I didn’t know it then, but before my eldest started junior kindergarten this September, life was simple. Taking an extra eight months away from the office after her mat leave to be with the boys (and because two kids in Toronto daycare is really expensive), Sarah took the boys on various adventures as they grew. I mean, it obviously wasn’t perfect—I’m not entirely sure how Sarah finished those twenty months with her sanity intact—but for the most part, we were in control. We taught them what we wanted, chose what stimuli affected them, and saw them grow in the world we created for them.
But what we hadn’t considered was a new factor just over the horizon—something we couldn’t control that’d affect our son in entirely new ways.
“If you went back and told your 18-year old self, can you imagine?”
— an old friend’s thoughts when discussing my current #BloggerLife
It’s no secret to anyone who’s made it through high school—adulting ain’t easy. We’ve got bosses who don’t give two craps about us; consumer debt ’cause no one walked us through personal finance; shady friends, poor nutrition, and realising that it’s much harder to make your dreams come true than you ever thought before. We don’t know what we don’t know as kids, and though staunchly convinced things will get better when we’re old enough to do things our way, it’s a big, bad world out there, and no one ever really prepares us for it.
Reason #1 — Because We’re Never Really Ready for the Bigger Box.
I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t go back in time to tell their younger selves the things they know today. It’s so much easier when you can measure your self-worth with letter grades and many of the people who matter most are all under the same roof… but things can change so quickly—and for many of us, they do.
It’s everywhere these days — I mean, we’re all struggling. The world’s not an easy place to live in, constantly poking and prodding us to see just what we’re made of. The number of us living any kind of life that could be called “comfortable” is rapidly decreasing, leaving a general unease you can feel no matter where you are.
But it’s not the problems you have — it’s what you do about them.
I know that if just spent my time whining about my problems, my life would look a lot different.
What happens when you mix a long-term writing project with poor time management and a looming deadline upon which you place far too much importance?
The 31 Things I Know Now That I’m 31 becomes the 32 Things I Know Now That I’m 32.
The plan had started so simply — find a month with 31 days and write a post a day on the lessons I’d learned in my years so far. With my July birthday, it should’ve been easy enough to write it up for August. Or October. December. All the months I mucked about in 2015… but another birthday came and went before I could get on top of things.
It was — sadly — another example of moments in my life where I overpromise and underdeliver.
July 2015 — I’ve just turned 32 years old, and I’m trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
I’ve built this #BloggerLife for myself — a little digital space with promise, letting me share thoughts and ideas with thousands, evolving around me as I learn to massage them into something more… spectacular.
I don’t know whether I’d call myself a blogger anymore — things have grown much bigger than that. My site’s more than a blog template, my stories more than a handful of images and subtitles… I look at my #BloggerLife and my other lives running alongside it, knowing what I have to offer is far more than I could achieve by sticking to expectations set by other people.
I can’t do things like everyone else does and expect to find my answers — I need to carve a path from the bedrock of my life; one that’ll let me do everything I must as a husband and father, but still let me create what I want to without sacrificing precious sleep and sanity.
And for that, a little over three decades deep into my life, I look at everything I’ve built so far and ask myself the simplest of questions: