal point in life (Sorry US Navy…you’re just not right for me).
– Being able to maintain my lifestyle, while making room for expansion.
– Enhance my education.
– Maintain a creative outlet.
The first step, I’m trapped in. I have to wait another 10 months, so in the meantime there’s total control over how I dress and groom myself, how I eat, where I live, and when I sleep by people more “important” than me. Yet by allowing myself to not make it the central focus I’ve been happier now than I have been in the last 5 years.
At the same time, my current job has set the bar for a certain way of life. If it wasn’t for this job, I wouldn’t my own car, my own computer, phone, electronic devices. Going from the US Navy to Wal-Mart would be a huge step back financially. I need to stay at this financial level, or raise the bar with a higher paying job.
There’s a danger of stagnation not only financially, but with knowledge as well. If I don’t keep learning, I will run the risk of being obsolete within 15–20 years. If I’m an electrician in “X” job, what is there to say there will be a new piece of technology that I am not skilled in? Then what? So enhancing my knowledge, even in an unrelated area (such as coding/programming) can only be beneficial.
Last but most important: maintain a creative outlet. I like to draw, but I don’t consider myself an illustrator. I like to play music, but I don’t consider myself a musician — but I like to write, and I do consider myself a writer. In the next upcoming months I’m planning on some personal project to enhance my writing. Will I be the next Stephen King? Probably not, yet I do have a drive and a passion for writing. Whether it’s some random entry in this blog, a personal thought in my offline journal, personal observations in my many Moleskine journals (with my fancy fountain pens!), articles for some big blogging site, or a short story written up in Scrivener. I have the tools and the patience to push forward.
So does this all make me awesome? Hell yes! I’m just happy I’m able to figure shit out before I become some dude smoking weed having some sort of midlife crisis. Now I just need to push forward and get my research engine rolling again!