I’ve got a birthday coming up.
It isn’t one of significance in terms of the number itself, but it’s as important as I want it to be. With that being said, I like the idea of being able to look back at what the last year has meant to me. I find more and more these days that when I ask someone how old they are, what I’m really looking for from them is the chance to hear how much they’ve experienced. I’m not interested in knowing how long they’ve been alive, I want to know how much life they’ve lived.
Each year of my life seems to find me growing exponentially as a human, so it’s fun to look back on each one. When I turned 23, I was nothing like I was when I was 22. When I turned 24, I was nothing like I was when I was 23, and so on and so forth.
While pandering what the last year of my life has meant to me, I tried to brainstorm some of the things that I accomplished. Unfortunately, so many of those things seem to be hard to get a good grasp on, so this is what I’ve come up with so far:
- I completed a seven-week commitment at the Omega Institute for Holistic Learning, paving the way for myself to return to Omega this summer, for a second season. I also was able to wiggle my way out of the dining hall and into the Wellness Center which has given me the opportunity to crack open in a different way than last year.
- I officiated the wedding of one of my best friends in Michigan in October.
- I traveled to 5 different countries, two of which I had never been to…
- The United States
- New Zealand
- I experienced my fifth and sixth continents.
- I lived and worked in Antarctica, probably my greatest accomplishment of the year, and potentially the most trying four months of my twelve month spin around the sun.
- I worked a handful of crappy jobs, including being a dining hall attendant at Omega, a steward in Antarctica, and a concierge at Omega during my second season. While I label these jobs as “crappy”, what I really mean is that they weren’t/aren’t fulfilling. To me, that means that it was slightly traumatizing to clock into work each day, but ultimately, there were many life lessons to be learned. Having suffered through a string of unfulfilling work now, I’m better able to appreciate work that matters. I know what is important to me when it comes to how I spend my time in work establishments. I have a greater appreciation for what crappy jobs give me the opportunity to do. i.e. – live at Omega or in Antarctica.
- I returned to Guyana, my home for a year, and reconnected with most of the 44 boys I spent my year living, working, and loving with.
- I met dozens of new and interesting people. A handful of them were some of the most inspiring people I’ve met to date and, even better, many of them proved to be truly great friends. I consider this year of my life to be one of the most fruitful in the friendship department after experiencing Omega twice and Antarctica once. Each place was an open door for deep, meaningful friendships.
- I co-directed, co-wrote, and starred in a play. Just to keep ourselves entertained, a handful of friends and I put on a play in Antarctica. The show was a success, generating a large audience and lots of positive reviews. It was nice to be creative in the midst of a chunk of time that could have otherwise been quite dry.
- I beast-ed my way through a two month running stint, running a 5K multiple times a week from April through June. This only stopped when I was bit by a spider…
- I suffered a brown recluse spider bite, essentially eclipsing my entire existence for the first part of the summer.
- I got mugged. You can read more about this ultimately positive experience here: Getting Mugged.
- I’ve moving closer to understanding how to perfect this whole self-love thing.
And so the world continues to turn. I have so much gratitude for having been given the chance to live the way I did this past year.