“Have I gone mad?
I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usualy are.”

It seems like only yesterday that I sat on a wooden chair in Ohio; seated at Cracker Barrel with my brother, sister, and Mother. During breakfast, my Mom pulled out a handful of family photos. It was how she wanted to spend the last few moments with me, before I drove off to pursue a new life in sunny Los Angeles.

At the time, I remember not wanting to look at the photos. For better or for worse, I was uncomfortable looking back at my childhood. That day, I wanted to think ahead of the things to come – rather than look back and reminisce the younger version of me that hadn’t yet learned how to dress well, speak to women, or possess the know-how that can only come with age and maturity.

Now 31 years-old, I can look back at my early-20’s self and have compassion for the young man that desperately wanted to make something of himself. If I could tell him one thing, it’d be to enjoy the ride. Life happens as you do. There’s no need to rush things, pretend to be somebody you aren’t, and chase the impossible standard of perfection.

Be you, kid. You’ll be alright.

My 20’s were an incredible decade, for which I’m very grateful. Very few people can say they’ve been able to make it as a self-employed entrepreneur; a challenge which I succeeded at for 8 of the 10 years. Life as an entrepreneur is about far more than making money. Rather, it’s about finding opportunities and having the ability to leverage them to your advantage in order to make a living.

At 31, I’ve experienced 17 countries, 100+ clients, and more blood, sweat, and tears than I care to count. The years haven’t been easy. However, every day forward is a reminder to be thankful for the incredible life I’ve had.

To be completely transparent, things in my mind haven’t always been a piece of cake. I’ve battled my share of anxiety, severe depression, and a constant battle with insecurity that I’m enough, as I am. There have been many moments where I’ve fought through tears; wondering why I struggle to feel like I’m enough, as I am.

The pain. The struggle. The wrenching thoughts of feeling alone. All of these things have been a constant companion through all of the incredible adventures that have been sprinkled over the last decade of my life.

I’m not entirely sure why the universe felt it necessary to dish me the pain that I’ve experienced. However, I am thankful for every bitter moment, because I know the pain is a teacher.

Not a day goes by where I don’t think of my deceased Father; wishing he were here to pick up the phone when I dialed 783-5241…

Yet, he’s not here anymore. All that remains is a collection of memories that continue to fade as I make new ones.

I hope you know that it’s never too late to start your life. Wherever you find yourself, know that you can pick up the pieces and start becoming the person you dreamed of being. There’s no battle that is too powerful for you to overcome; the victory isn’t in the outcome, but whether or not you decide to fight.

What matters most in this whole mess of a thing we get to call our life, is how we treat others and whether or not we allow ourselves to experience all of the joys, love, and life that universe has for us.

Are things always wonderful? Absolutely not. However, every day is a new opportunity to create something new and wonderful with the seconds it grants you. I hope you’re able to see this life thing as more than a burden, and appreciate every moment for the beauty it is.

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