This post's goal is a personal record taking. This is the first step in the evolution of a new personal site focusing on the experimentation and combination of creative writing, design, photography, and use of technology. I'll be using these articles as ways to discuss not only these areas but also movies, science, television, automobiles, and my other personal interests.
Lessons Learned from 2013 and the Goals for 2014
Sitting in a cold New Jersey winter basement, listening to the tranquil & inspiring sounds of the Oblivion soundtrack, I've taken the opportunity to look back on what exactly 2013 left me with - choices, freedom, incentives, and reflection.
For the first time in over a decade, my path ahead is blanketed in fog the best French fog lights couldn't pierce. The combination of finding myself without employment, a website taken out by random hacking, and not sure where I geographically want to live my life has thoroughly shaken the foundations of everything I thought worth building up towards. What a fantastic and all together horrifying feeling this was. How often are you granted the chance to really gauge and reaccess your priorities, put these thoughts into motion, and all while having to keep everyting else from falling apart. I love a challenge like this, especially those that bring along such epiphany.
Lesson OneWhere is Home
There's a long list of people in this world who have asked the question before. Where, or even what is home? Is home where you grew up? Where you take your boots off? Where your cats friends are? Where your dreams take you? Why should home be defined as one thing, one place? My old way of thinking about home was a very black and white concept. Only one place may have the title. Home could only be where I grew up, where my family lives, or where my mailing address says I live. This feels a bit far down the Sith path to me now. Too much dealing in absolutes.
My first goal may be the easiest: Keep living and working in Orlando.
There are too many opportunities, too much left to do, and even more so- too many people I would miss leaving right now. Orlando is a great up and coming city with a great new wash of activities for the young at heart to enjoy. New York City is in close proximity to where I live now, but Orlando makes enjoying life a whole lot easier. Orlando doesn't suck.
Lesson TwoFriends are Everything
Off the heels of talking about home, friends have to come in. People have always said that you will learn who your true friends are when you need friends the most. This couldn't have been more true as the past year wrapped up in all of its horrendous implosion of circumstances.
I'm an introvert who likes to act the part of an extrovert. It's difficult for myself to really let new people in and sometimes more difficult to let myself get out there. It's something that many in our web industry can relate to but not too many want to admit. What cracks me up is how far this similarity will go. In professional environments, myself and many others have no problem speaking up, making great business and network connections, and debating language and grid preferences like the world will end depending on the outcome. Put these same people into an environment where professional talk is off the table, and you will see a whole different scene play out.
Goal two: Prove this observation wrong.
Before I left Orlando for my uncertain stay in New Jersey, I was seeing myself and many other friends grow up in a very short period of time. Almost as if we had all noticed the same things happening, change was occuring for all. The right people were coming together under the perfect circumstances for great things to begin happening. It is this breaking down of barriers, moving past walls that have always held each of us back that is pulling me back to this life in Orlando. There are too many amazing people that are growing into even more spectacular versions of themselves that any good friend would want to be there to help and support. There's also an exuberant amount of great beers, coffees, and teas to drink in Orlando, so let's go grab one and meet some new faces while suring up old ties.
Lesson ThreeNurture Old Habits
I'm happy to say this is an area that has gotten a head start. This is more of a lifestyle reassessment than anything else. Dedicating time to being healthier physically with gym sessions and diet maintenance has already made huge improvements for my life. I never really understand why I stop going to the gym from time to time. This is an area that will help build up a resilience to and consistency in pushing through demotivation and tough times. I've always seen a gym session as a type of meditation. The weight won't move unless you make it.
Goal three: 52 weeks of consistency
Lesson FourScreen Time
Hobbies away from a screen. The closest I have right now is the gym, which at I still use my iPhone religiously. At one point I was building paludariums, terrariums, and the occasional aquarium. Somehow moving to Florida put a stop to this, which doesn't make any sense. Just like moving to Florida and having played two rounds of golf. Okay, more golf in the future, too.
A long time aspiration of mine has always been to learn guitar. There's been a gaping hole where music use to be in my life. Florida, beers, beaches, sunsets, fires - someone needs to bring a guitar.
Goal four: Less time in front of a screen.
Lesson FiveMomentum is Key
For someone who's such a big fan of rally racing I seem to forget how important momentum is in every aspect of life. I've recently picked up photography as my main creative outlet, and potentially another income. The more often I shot, the happier I was. It's been weeks now since my last round of shooting and I can feel it getting to me.
There's also the flipside to momentum, and that's knowing when to slow down. I run on full-throttle way too often and need to stop that. All the other goals ahead of this one will come together to help with this. No more getting home from work just to sit back down in front of a different computer. No more over sleeping when there are so many new experiences around. As they say, there's a world out there and it's passing by. I'm going to grab better control of my priorties, and control my momentum.
Goal five: Keep my priorities at the forefront of decisions.
Thank you for the lessons 2013. Now it's onward and upward into 2014!