This post is best read while listening to my theme song for last year:
Traveller by Chris Stapleton
I couldn’t tell you honey, I don’t know
Where I’m going but I’ve got to go
‘Cause every turn reveals some other road
And I’m a traveler, oh, I’m a traveler
While I was 37, I had so much to be thankful for, and also plenty about which to be scared out of my mind. It’s an undesirable mix, but one I must deal with, as do all of you. In some ways, we are so much better than what we have shown of ourselves in this past year. In other ways, we have shined brighter than ever and been the people we need to be in order to resist the normalization of oppression and bigotry and hatred.
A few things I learned this year:
- Inaction is unacceptable. That person you think you can help? That idea you have? That thing you think someone else will take care of? That vote you don’t need to cast? That piece of trash someone else will pick up? No more. That’s your responsibility. Just fucking do it.
- Change is hard; and harder to explain. We go through life fearing change. We are taught that change is bad. But change is inevitable, and we need to learn how to adjust and be more flexible and prepared for change. We need to practice writing and speaking and talking to people, so when change happens, or needs to happen, we know how to communicate.
- Permission is something you can give yourself. You do not need approval from anyone but yourself. Love yourself. Trust yourself. Do the thing you want to do. Learn. Adjust. Keep moving forward. And, tell your story.
- Travel is so important. Get out of your bubbles. Explore the world. Meet people who live differently from you. Learn from them. Share with them. Be kind to them. Be a bright light in an often dark world.
- Share your stories. We can’t learn from stories that are never told. We should all share more. In work and life.
- Focus is the only way to achieve goals. I spent too much time scattered over recent years. I’m still proud of the work I’ve done, but I look back at time wasted because I said yes to too many things and people, and never found a method for focus and prioritizing.
- Life is short. The boxes you have left with people you care about are finite. Choose wisely.
- Music. Such a powerful thing.
I’m making some changes. I’m being more direct and honest with everyone. I’m learning how to communicate better and be a better father and a better friend. I’m learning how to focus and be more generous to myself. I give myself permission to explore and learn and make an impact. I hope to hear similar stories from some of you.
Also, more music and dancing and laughing. That’s an order!