From Young Adult To Adult.
30 was a truly defining year. It was the year I got my first “real” full time job (technically, this was 1 month before my 30th birthday, but it still counts); completing the circle between waking life and working life. It was when I directly faced my biggest fear (needles); by getting my first (and then a few more) tattoos—something I’ve always wanted since I was a child. It was when I was also told (by that same tattooist) that I was an artist; affirming what I had been unconsciously aspiring to my entire life. It was when I realized the place of martial arts in both my life and life in general; going to my first (and last) UFC event, ever, because I saw the marketing machine behind combat sports (I still love watching the martial arts in action, though). It was when I faced my second biggest fear (heights) and started taking up rock climbing; learning to breathe through fear (a technique that also works really well when dealing with pain—a lesson I solidified after getting those tattoos). It was the year I then left my first “real” full time job because I hated it (a thing that most people are afraid to do because it’s easier to just find comfort in complacency and complaining) and found my ideal job; combining my love of art, working remote and inspiring other people to become better humans. It was when I finally visited (unbeknownst to me, prior) my most inspirational creative influence of all time (New York*) and learned to accept the hustle I’ve been exhibiting for so long. And from that hustle, I even (in the last few weeks before turning 31) started my own clothing company (ZEN REAL clothing co.*); something I’ve been dabbling in since my teens, but never accepted until I saw the rampant self-belief found in New York.
Though I’m sure there are countless other things that I didn’t mention/don’t recall, I can safely say that by 31, I have completed everything that I ever wanted to do as a child. Interestingly enough, from an early age, I can recall always thinking that “this was going to be the year that I died.” I’m not entirely sure why (maybe it was all of the doomsday prophecies and anti-establishment-thinking during my adolescence), but apparently a lot of ‘88ers also felt the same way—Khabib Nurmagomedov being another ‘88er who made similar sentiments in his recent Instagram post* after his birthday. It’s probably what helped fuel my compulsion to (what Travis Barker of Blink 182 coined as the slogan for his clothing company, Famous Stars and Straps) “Live Fast, Die Fun”—as I always felt like everything had to be done today! Right now!
After 30, I’m excited to just live out the rest of my days accepting what is to come as what is to come and what is to go as what is to go—exemplifying those Bodhisattva-no-flex, aka Tantric vibes—because the rest from here is just icing on the cake. Transitioning happily from my young adult years; to my adult years; to my old man years; to finally embarking on the greatest adventure of all—death.
The Tibetan Buddhists have a philosophy which goes: we spend our entire lives preparing the comfort to be ready to die. I jive with this, greatly. I’m pretty damn comfortable now.
Life, ultimately, is just a story we tell ourselves. So, take a moment (like I just did), and reflect on your story. What story are you telling yourself? What story are you living out? All life starts with a story; that story becomes an idea; that idea becomes a belief which we have chosen to tell ourselves. From those beliefs, we act out what it is that we have been telling ourselves for so long. So, again, I ask you: what story are you telling yourself? What story are you choosing to live out?
Just make sure it’s a story that you think is worth telling.
-we’re all on a Hero’s Journey*, some of us just haven’t woken up to it yet.