Beginning of the Road

So, to start off, I never thought I’d write a blog. I used to have this notion that the idea of a blog was for self-absorbed and/or shallow people to puke every detail of their likely insignificant lives onto a webpage. I don’t consider myself shallow or self-absorbed, hopefully my writing doesn’t seem like puking, I’m not planning on sharing every piece of my life, and the non-insignificant life bit is a work in progress. I’m writing this though, so clearly some part of my perspective on blogs has changed. That probably started with seeing Terence Tao’s blog. Terence Tao, for those of you who don’t know, is a beast mathematician. Just look at his Wikipedia page if you ever want a lesson in humility. He talks about very legitimate math on there, as well as giving career advice to mathematicians. I saw value in this blog, he does things on there that I’d like to be able do someday, but clearly I’m not in any position to give career advice to others. Then, I found a blog post by Mike Hrostoski called Sex, Booze, Masturbation, and Cold Showers on his blog titled “Adventures in Personal Development”. I was struck not only by how open he was with this somewhat unknown audience, but also by how much he seemed to have grown from his two month challenge. In fact, his blog is filled with posts on, as the title suggests, personal development. I started thinking, maybe I could do something similar.

This brings me to the central idea of my personal philosophy: growth. If I go to bed at night without having grown in some way, I consider it a wasted day. I want to work at becoming the best person that I can be, something which will require me to change some things about how I live. I’m not sure what the “best person that I can be” is, and I don’t ever expect to be. The thing about growth, at least growth as I’ve experienced it, is that as you grow, the way you see the world changes. This makes having a particular ideal to reach for in mind unhelpful; it could change in the next week or so. Not to get sidetracked too much, but this is why I don’t ever see myself getting a tattoo. The way I see it, a tattoo should be something you consider so much a part of yourself that you want it etched on your skin. To truly embrace growth, you must be prepared to throw away any part of your identity, even parts that may have served well in the past. I’ve thrown away large parts of what I saw as my identity for the sake of growth before, such as when I gave up my religious beliefs, which were a huge part of how I saw and interacted with the world (more on this in another later post) and I’m ready to do it again.

The point of this blog isn’t for people to read enlightening things I have to say on life, or for me to attempt to imply that I know how to live life better than anybody else. I feel grossly underqualified to do either of those things. Rather, it’s a place for me to chronicle things that I do as I try to better myself. It’s much harder to not do something after you’ve told people you’re going to do it, and I although I have every intention of finishing everything I set out to do, it’s good to have the extra drive that comes telling others. This is a place for me to practice openness with people I may not know too well, or maybe not at all. I’m also hoping to do monthly challenges, things that will hopefully give me some new perspective or maybe even become a habit. I started the first one today, taking a cold shower, which I’ll write more on once I’m farther into the month. Needless to say, the cold was shocking, it sucked to go through, but damn, when I got out of that shower, I felt good. Hopefully that fits well as a metaphor for the other challenges I’ll soon be putting myself through.

Well, it’s time to stop writing and start doing. Hopefully you decide to come along for the ride.