Why is it that it took me almost 30 years to come face-to-face with my own mortality? Why did I feel invincible, immortal, and impervious to the inevitable? Is it some evolutionary trait for young males to ignore their fragility and run headlong into the fray in order to survive, protect, impress, and earn mating rights for so many thousands of years? If so, the hardwiring truly works.
I can’t begin to describe how much my mindset has shifted in the past five years. I believe much of it has to do with a reprieve of concussive hits, a refrain from self-medication, and a drastic change in setting, scenery, and cast of characters. A healthy blend of all of those components is the more likely scenario. I am lucky to be alive considering the path that I was on until recently. Zero appreciation for life. A self-loathing, self-deprecating nihilist to an extreme. I had no meaning, and nor was I doing my best to search for it.
The tunnel-vision of athletic, academic, and military pursuits had worn off, and I was surrounded by an overwhelming panorama of reality. Bullshit. All of it. A beautiful web of imagined realities which I had fallen for hook, line, and sinker. Left with constructing my own meaning, life, and reality…I was at a total loss. I had always been eating what was fed to me by others; my family, friends, society, and my subconscious. I was never taught meditation, deep-breathing, or the inner-workings of the brain.
My single biggest regret in life is not knowing these methods from a very young age. They truly have the capability to rewire the brain, relieve stress, sharpen your perspective, clarify the meaning of life, and allow you to supersede the general meaninglessness that we are surrounded with. I truly believe that if I had been taught these things, and been told that life has no meaning and that the true meaning of life was to make/find your own meaning, I would be a much better person, and in a much better place than I am today.
I cannot reverse time, and I must accept my current, but I am thankful and hopeful for my life moving forward. I have the knowledge, capability, and freedom to transform my life into everything I want it to be, I must only take consistent action to make it so. What meaning do I want out of life? Or better yet, what do I want my life to mean?
First, and foremost, I want to be a successful protector and provider for my family. Aside from the most basic biological functions of my being, I would like to have a lasting impact on those who I come into contact with. It sounds cheesy, but I really do want to make the world a better place. The primary premise is based on the fact that there are so many things that I wish someone had told me during various phases of my life. I would like to teach, mentor, and develop the talents of both my successors, peers, and elders if possible.
College professorship is the end-goal, but I would like to become an accredited teacher, get a master’s degree in secondary education, and eventually get a doctorate in a subject of my choice. To be perfectly honest, I think a life in academia, filled with multiple degrees, and 30-40 years of successful teaching would provide more meaning than I could possibly ask for. I am more than likely romanticizing a lifestyle which I am unfamiliar with, but for right now, it is the only path that I deem worthy to take.
On top of professorship, I would like to be a successful author, an innovator in multiple fields, and assist in providing guidance and mentorship to anyone whose ears are open, willing to learn, and disciplined enough to take action. And if they aren’t, I would like to assist them in doing all three. The road ahead will be long, arduous, and full of potholes, but I truly believe that I can make all of my goals happen. I will have to be patient, persistent, and remain vigilant despite setbacks, distractions, and mishaps. It will all be worth it in the end…right? As long as I think so I suppose.