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20 -> almost 30

I turn 30 tomorrow and I wanted to write something down. I didn’t know what I had to say, but I started writing anyway… this is what I came up with.

What I’d like to start with is that you often hear that “time goes by so fast” and one would think on the brink of the next decade I’d be asking myself “where did the time go?” But I’m not. As I think about it, this last decade has been incredibly long. I think of some incredible moments I’ve had during this time and some of the amazing memories that have been made. And looking towards the future I believe the best years are yet to come, and that has me excited more than anything. So much has changed since 2010, and so much has happened. My life and everything in it is entirely unrecognizable to who and where I was when I was 20.

I was a single guy with a fake ID in the later half of my college experience. I lived in a bachelor house with wine stains on the carpet and a dishwasher you had to roll across the room to attach to the sink. All of my money went towards tortillas and beer. But most importantly I had no idea who I wanted to be, or really what I wanted to do with my life.

I had dreams, sure, but they weren’t really dreams. I loved the idea of being a country star, but I didn’t love practicing guitar and writing songs every day, I just loved the idea of what that practice could lead to. I loved teaching, but I didn’t love the school system. I dreamed of making a million before turning 30, but I didn’t make any attempt at starting a business or investing my money to make that happen. In short, I was full of thoughts and dreams of my potential but I was “too heavenly minded to do any earthly good”.

I’m realizing that I will always be the dreamer. I will continue having high notions of things I would like to accomplish in the future, and I will continue to set lofty goals for myself. But what has noticeably changed in the last 10 years is that I am better at putting one foot in front of the other when it comes to some of these goals. A motto I have is “Action begets Motivation” not the other way around. Which basically means, just do something, the motivation will come. This idea has lead me to actually finishing some of the things I started! (pretty wild right?)

The foundation I set during the last decade will help me reach higher in the coming one. Being more established in my career and having more focus on things I enjoy will allow me to dive deeper and go further in the coming years than I could have when I was younger. However, it is up to me to continue to focus on the areas of my life that deliver the most value. I’ve proven to myself that I can finish things I start, I just need to continue doing that.

I’d like to take some space to acknowledge some highlights. These are important events, goals met, and things I am proud of:

  • Got Engaged! (Covid prevented the wedding we wanted this year, so our wedding will be a highlight of the next decade!)
  • Bought a house (and remodeled most of it)
  • Became a Dog Dad (life is better with a good dog)
  • Published 2 books
  • Travelled to 23 countries (and have some stories to tell)
  • Graduated from College (with a degree I enjoyed, even though it’s not in the same field as my career)

There are some areas of my life that could use some improvement. These are some areas of focus for the coming years:

  • Treat my body better (Work out more, eat better)
  • Do more things (Regardless of how “good” I am at them)
  • Write more often (I feel great every time I write, so make I want to make writing more of a habit)

I don’t have a ton of advice to the younger generation looking at their 20’s in front of them. But I will say two things:

  1. It’s important to enjoy what you are doing more often than you don’t
  2. And it feels good to accomplish goals you set for yourself — no matter how small

That’s the advice I will be taking for myself in the coming years.

Written by

Programmer — Writer. @andyhartnett12

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