Third time is the charm….right?

Well many of us find ourselves in our third decade of life. As I am super marioing through this decade attempting to get enough power ups to make it through the tough levels, I keep reading all these advice pieces or things talking about your 20s. Especially how much my third decade will change me.

If I am in the statistical majority, I will leave this decade of my life having completed a college degree (check), with a wife, and the hopes of starting a family. Talk about a pretty solid shift from my 23 year old fun loving self, but I want to make a list of some things that I find extremely important to accomplish.

1. Genuinely find myself. I have had 23 years to lay the foundation, but now is the time to make the final changes before the cement is hardened and I need to continue with the rest of my life. Finding myself is key, will I be a devout Catholic? A proud Flyer? A better brother? A government employee? Will I attempt another marathon? Educate myself in my own way? Will I travel? What will be my priority each day? It will take a great deal of work, but I am ready to engage and be challenged. Anyone who thinks they have found themselves at 23 is a liar. There is so much growing and changing to do in the next few years.

2. Do some of the things I have always wanted to do. At this point in my life, I have a lot left to do. I have a lot to see. I have a lot to aim for. Make the goals. Then, complete them. There is very little holding me back at this point. I have no significant others or children, but a great support system of friends and family. It is time to pursue some things no matter how hard they will be because if I fail, I have a great group of people to fall back on.

3. Get to know my family and friends I already have better. I have an absolutely AMAZING family whom I would trade nothing for, but I learned this year, they can be snatched from you right when you begin to appreciate them. I need to do better than I have been. I should strive to be a better brother, son, cousin, nephew, and grandson. Also, I can be a much better friend. The communication is lacking. It will take a concerted effort to do better with the people I care about and have know forever, but if I work hard it can happen.

4. Never blame the situation I am in. I cannot stand when my post college friends say, “I cannot make friends/it is so hard to make friends.” or “I never have fun anymore.” or my personal favorite, “I hate my job, where I live, who my friends are.” Well no one made you do any of this. You are the only person who can make you unhappy, but luckily you are the only one who can make yourself happy. If your friends are mean, do not be friends with them. If you hate your job, bust your ass and find a new one. If you are not learning anything, read a book. The decisions we make inevitably forge our path and that path will never be the straight and narrow nor will it be without obstacles, but remember you chose the journey and can alter it along the way.

5. Stop being bored. My grandfather (the still living one for those keeping score) taught me people who are bored all the time are boring people. It shows a lack of creativity and innovation to not find a new way to entertain yourself. Take a bartending class, join a gym, see a play. A great deal of activities are available just find them. Join a living social or the like if you need some help, just never be complacent.

6. Never stop learning. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.”-Ghandi

The only time we stop being a human race is when we stop progressing. If you love cooking, learn to cook new recipes. If you have always wanted to learn about 4th century Chinese emperors, then find a book. If you want to learn how to ride a skateboard, then head down to your local skate park and offer a 13 year old kid 10 bucks a lesson, trust me he will do it. Also seek out new skills, ideas, facts to learn. There is nothing worse than wasting the gifts you have been given.

7. Laugh often, cry sometimes, and be sure to smile every day. Humor helps make life easier, more bearable at times. It is always good to find the humor in everything. Honor the irony in situations along with the true humor in others. Not every moment in life will be great and guess what it is ok to cry. It is ok to miss those you love, but never let it get in the way of crying from laughing too hard or out of sheer joy. Finally, be sure to smile because it is important to never forget your blessings in life. To always remember those who love you, have raised you, and those who choose to be around you (your friends).

Well I have 7 points for my next seven years. Hopefully this third decade is the one when I learn how to live my life the best way possible. Hopefully I love a little sweeter, laugh a little longer, hug more often, and smile every single day. Only walking the path of life will show me if that is true.

Well my dear friends until next time, be safe and make good decisions…

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