Growing Up

Life Through the Lens of a Big Kid


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Missed Opportunities

This afternoon I say the dirtiest car I have ever seen in my life. The car was covered from top to bottom in dried mud and looked like a giant rock with wheels. I literally stopped and laughed out loud when I saw this thing sitting in the gas station parking lot. While scanning the image of this car to comprehend the reality of it, I realized that the driver of the vehicle was still siting in the vehicle looking…well, not too excited about eventually having to clean off his car. In this moment a couple of things ran through my head. 1) - How can I get a picture of this car without being so obvious to not only the driver but everyone else staring and 2) - how the hell did this car get COVERED from top to bottom in mud?

A few days after my 18th birthday I got to travel to India with a group of friends doing music for a youth conference and spent time in Bangalore and Madurai. For anyone who is familiar with Indian culture it is quite different from what you can imagine that I had experienced as a kid who spent much of my life in small town Pennsylvania. As a teenager I had had great opportunities to travel though nothing had quite prepared me for the drastic changes that I would encounter during my visit.

There were things that took some initial getting used to – not eating (or doing anything really) with your left hand which proved extremely difficult for me as…a left handed person. There was generally no toilet paper anywhere that we traveled, hotel included, and much of travel happened in a small van with no AC in 100-degree weather with a driver who fully embraced the first rule of driving in India; there are no rules. While many of these things can seem to have a negative bent it really helped me to learn more about the culture of this breathtakingly beautiful country and people.

Unfortunately there was one major downside to the entire experience – my attitude. While in India I wish that I could say I tried every food that was placed in front of me but the reality is I often skipped out on a traditional Indian meal and waited until we had gotten back to the hotel where I could dig into a stash of pop tarts that were snuck past customs. I wish that while making the 13-hour drive from Madurai to Bangalore I had taken the time to look out the window even once and marvel at the gorgeous countryside and all of the villages that we traveled through but instead I was either sleeping or complaining about the lack of AC. There are countless other examples of the opportunities I missed out on during this trip and these are things I can never get back.

So what does all of this have to do with a randomly dirty car in the middle of a gas station parking lot?

Why do People Fail: My Opinion

On Ideas

Note this is a long post detailing my thoughts and what I learned in the last 2 months since I was gone. Bolding in lines I felt needed to be emphasized.

First a personal story.

I stopped blogging for the past month and half because an opportunity came along, but in reality the opportunity had always been there. For the longest time I wanted to make money online, from my computer and one of my friends told me about this great, low risk way to make money online, but I didn’t believe it and I always had an excuse. I would post on this blog, learn languages, spend time biking around exploring etc. and use all that to rationalize not giving my friends proposition a shot. My friend kept telling me he could help me at anytime, it would cost him almost nothing to get me on board, and in fact it would be of great help to him. Once in a while I would help out, but I wouldn’t see the money in it. The job required me to be on and aware over a long period of time. I just didn’t feel it was worth it.

Then one day, when I was having one of my long bike rides around the city I asked myself why has one month passed and nothing changed? Yeah I’ve gotten a bit better at Japanese and German, I’d read some good books like The Art of Learning and The Slight Edge, and I’d also had some amazing food experiences and watched all of Arrested Development. But something didn’t seem right. I felt a lot of my time was going to waste. I wasn't necessarily being unproductive: my grades were doing good, I had genuinely learned a great deal about various things. I was in good shape, and was having a great time eating amazing food and meeting new people. I was overall pretty content with myself.

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