I recently connected with someone on Facebook that I hadn't seen in more than fifteen years. The last time I saw her, we were both goofy-looking children. She's a model, now. I'm no model by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm not as ugly as some of these busted-up mugs I've seen. Yeah, my weight gain diet didn't turn out the way I thought it would. My arms and shoulders are still scrawny, but I've got a nice gut to compensate. Physical attributes aside, life has been good to me. I'm not sure if I would have said the same a few weeks ago.
I haven't been too keen on turning 25. My father-in-law spent his 25th birthday in a state of mournful regret. Even though he'd accomplished alot for a young man, he still felt inadequate. I guess that's where I am. But there's alot to be thankful for. I've got Bekki. That doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but you try living with her for a week and you might have a new found respect for what I put up with. Getting married at 21 isn't an accomplishment. To remain married and still just as madly in love four years later is, though. We own a house. No one bought it for us. No one gave it to us. I guess no matter where life takes us I can be happy that we got there on our own grit and determination. Our families helped out, mind you, and I'm not dogging anyone whose family has helped out more, but we did it ourselves and that's something I can be proud of.
I haven't published a book, yet. I promised myself that I'd have a published book by the time I turn 25. I could sit here and wallow about my loss of professional success (and trust me, I have), but I have so much personal success that it all seems minute. The personal growth I've developed is deeply satisfying. I think having the energy and the attention span of a 3rd grader has brought my wife to her wit's end, but my personal discovery has only brought us closer together. And at the end of the day, our relationship is the true bar of success.
I promised my mother before I left Charleston that I would find Jesus. With as many churches as there are around here I regret to inform her that this has not happened yet. I am growing spiritually, which is not what she probably wants to hear, but it still means something. We all take different paths in life. I never would have thought that mine would lead me to this small Appalachian town, but it has and life is good. And no, I didn't cop out for a $25 "Life is Good" t-shirt, I used every waking thought to send me in a positive direction. I might have gotten distracted by a couple shiny objects, but I'm still on that righteous path.
I'm not sure who said it first or who I heard it from, but there's a quote I try to live by. It goes, "We are the thoughts we choose to entertain in our minds". I'm thinking mostly positive thoughts these days. Hopefully that paired with hard work will bring me to where I want to be professionally. I may never be a model or fill out a one-piece bathing suit the way some people do, but I'm happy. And at 25 that's about all I can say.
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