Thursday, April 5, 2012

Top Ten Lessons Learned Ten Years Later

The emails and FB messages show no signs of stopping anytime soon. That's right, folks, we're two months away from my 10 year high school reunion.

Am I going? No. Wait, lets make that 'hell no.' Why? Well, other than the obvious fact that I live over 2,000 miles away, that's a whole other blog post of it's own.

For this particular post, I want to focus on something different; something a little more positive.

All the chatter about the class reunion has inspired some reflection over the past ten years of my life. I've learned a lot, and that's a great thing. So let's focus on lessons learned, opposed to pounds gained and all those reasons I wretch at the thought of actually attending the reunion. So, here we go!

Top Ten Lessons Learned Ten Years Later


#1 The 'real world' everyone makes reference to? It's not really real. Life is what you make it. And no world I've ever lived in is more real, unpleasantly so,  than high school. My life seems to get better with every year.

#2 Mean people suck, and let's face it; they're everywhere. But like I just said, life is what you make it. Surround yourself with good people and store up those good-people-vibes; you'll need 'em when the guy in the cubical next to you is a total jerkface.

#3 Not many relationships last through life transitions. People grow apart. Most people, but not all of them. Those good people I told you to surround yourself with? Hold on to them. Tell them what they mean to you. It'll be good for them to hear it, and good for you to say. Take every opportunity available to tell people you love them.

#4 Dream big. It's important. But live even bigger. Living is more important than dreaming. If you spend your days pining over what may happen, nothing will ever happen. Nothing at all. Live.

#5 Speaking of dreams, I haven't reached any of mine. But I've recently realized something: I haven't achieved anything I hoped to because I haven't tried hard enough. I'm not completely incapable, I'm just completely unconfident. That, in itself, has ironically been a confidence booster.

#6 Take lots of pictures. Everywhere you go, everyone you're with. Take lots of pictures. Pictures don't just capture the moment; they capture the moment the way you want to remember it.

#7 We're all just as clueless as the next guy. We're all just people. The lawyer, the surgeon, the CEO; they're just people too. Jacked-up people. So don't feel bad when you see that guy who's got it all together, 'cuz he really don't. We learn life as we live it.

#8 God uses everything, every little quark about who you are, what you've experienced and odd little gifts and pitfalls. I am a sponge; God has wrung out every little thing that I have in me; there's nothing left he hasn't used. I wont refer to the cliche that everything happens for a reason, but I will say God redeems all things to His Glory. All things.

#9 You are not your job. You are not your family or friends. You are not your spouse. You are you. These other things are part of who you are, but still, you are you. Figure out who that is. How? Hell, I don't know! But its important. Things and people can be ripped from us the in the blink of an eye. What will be left of you then?

#10 Other than high school choir teachers, no one else in the world gives a crap about being first chair bass. No where else in the world will anyone care how many ribbons I've won for arias I have sung, or even know what an aria is. There are no English teachers thrilled to read my poetry each week. No art teachers to appreciate my personal artisitc flair, even when my depth perception shading is crap. It's time to let go. Not of hobbies or interests. But its time to let go of the hope it will all matter to someone else again one day. Sports. Art. Music. Whatever your thing is: let it matter to you. And let that be enough.


Josh said...

You're very wise, Nathan.

Josh said...

It's too bad Blogger doesn't have a "favorite" feature like deviantART does, or I'd favorite this blog post.

Nate said...

:o) Thanks, Josh!

--V-- said...

Love this post! Love you!