Letter to Myself: 8 Years Old

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post asking if your 10 year old self would be happy. I got a lot of great feedback from that post and ever since I have written it, it has had me thinking about. Thinking about my life, where I was as a 10 year old and how my views on life has changed. Because of that post, I have been inspired to start a new series of articles based on letters to younger versions of myself. My goal is to choose 3-4 ages when I went through something crucial and it was a big life moment. I want to provide words of advice to myself; ideas that would improve my life if I was able to do it all again. I should preface this with I love my life (for the most part) and things are going well. But if I could have everything I have now, which a few minor tweaks to improve upon, what would those be?

Hey 8 year old me,

How is it going? You hanging in there alright? Life has been pretty rough this last year hasn’t it? Last year you moved from Tuscon, where all of your cousins lived (including your best friend/cousin) and everything you have ever known, for a small suburb outside of San Francisco. Your family rented a house last year and you finished off your 1st grade year at a new school. You are now in 2nd grade and yet again, at a new school. You have also recently gone to the orthodontist for your major overbite and now walk around with headgear…. its been rough.

I know it is cliche, but guess what: things are gonna get better. Your best friend across the street will one day be in your wedding. The house you live in now, your parents will not sell for another 20 years! You will not only grow up in this town, but you are going to thrive… for the most part.

Kid, its not a secret that you are a bit odd and awkward, but you know what, that is ok. It is a part of who you are and nobody should ever change that about you. I hope you understand that the way you are is not a problem. You have great character and you are a funny kid. Don’t worry about anyone else and what they say or think. be you. Do you. Know who your friends are, and do not worry about being the “cool” kid or the “popular” kid. Those guys do not really want to be your friend, and that is ok. This will be an ongoing lesson for you in life, but trust me: be yourself.

Anyway, continue to learn, and have fun in life: it goes way too fast. I will talk to you again in about 5 years.

Best, 33 year old you.

 

I know it is a little cheesy and other people have done this as well, but I have to admit, it is a bit liberating to write a letter to a younger version of myself. To be honest, I cannot wait to write another one!

In the comments below, feel free to share something you would tell an 8 year old version of yourself. Or write your own blog post and be sure to link to it below, and I will be sure to check it out!!

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Book Review: Bigger, Leaner, Stronger

To continue my summer of self improvement, I was able to read another book this summer, just before my vacation. The second book I read (after the School of Greatness) was titled ‘Bigger, Leaner, Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body’ by Michael Matthews. I actually had a few reasons for reading so much this summer. The first reasons was there was not a whole lot on tv. Second, I wanted to start getting my mind ready for school. Third, I truly want to start improving my life as much as I can in different areas. And finally, I had a Google coupon for some cheaper books, and figured I would pick a few that stood out to me (one of which is the book I am reviewing now).

Growing up , I was always very active, playing with friends, running in the street, or playing sports. As I got into High School I focused on swimming as my only sport and did everything I could to better myself. That sort of mentality has always stuck with me, especially when it comes to being in shape and taking care of myself. Overall I am in fairly good shape, with the exception of being more on the thinner side. I have always been slim… almost as if it was a curse. For the life of me, I have always had a problem gaining weight (I know some of you wish you had this problem, but for me, it is frustrating, as just like overweight people, I have body issues as well). I eat and eat and work out and never seem to be able to change my look, and that is where this book comes in,

I had recently heard about this book as it helps to debunk a lot of myths we believe about weightlifting, and it helps to focus in on what you are trying to do, and without wasting time. I have tried different workout routines, followed advice from trainer and professionals alike, and never am able to stick to a routine that has shown me results. But for some reason, I feel this time will be different. I have recently started working out following this routine and have already felt a difference in my strength. The best part about this book too is he not only tells you the science behind everything, but explains why certain things will work and others do not. From there he actually provides you not only a workout plan that fits your schedule, but he also provides you a nutritional spreadsheet too to help you maximize your gains.

At the end of the day, for me it gives me a new reason to be excited about going to the gym as well as a way to focus on my lifting and eating habits, and hope to start feeling better about myself here soon.

If you are interested in reading this book, you can check it out here.

If you want to follow Michael Matthews, you can find his Instagram here (his other social media links are on his website), and his website here.

Have you check out this book before, or have another workout read that is worth exploring? Please share your findings and results below!

Please subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram. I hope to chronicle my journey in school and connect with like minded people. People who want to learn and grow and help others along the way.

Behind Every Man: Finding My Motivation and Drive to Make This Career Change

We have all probably heard the saying before that “Behind every great man, is a great woman.” This saying essentially says that every man is held up by a woman in his life, whether it is his mom, girlfriend or wife. While I do not think it is entirely accurate, in my situation I cannot help but to feel this is correct.

For the last 11+ years, I have been working in Tech/Business. My very first job was an entry level contract position at Google and I have been working my way up the corporate ladder (at various companies) since then. I started at Google right out of college and found it to be very exciting while I was there. However, even during this time, there was a part of me that was not happy. Not satisfied. I found an email I had written to my Dad a month or so after I left Google expressing my unhappiness in the corporate world. At the time I looked into going back to school as well as joining the Fire Academy. However I have outstanding injuries from my career as a collegiate swimmer and figured I would not pass a physical. I also discussed this with my then fiance (now wife) and she was very understanding and at the time encouraged me to do something I enjoyed. I looked into some options at the time, but as I have discussed in other blog posts, I felt stuck. I was engaged to be married to the woman of my dreams and all I wanted in life was to make her happy, support her and give her everything I felt she deserved. At this time, I decided the best option for me was to stick it out in the corporate world, find a job I enjoyed and make my money.

For years I bounced around between jobs, focusing on what parts I enjoyed, and trying to “fix” the areas that made me unhappy, After 11 years of this, I have found that overall, this line of work just isn’t for me. I had to find my passion. This is where the title of this blog post comes in. For me, my motivation and my change came from my wife.

A few years ago, my wife started a side business making hair accessories for kids. it started out slow, but as it grew I could see her excitement with it. Over time we discusses what she wanted out of this and what she wanted to do. At the time, she told me her goal was to build the company up enough that she no longer had to work her day to day job, could potentially get enough people to help run the company, that she could spend more time at home with the kids. As her business grew, I enjoyed very much helping her, build the business and achieve her dreams. I worked harder to find a better job for myself so that I could help support her and to help her quit her day to day and go with this full time. Near the end of 2015, we realized how closer we were. But we also needed more space. My wife’s business was taking up a good portion of our house, and with our growing family we needed more space. I was thinking about leaving my job then to do what I am doing now, but we needed the money to buy a bigger house and to help her expand. Last year we not only were able to buy a new house, but my wife was able to quit her job and do her side business full time! The drive and motivation she has shown over the last few years to get something she wanted, gave me the motivation to escape my unhappiness in the corporate world, and to do what I needed to find that occupational pleasure I was missing (which was ultimately spreading negativity to the rest of my life).

I have discussed this at length with my wife as well, and have her full support in going back to school and that we will be able to make it work. And while there are some other unforeseen circumstances that have come into this, and she has been on the fence for some time whether or not she made the right decision, I feel that had she not made this move, she may have always regretted.  I cannot thank her enough for her support and her leading by example.

Everyone finds motivation in different places in their life. Some have a friend or family member. Others loo up to those trailblazers and leaders of their field of interest. Where do you find your motivation? What is your inspiration. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below!

Please feel free to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram. I hope to chronicle my journey in school and connect with like minded people. People who want to learn and grow and help others along the way.

Is 10 Year Old You Happy?

At some point in our lives, we have likely had this question asked of us, or had this conversation with someone. And I was recently reminded of this while watching TV, and Indeed.com had a commercial asking us this very question: Would your 10 year old self, be happy with what you have become today?

In a sense, this is sort of where I have been going with my current life choices and decisions: I am unhappy with what I am doing so I am setting out to explore and do something that brings me joy.  In all fairness, when I was 10 years old I had aspirations of being a pro baseball or basketball player, and not a firefighter, or a teacher or even a therapist. But the point of it, was I wanted to do something that made me happy (and also make me famous and have a lot of money).  And perhaps that is a topic for another time, in that I was so focused on that, and my views changed to just be the money or the fame, that I followed whatever path i thought would make me money and money would make me happy.

In a sense, my 10 year old self would be happy with where I am: Nice house, beautiful wife, 2 kids, 2 cars, a steady job, food on the table and money to travel and enjoy life with. What 10 year old me may not understand, is that while have all of those things in nice, its not everything. I mean do not get me wrong, my wife and kids are everything to me, and if I did not have their support I wouldn’t think of leaving my job. I would do anything for their happiness, and that has always been my #1 priority.

I can probably safely say that 10 year old me is indifferent. He is happy that I have found a great family and own a nice home. He may be mad I wasn’t able to pitch a World Series no-hitter or take a pass from Steph Curry to drain the game winning 3 over LeBron James, But I think he would understand. I think he may be confused as to why I would be going back to school to follow a passion like that, because 10 year old me loved money. But my hope is 10 year old me would understand, and ultimately be happy, because 33 (almost 34) year old me was going to be happy.

What about you? Is your 10 year old self happy? Share your thoughts below and let me know if you are happy!

Please feel free to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram. I hope to chronicle my journey in school and connect with like minded people. People who want to learn and grow and help others along the way.

 

Why Am I Doing This – Part 2

For just about a month now, I have been chronicling my journey as I start making changes in my life, and ultimately start my career over. As I stated here, I am hoping to inspire those along the way who are also dealing with similar issues who might find help with this. But at the same time, I still find myself questions exactly why I am doing this.

I question this for a few reasons. For starters, I do not generally enjoy writing. I actually feel it is somewhat of a chore. That is also probably why I am not very good at it. Sure some of the info I am sharing may be helpful, but my style, my thought process: its all wrong. I am sure my grammar is not exactly correct either. But, lets be honest, does that matter? I am not planning to win a Pulitzer or any other award for this. I am just trying to share some of my thoughts on my journey to bettering myself and hopefully others as well.

Aside from not being that good at writing, I feel this is more or less reading like a journal. I guess you can say another reason I am doing this, is that it is for me. My thoughts are so jumbled these days that this is an outlet for me to write and get some of those feelings out. As you read these post you may notice the topics from post to post jump around and seem as if there is no rhyme or reason for them. And the truth is, that is because they are. As it stands right now, I am writing from the heart almost every time I write: what is top of mind and where my head is at. And since I dislike writing, it makes sense that I am not going to to write out an outline, or re-write anything. What you see is what you get I guess.

And just like that, another blog post that likely doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But this is me. This is my journey

Feel free to share some of your writing tips and your process below.

Please feel free to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram. I hope to chronicle my journey in school and connect with like minded people. People who want to learn and grow and help others along the way.Not a good writer

Anxiety, Daily Life Stress and Moving Forward

About 12 years ago, was finishing up my summer school courses that were needed to graduate. During my finals week, I started at working at one of the best companies in the world. I had gone from a High School and College athlete, to a full time student and restaurant worker, to being a full time employee at a major company. I was scared, I was excited, I was happy and I was sad. Every emotion you could have I felt as I had no idea what to expect of the rest of my life.

For a year prior to this, I had started planning how I was going to propose to my girlfriend who I had been with for 4.5 years at this point. We started dating in High School and even did our first year of college as a long distance relationship. I was madly in love with this woman, and at the time, it was the only thing stable in my life I could count on, and I was about to kick it into gear by proposing to her.

I had planned to propose to her in December when we would be on vacation together. I had the ring and her Dad’s approval. I also now had a safe/secure job in the business world: I had everything I had ever “wanted,” right? It was at this time, I started to get sick. My stomach was always upset, my palms always seemed sweaty. I had these panic attacks and could not breath, I did not know what was going on with me. It was not until speaking with my doctor that I determined what was wrong: I was suffering from anxiety. I could write an entire blog post on Anxiety and what it is, but that has been done by countless others (feel free to contact me, and I will be happy to discuss if you like). It was at this time I went on Zoloft and from there planned to learn how to control my anxiety.

I stayed on Zoloft for a couple years but ultimately went off as I learned to cope and deal with the anxiety (not to mention my life was in a fairly good routine, so it was much easier to manage. That is until this last December when some other life changes happened (this is a future blog topic, but not one I am ready to discuss).

Over the last 12 years I have dealt with daily stressors of my job and my life. I have had marital spats, kids, job changes and even moved. I have been sick, and had some medical issues (one of which was an appendectomy) Last year we sold out house, moved in with my in-laws for a few months while searching for a house and then purchased a new house. Handling my stress was difficult. That was until December when things made another big change and created my journey back to Zoloft. Along with Zoloft, I have done many things to really keep my stress under control:

  1. Meditate (I use the Headspace app and it is amazing!)
  2. Yoga
  3. Going to the gym
  4. Going on  a walk
  5. Going on a bike ride
  6. Play with my kids
  7. Spending time with friends/family
  8. Therapy

I would normally add sex to this list as that has always been my best stress release, but right now (see some of the issues listed above including medical). But there is a reason I share all of this:

My journey to changing my career has been a very long one. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I have gone done my current career path for a reason, but its time to change. Anxiety has been difficult but I am learning to deal with it better. Daily life stresses around my job, family and life are tough, but I am dealing with those too. If you want something, you have to go and get it. And right now, I want to make my life better for myself and those around me. I want to be happy and satisfied. Anxiety will always be there in one way or another, but I cannot hide from it, I have to push forward.

Leave a comment below if you have experienced Anxiety or what your favorite way to deal with stress is.

Please feel free to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram. I hope to chronicle my journey in school and connect with like minded people. People who want to learn and grow and help others along the way.

Why Am I Doing This?

I am a fairly private person. I hate writing. I am extremely busy. I have a lot of things to worry about and work on in my life. So, why am I doing this?

If you read my first blog post the other day, you learned a little more about me and why I am looking to make some changes in my life. Why I am going back to school and staring down the barrel of a new career, when I have so much going on in my own life. And while I was hopefully able to give some insight to that, the next question becomes, why am I blogging about it and sharing it on Instagram?

There are actually 2 reasons for my madness: to inspire myself and to inspire others. For myself, I have the type of personality that gets really into something and then once I miss a day or two of it, it falls at the wayside and I forget about it. Through all my trials and tribulations I have been going through I have tried a lot of things: journaling, talking to people, meditating, working out, etc. And while I have still done well with some of it, the journaling has nearly come to a halt, and I have not been as consistent with my meditating (even though I really enjoy it). But with this, my hope is that by sharing my thoughts and feelings, as well as discussing my journey as I trek through it, I will inspire myself to keep going, while also keeping myself accountable. I may not stay consistent and could go a few weeks between posts (especially as I find something worthy to discuss), but my hope is that I can do it to keep myself focused. School starts up in August, so I want to make sure I am ready to go and ready to take on the challenge of balancing work, school and my family.

Aside from keeping myself honest and motivated, I am also hoping to inspire others along the way. Again, as I had mentioned in my first blog post the other day, one of the issue I have and why i dislike the business world (at least the sector of it that I am in), is that I am not doing anything in my day-to-day, that is helping or benefiting anyone else in an overall positive light. Sure I am helping other companies streamline their systems or helping our company as well, but to me that is not as fulfilling as doing ro saying something that can truly inspire others. So while I am hoping to transition myself into a career that directly helps or benefits others, I am hoping this blog can help people along the way. Whether its an inspirational story I share, or a hard/frustrating time I am fighting through: my hope is that it helps someone else with a similar problem. Whether its about their work, marriage, parenting, or perhaps like me, they are working a job they are unhappy with and feel stuck. Hopefully they too can realize they are not stuck and can find their way out. Find their passion or their drive and work towards that.

Have a great day!

Please feel free to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram. I hope to chronicle my journey in school and connect with like minded people. People who want to learn and grow and help others along the way.