Self-Trust Shall Set You Free
You’re probably not special. Yet if you can accept that, you can (possibly) become extraordinary.
I’m turning 40 in a couple of weeks. (I know; I keep mentioning this.) It’s surreal to think I’m about to turn that old — it’s also insane to know I’m only going to be that old.
For most of 2022, I’ve tightly held those two perspectives — time flies and drags at once — drawn from the same well of truth, and both make absolutely perfect sense. I can’t believe how quick years fly, or how long those years have felt. No matter your next milestone mile-marker on life’s journey — 40, 30, 20, 80— I’ve got to believe that some of you will relate.
If you felt that, then you might feel this: Staring down the barrel at this birthday, in particular, has triggered profound, even meditative, bouts of self-reflection. Importantly, these aren’t the usual ruminative black holes I steer into—only to reemerge and fire off 15,000 words that were every bit as painstaking for me to write as they were for you to read (except for that one I just wrote)— in the past.
No, these thought clouds aren’t dark or foreboding, they’re fluffy, bright cumulus beasts hovering low overhead, unignorable. And so I lay gingerly on the grass and allow them to pass. As I do, I ponder. Boy howdy, I’ve pondered often.
I take a cursory inventory of achievements, regrets, losses, wins, loves, roads not taken, roads that should not have been taken, ghost ships, gatherings, highlights, and lowlights. I think of scars — some healed, some freshly scabbed over — and the vast expanse of smooth skin that to date remains unscathed. In spots, the road was rough—painfully so at times. Elsewhere, I brought that pain upon myself. Still elsewhere, I inflicted it on others. I could not always blame the road. I rarely did; it rarely deserved the blame.
On balance, though, I’ve been quite fortunate; I’ve settled into a comfortable groove in a pretty nice place. I’m not sure I could’ve steered the ship much better, yet that won’t forbid me from trying. So long as my asthmatic lungs will yet allow, there remains some road ahead to bring “better” into being and to capitalize on my good fortune.