August 17, 2016
“I am old… and it is hard… It’s at time like this where I realize just how short life really is. Just twenty-fours years ago I knew absolutely nothing. I didn’t even have the muscle mass to bend at the torso and do a toe touch and even if I could, what was the point? As far as I knew, my toes didn’t even exist.
Now though, I know my toes exist. I have ten of them. And this past weekend on my birthday I used these ten toes to hike 40 yards into the rugged, untamable wild with three good friends to fully expose ourselves to the wild. We set off after eating a birthday cake and watching the Lego Movie in the comfort of a warm, wind-resistant home. While this arrangement would make some think of our camping venture as less rugged or authentic, I prefer to think only of the contrast. Only in knowing the comfort of home could we really, truly experience the dangers of the wild. And so after the movie, we set out in search of danger.
At approximately some time after 8pm we set up camp on ranch property, building a fire with nothing more than a rolled up newspaper, a light, and wood we had collected earlier in the day when it was easier to find it. We cooked brots that we bought at a nearby grocery store and also consumed cider that one of the men’s wives had provided.
It was a difficult evening.
Around midnight we crawled into bed in our tent, the sharp, 25 degree winds blasting at the sides of our hiding place. We feared for our very lives as we drifted peacefully off to sleep, hoping only to see the sun rise again.
I awoke early the next morning to the solid, manly sound of wood chopping. Springing into action, I decided to stay in the warmth of the covers, only coming out when my hunger for bacon overcame my need for comfort. So we ate and began packing. Quickly, one of our members began extinguishing the fire and just as quickly, though we were set to leave within the hour, we forced him to rebuild it. And with that, invigorated by a night of manly grunts and the smell of burning oak [or whatever kind of tree it was that we burned], we left the woods to embark on the long 2 minute drive back to civilization. Once there, amidst eating orange cinnamon buns and drinking cold, refrigerated milk, we rehashed the night in our minds, recalling the good memories and even talking through the bad.
This will forever be remembered as one of my absolute best birthdays.”
But on a real note from these 24 years: I am not perfect. I make daily mistakes [most recently I forgot to breakfast or lunch. HUGE MISTAKE]. I am a business owner and a student, a procrastinator at times but also a motivated, passionate chaser of my goals. I have discovered that life is about more than money, WAY MORE. And I say this as someone who really doesn’t have very much! Life is about the people who make up every day. the soul-filled guys and gals that’ll camp with you in the 20 degree weather just cause it’s cool. So thank you Jenn for making me a WONDERFUL birthday cake. And thank you Andy for buying me an AWESOME sweater. And thank you Nature Josh for making me a birthday dinner. And thank you Delmon and David for camping with me. And thank you Skyler and Ben for watching the Lego Movie with me. And lastly, thank you to ALL the friends and family who sent me birthday wishes. Life would be nothing without you guys and I appreciate all of you.
Last, Though I never see people do this, I am making what I’m coining my “Christmas Capsule.” This past Christmas, my mom shared an incredible idea with me and my five siblings. On a sheet of paper, she wrote down all the things she wants to have accomplished within the next year. Then, she plopped it into an envelope and won’t open it again until all us kids are sitting around on Christmas morning again in 11ish months.
I’ve decided today that it’s time I followed her example. As Brian Tracy once says, “Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.” Everyone has goals! But statistically, the people who concretely write down their goals and share them with others are far more likely to follow them to fruition. So today I am going to share my goals for next Christmas with the world.
Mom, these are for you.
One year from now, I will have photographed 20 more weddings than I have currently done.
One year from now, I will be applying to Physician Assistant programs.
One year from now, I will be able to do 100 pushups consecutively.
One year from now, I will have spent at least 1,000 hours in hospital settings, volunteering, shadowing, and caring for people who desperately just need someone to care.
One year from now, I want to have reached Town Hall level 10. [If you know what I’m talking about, you know]
One year from now, I will have raised $40,000 to battle against human trafficking.
One year from now, I will STILL be driving the 1993 Pontiac Grand Prix. It will survive!
One year from now, I will have perfected how to make my own eggnog so that I don’t have to wait for Christmas to roll around each year.
And last, one year from now, when I am 25, I will open this capsule and be EXCITED to look back and have blown away all of these previous goals.
What are your goals? Do you have them written down somewhere? If not, DO IT! Stop dreaming about what could be in your life and go get it done!
So what are your goals?