From 2-1 to 3-1 in the 3-1-2
Hello again from my dartboard, where I haven't thrown up anything in over a year.
Part-recollection, part-press release.
I’ve barely hit anyone back after getting the always-welcomed onslaught of emails and texts and Facebook alerts people receive on their birthdays that I got on the 5th. Figured this was easy enough, for now.
Before going into what I went through, I’d like to look back in two "birthday" ways: when I turned 21, and also appreciate what 30 was, given that I've gone where I've gone in that time and returned to live within a Vortex throw or two from where I was 10 years ago.
Everyone wants their 21st to be special. Mine was a great one.
- Crushed a midterm paper and an exam the day before, which was a rare feeling that would finally become a "kinda-sometimes" feeling around then, so I studied for the one I’d have the day after like a maniac. Amp came in tiny canisters back then and I downed 'em like a Ninja Turtle.
- Met the fam downtown for a crazy dinner and had my first drink with my parents in the Signature Room in the Hancock Building.
- Walked two blocks, dropped the parents off with a cab - remember those? - then walked two more blocks to meet college friends that had already turned 21 in an underground, velvet-embossed downtown lounge - where none of us belonged - and ended up in a cab someone had to pay to clean.
The lounge doesn't exist anymore. Neither does my hair, really.
I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older, the actual day becomes less of a priority and the focus when a birthday comes along is widened to the entire year, before and after. Not quite the epiphany you want to come on a day you're supposed to celebrate, but it makes me aim to do better for longer.
For instance, I have no clue what I did on my 27th birthday. Hopefully nobody else does, either. I don’t look back on the 27th year of my life fondly, I’m glad I’ve evolved from there and that’s what truly matters since I’ve passed my 21st. Kinda unfair, but that’s how it’s all become organized in my head and my hard drive, so that’s how it goes.
I felt like I did 30 right; I was kind, did my best to be courageous, I failed big but I’m still not sure if anyone’s noticed and although there were major ups & downs in major “this actually matters” areas, I’m proud of how I rocked it, overall.
My 31st birthday was just as frenzied. Rang it in with Mai Tai’s, beautiful women and too many disco balls. Woke up with wide eyes for a midday movie I’d been looking forward to since I knew it was coming out and left the theater looking like this:
Smiling actually makes it look "ehh...okay," but my lip was at least 3x normal size and my face was all puffed up. Emotions fluctuated between fear and frustration because I felt completely fine except for knowing I looked like a Simpsons character.
I live with two doctors and I've never seen them look at me like they did when they saw me.
It was surely a birth-day I won't forget. And now you won't, either. Deal with it.
A trip to the hospital, half a bottle of Benadryl and all sorts of unanswered “How the hell did this happen?” questions, I’m at like 99%, three days later. Was I ever 100%, though, really?
So... there’s that. It's March: Survive and advance.
Moving on to what’s ahead, because that's what the ambitious do:
MAJOR GOAL: to better than “survive” so my parents can finally cool out in Sarasota for a minute.
- Better budgeting. Time. Money. Energy. Emotion. Everything in moderation, including moderation, with an aim to tie things off fast. Documenting it all helps to propel the process, so while filming more, I’ll be writing more, which leads to…
- Short-term goals that lead to long term ideas: short stories/scripts, 10-second renders of 3D graphics, 30-40 minute workout sessions where I damn near kill myself, which leads to…
- Rediscovering running. Gotta get a good mile time on the books before I die and since I’ve gotten back into it, I’ve recalled the mental strength you gain that’s just as beneficial as the physical.
Finally, and this is where, if you've actually kept reading this, I NEED YOUR ATTENTION...
- Working with more charities/philanthropic entities/people that aim to do the future better.
I loathe working for free, I love working for charity. There’s a difference. If you understand that, please hit me up here if you have stories or connections to something that’s made you wipe a tear away and act like you didn't.
The cliché is true - If it’s a story that could embolden even one person, it’s worth telling - and throughout this past year, I lived that cliché, being a part of companies and in contact with friends and peers that are doing that exact thing. There's a lot of content out there but living in a city that's got buildings the size of spaceships exposed me to the fact that there's so much room for more. Regardless, I’d be elated to hear what anyone has to say, especially if you enjoyed this or anything else I've worked on. Even if you know me and we’ve talked about it in the past, give me a shout.
31’s off to a rambunctious start already with all sorts of new perspectives and good meals and allergic reactions and great movies. LOGAN was great, by the way. Patrick Stewart reppin’ hard for bald dudes and I've wanted a Wolverine movie like it since I was 8.
For those that just helped me out a few days ago when I looked like Will Smith in Hitch to everyone that had a hand in the three decades prior to that, I’m nothing but a bag of bones without the people in my life that've built me up.
Onward & Upward