Why I'm Starting a Blog at the Age of 34

The TLDR summary

I don't want to write a book no one will read and most blogs are bland oatmeal but this one is a golden blog raisin.

Let's begin

First things first - confession time - today as I write this I'm feeling old. In some ways too old to start a blog. Ugh, even the word "blog" sounds like something young travelers do for their moms. However, in the vast sea of useless blog oatmeal float a few golden blog raisins where new thoughts are created and shared with the world.

Blog oatmeal vs golden blog raisins

Sharpening thoughts through writing

Publicly writing down my thoughts will force me to think a bit deeper. No longer can I keep them as comforting thought blankets in my head. Furthermore, writing thoughts down publicly will allow you to challenge them and me to refine them into something better.

I do realize sharing thoughts publicly comes with a risk of infection - a communicable disease really - from the infamous internet troll. Even though trolls are hell-bent on ruining civil discourse I welcome them all the same.

Internet Troll, look out!

So after I had a sad that I'm 34, and accepted the obvious risk of troll infection, I'm here to say, "Hello, and welcome to The Boxes of Life."

Let's digress on the business of being busy

Life has a way of feeling busy; or rather a lot of us choose - or even worse, we fall into - busy lives. While living-life-busy we can feel like everything we're doing is important and that we're exactly where we want to be. OK, maybe some of you who have busy lives actually are busy saving little babies from starvation or reconnecting severed aortas or housing the homeless or generally following the path of Mother Theresa, but I'm going to assume most of you are living life like I do where the mundane feels important because you're involved and your boss is telling you what you're doing is important and that if you do it well it could do really good things for the business and, "oh by the way, I'm going to need you to come in on Sunday".

You're only human so you start thinking that you are important and if you don't spend those extra hours at work then the whole business will come to a halt. Well, I hate to break it to you, but your busy life is probably not important in the grand scheme of anything and you're kidding yourself if you think spending another weekend at work is going to make the difference. Damn, I'm sorry to have said it like that, I can feel your stung ego from here... but it's true. You might be thinking, "Wow, that's pretty heavy for a first blog post" and you're completely right, it is. So let's step back and listen to me tell a story of how this blog came to be and finally share with you what it's all about.

Don't worry, I'm going to shut up eventually and get to the point.

This blog's origin story

Once upon a time - two months ago - I was cooking dinner outside of a National Park in northern California. While sauteing some peppers I realized my life thus far has been directed by two desires, one for new experiences and another for knowledge. Those two things could really be combined into simply "seeking newness". If a life choice felt like a new adventure I'd take it or if there was a chance to gain new knowledge I'd pounce. This strategy has served me well and lead to a wide variety of experiences: I've been a Nuclear Engineer for the Navy, an English teacher and shark feeder in Thailand, an oyster-farmer in Alaska, and a veterinary nurse and businessman in Australia.

More and more often I get asked by friends and strangers (who I always assume to be future friends), "How do you do it?" I usually respond with a vague - and borderline neanderthalian answer - like, "Uh, I dunno." Super helpful, I know. Giving it a bit more thought the real answer would be something like, "I don't fear change, I embrace it." Change has been the only constant for me over the years. Sometimes it's painfully abrupt and other times delightfully smooth, but I'm always looking for ways to improve or try something new or blow up my expectations.

Since my mind enjoys thinking about new projects I thought, "Gee whiz, it'd be fun to write a book about managing changes in life." However, I also thought, "I've never written a book before and what if I spent a year writing only to have my mom be the sole reader of the finished product?" I mean I love my mom but that would be a disaster.

So I've decided to start a blog first. Here I'll be refining my ideas, finding out what you think about them (yes you, hello there), and generally becoming a better writer before writing a book. So don't be shy about telling me what you think, even if you think this whole thing is the dumbest of the dumb.

The Boxes of Life metaphor

After discovering that I adore the subject of self-change and that I'd like to write about it, I continued pondering about change, and life, and choices, and stuff, and things. A metaphor popped into my head that had to do with boxes, and boxes within boxes, and human beings built out of boxes and, and... boxes!

"I need more boxes!"

Basically I view our careers, lifestyles, personality traits, habits, and even emotions as groups of boxes. The boxes we have define who we are and ultimately how we live life. Currently, we all have a personal set of boxes. They've come from childhood and the choices we've made through life thus far. Some are good and others bad.

Some good news, we're not stuck with the boxes we have. Some bad news, changing boxes isn't always easy. Maybe you've spent 20 years putting yourself into the "I'm a smoker" box and now you want out. Well, you better be ready to work for it.

More good news is that switching boxes is possible but isn't always necessary. Maybe you find out one of the boxes you're currently in is an awesome box! And that you'd like to develop it further because you hadn't realized until some self-reflection how awesomely full of unicorn glitter this box you're in really is. Yahtze!

What do these "boxes" have to do with your life?

By consciously managing these boxes you can take life by the horns and tame it into a happy and docile beast that will keep you warm at night. Sound too good to be true? It is, there's no way one of these metaphorical boxes will keep you warm at night. If that's all you need in life then go get a blanket and a new Netflix series to binge watch, seriously, it'll be awesome.

"I have the most perfectest life ever, I'm so happy."

My head hurts

Thinking about the boxes of life raises a lot of questions. Where did they come from? How can we figure out which boxes we're in? What other boxes are out there? What boxes are my loved ones in and how does that affect their lives? What boxes am I in that are affecting my relationships? If I could choose my own existence which boxes would I get rid of and which would I add? Hmmmm.

There's lots to think about and explore with this near out-of-control box metaphor and that's why I'm creating a blog at the age of 34. Even though I feel old today my interest is peaked, I'm ready to explore this idea further, and I hope you'll join me. If you have the energy for it after reading this first ramble then check out What is a Box Anyways?, if not then subscribe below to get notified of new posts.

And note, if you're an internet troll and you'd like to get this party started please leave your hate speech in the comments below, just click "show comments", I'll be ready.

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