Though I’m primarily dominated by thinking, emotional awareness and connection have become huge themes in my life. I've been focusing on these threads of life a lot, particularly in my writing. Why? Because naturally, these are my weaknesses.
About a year ago, I was sitting with an older man who I perceive to be full of wisdom. I was sharing some of my deepest fears and desires with him. He listened attentively and carefully. Then he gave me one of those incredible gifts of insight that stay with you forever. You know that ones I'm talking about. Those gifts perspectives that hold both kindness, severity, and truth all packaged into one pithy statement.
Each morning, we wake up from our sleep. Some of us recall a dream or two. We had an inner experience exclusively in our minds. But some mornings, our mental car engines begin to rev, and our odometers haven't moved a mile.
During these dreamless states of being, our hearts continue to beat, and our lungs inhale and exhale. (My wife claims this night-time breathing is an obnoxiously noisy process for me).
After several hours of one of these dreamless states of being, we recall absolutely nothing. Whether our minds were active or not, our bodies lay still but continued default operations. Our conscious minds were vacant of experience.
Where were "we" during that time? Did we have a self? Where was our "identity"?
Almost two years ago, my daughter Felicity was born just over 3 months early. My wife and I were traveling a little over 2,000 miles from home at the time. Eventually, I may share a bit more of that story, but what I'm writing about today is something different.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Love is risky?” Well, I’m thirty years old, and until recently I could hardly remember what the risk of love felt like.
A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE
In 2009, I was still in school and living in an apartment with a friend named Jordan. Miracle of miracles, my life collided with a girl whose presence evoked nothing short of an earthquake in my chest.
Each of us develops differently, but we all develop with a common goal: Love.
We want to love ourselves and love others more fully, more authentically. We want to love with more passion, energy, connection, vitality. We are human beings. This is our core, our essence when we dig deep enough.
Which is precisely why I travel. I don’t travel because I enjoy it or because it’s fun for me… I do it for you, neighbor…
At my 29th lap, most of my friends had already crossed the finish line into their 30’s or would very soon. I’m a bit younger than my peers, so positionally I’ve witnessed them weathering the third-decade-storms in advance of my own.
I’ve had time to brace myself. I’ve heard the phrase “quarter-life-crisis” tossed around a few times.
On the surface, my story is quite a bit different.
I discovered my love for witnessing exponential growth at a young age.
It began in nature. I took one look at an acorn, another at an oak tree, and my imagination went so wild with the energy it felt like my mind had lost its virginity. But in a super wholesome way, of course.
Watching seeds grow into seedlings, adolescent trees mature into shady oaks— these things were and are ecstasy for me. Envisioning and letting the imagination run wild creates an intensely gratifying, liberating, self-actualizing kind of energy.