Close Your Eyes And Leap

Today is a great day.

Why is today so great?

Because today is the first day of the rest of my life.  And that is no small thing to realize.  I’ve been standing on a metaphorical cliff for year now, wondering if I can fly.  Now is the time to find out.  Over the weekend, I took a step back, closed my eyes, and took a running jump off the edge.  I hope you’ll follow me as I learn to fly by making the very best out of a life that didn’t seem to have very much in it to inspire thus far.

________

I am 22 years old, and this week, for the first time in years, I feel like my life is truly wide-open, with endless possibilities in front of me.  I used to be a graduate researcher with a fellowship offer at a large state school in the US.  But that was last week. Literally.

The thing is, I discovered that I have no interest in pursuing the graduate degree I was working on.  I have no interest in being in the field that degree was preparing me for, or the lifestyle associated with it.  I think I probably realized that (subconsciously) months ago, but I was only confident enough to commit to changing my life’s course for the better within the past 5 days.

I’ve been pursuing the safe course in life for years now.  I’ve failed to challenge myself in any meaningful way for so long that I don’t even remember what it’s like to strive for a goal, to work my socks off to achieve it, and to reach the pinnacle and look down on my accomplishments.  I have forgotten what it feels like to have even an inkling of pride in my achievements.  It’s not that I’ve never done anything, it’s that I’ve spent years doing what I suspected that other people would be proud of, and never anything that I thought added value to my own life.

Today is a new scene in the movie of my life, a new chapter in the book.  For better or for worse, I’ve now taken that first step that can’t be undone.  I quit my job.  I committed to going forward and I’ve jumped off that cliff; now there is no going back.  I am going to build a life that makes the most out of my talents, my hopes, my dreams, my aspirations.

Okay, so if you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering exactly what all this has to do with some sort of “maximization project”.

No one exists on an island in time.  The things that went before invariably affect those that follow after.  In this case, while I’ve chosen to abandon the scientific research career I had been planning, I’ve still been inculcated with that way of thinking.

This blog is going to chronicle my life, the choices I make, the things I’m trying to accomplish, and the ways I go about making those dreams come true.  In short, I am going to let you inside my head as I try to maximize my own potential in life.

I’ll describe in detail the ways that I’m chasing my goals.  I’ll update you on my progress, and share my triumphs and failures.  I’ll share links to inspirational content.  I’ll tell you what works and doesn’t work, how people react to the things that I do.

Hopefully, someone will read this and learn from my failures, be inspired by my successes, or learn something from my content.

In the end though, I’m not too worried about readership.  This blog is about being held accountable to myself.  Once I put something down in words and press “Publish”, it’s out there.  It’s a promise I’ve made to someone, a vague, nebulous someone to be sure, but a someone nevertheless, out there on the internet.  That carries a little more psychological weight than just imagining to myself “hey, today would be a good day to start learning Chinese”.

So, welcome aboard!  Let’s set sail for parts unknown and get to work digging out the very best life has to offer.

-B

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