Walden: Life In The Woods
“Chased the good life my whole life long. Look back on my life and my life gone.” — Yeezy in Welcome To Heartbreak
Today is weird. A giant snow blizzard sweeping across the north delayed my #NYCSpringBreak2k17 trip an entire day. So I’ve spent this extra day of down time self-reflecting. In summary, life is crazy.
While giving my website a face lift, I stumbled across my old site. There’s not much to see, but it’s a small capsule of my state of mind as a 19-year-old. The page’s theme layout hasn’t aged well, but screams CM Punk-y to me, which makes sense because this was at the height of my fandom. Moreover, there are three articles on there I wrote in my JOUR 207 class with Ben Holden — still one of my GOAT professors.
I was actually blown away how good the articles were. To preface, I was 100-percent dialed in on writing during this period. My focus was laser-like. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been zoned in on a goal as much as I was then. A career in sports journalism felt like my destiny and my work reflected that. The Ken Shamrock piece is probably one of the best stories I’ve ever penned — and if I remember correctly, was the only 100 percent Holden gave out to a student that semester (even the video I made for it has north of 10k views). The other two articles, while lacking some key sources, are pretty well-written, too.
When looking at my writing career arc, late 2012 to early 2013 was my peak. It’s weird, though. I kept writing long after and still do to this day. But why was I at my best so early? The only explanation I have is that focus I had. I mean, I dedicated my whole life to writing during that stretch — skipping parties and everything. My passion for writing was at a fever pitch.
That passion is what I’m missing nowadays. I’m doing a lot of dope shit — MBA classes, running two social media accounts for large organizations, writing on the side, trying to open a shoe-selling business, etc. But none of them give me a fire like writing did at the time. Will I ever replicate that burning passion?
I hope so, but I don’t know. In my Management course, we took a Big Five personality test. Unlike the DISC or Myers Briggs test, the former test is more supported by data. The test measures you on five key traits — openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. I received scores on all five, but my highest — perfect score, actually — came in openness. This trait measures how inventive and curious you are, which apparently I am to the max.
Some key characteristics of people that score high on openness is non-conforming, playful, philosophical, creative, less religious, more liberal, cope well with change. I check each one of those boxes. I’m 24 years old now, but I feel I’m barely getting a good grasp of who I am. I still have ways to go, but my self awareness has definitely gone up recently.
Above all, I’m passionately curious about life. That dead-set personality I had as a 19-year-old is buried in the back of my mind. Nowadays, the thought of finding one career, one chick, one city to chase for the rest of my life saps my energy. The only thing worth pursuing is new experiences to help me understand life and myself more.
With that, my focus is like a rollercoaster. One day I’ll be glued in on figuring out how to use a bot to buy Yeezys, the next I’m digging through research on moon landing conspiracy theories. I don’t know if my lack of focus is a curse or blessing. On one hand, I know how beneficial it is to truly be a master at something. But that’s just not me. I hate being boxed in. I want to know a little bit about everything.
If I can back track a bit, it’s crazy how much my life has changed in the five years between my old website and now. I look back on 19-year-old me and I don’t even recognize that dude. My taste in clothes, chicks, music has changed ten-fold. I live across the country. My outlook on the life has totally flipped. I look back at the old Eric and all I have to say is kill self.
I guess that’s what we call progress, though. Seeing the 180-degree changes excites me about the future. In another five years, I’m going to be looking at this blog post and probably think the same thing. The future is so exciting, dude. Bring it!