Friday is my 50th birthday. No idea how that’s actually possible, but it is. I’ve probably lived through two lifetimes worth of experience during my time on this rock, and at the risk of being a corny cliche, I want to share a little of the wisdom I’ve earned along the way.
Most importantly, the people I know with the greatest material wealth are also the most miserable. Nothing ever fulfills them. There’s always a shinier trinket somewhere that someone else has. There’s always a need for more of this or that. Conversely, the happiest people I know don’t necessarily have much money. Their basic needs are met, of course, but they find contentment in life itself: helping others, enjoying a hobby, bonding with friends and family, and being grateful for the blessings they do have.
The second most important thing I’ve learned is that karma is real. It might grind slowly, and it might not always be public, but eventually, you will reap the seeds you have sown.
The third most important thing is that your family is comprised of the people who stand by you through it all. Blood has little to do with it. Cherish the people who have your back. Cherish the ones who love you unconditionally. Cherish the ones who accept you as you. Cherish them because they are rare and precious.
Finally, for the sake of this post anyway, take the chance to follow your dreams. For all intents and purposes, my writing career was a failure. I’ve lost far more money than I ever made from it. I never won any awards and never sustained the small successes I did achieve. But I regret none of it. I had a dream and chased it, sacrificed for it, and gave everything I had in me to make it come to life. Even though I didn’t make it, there’s a deep sense of satisfaction in the pursuit. I had the balls to put myself out there and the ability to complete a pretty good fantasy series. No one can ever take those two things from me. So if you have a dream, say forming a business or getting a degree or starting a rock band, go for it. Even if you fail, you will know the satisfaction of having been in the arena.
That’s all for now. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates. Hopefully I still have a few years to kick around this rock.