Perpetually in Motion
I had a coach in college who frequently stressed the importance of recognizing changes in pace. I struggled to understand and adjust to the concept on the rugby pitch, and it's proved to be a challenge in post-grad life as well. Life speeds up and slows down, and sometimes it seems impossible to become acclimated to the pace of the moment. Like standing on a lurching metro train without hand holds, it's often difficult to focus on anything other than maintaining balance. And all the while, your balance is degraded from an ideal state - good habits become after-thoughts and bad habits reinstate themselves as routine.
That balancing act, however, is a significant characteristic of life in Washington, DC. Living in the capital of the free world, striving to contribute to democratic ideals, advance an agenda, or simply get ahead professionally demands attention and a constant pursuit. The pace of the city that I've called home for nearly five years keeps me active and aware, but recently I've been acutely conscious of how invested I've become in keeping up. Top of mind are the large and small responsibilities on tap for tomorrow or next week, using every moment of each day productively, and the arc of my own development professionally. Meanwhile, the little victories can fall by the wayside.
I'm constantly moving forward, like most other young, ambitious, and idealistic folks, but the perpetual shifts between moments of acceleration and deceleration result in a feeling of immobility. What a ridiculous personal paradox. In the quest to improve and advance, I'm in the same lane of the same race that I started when I arrived in DC as a broke but eager college graduate without a backup plan. Five years later, I'm much more established and secure in almost every category - professionally, financially, intellectually (maybe) - but still push for the next milestone. I'm perpetually in motion.
It took a couple unusual events to guide me to the realization that I was losing sight of some really important things, those that matter to the soul and not just the resume. A couple of close friends, Mike and Collin, moved away to the exotic and faraway lands of San Francisco and South America, respectively. Additionally, a knee injury may have effectively slammed the door on my professional sportz career aspirations. Laugh all you want at that one, but I had achieved an elite carbo-loading rhythm that I've been able to maintain even through surgery and rehabilitation.
It was all enough to peel away the blinders long enough to realize that my spending on the small present moments that matter was frugal, and came at the expense of the gambles I've been making on a future I'll always have time to chase down. There are some incredible experiences and lessons revealing themselves every single day, and they deserve more than fleeting recognition. Ultimately, my most recent epiphany was all it took to commit to this little project.
This is the first post of a blog that I hope survives long beyond the initial gung-ho impulse that Collin, Mike, and I have been discussing via video chat across three different time zones and two different hemispheres. We're not certain what form it will ultimately take or what themes we'll pursue, but I have a couple personal hopes for this blog. I hope that I nurture a natural appreciation for what is special or even just good right now, rediscover a bit of the creativity that I've lost since becoming a contributing member of society, and stay in touch with two dudes that inspired me to put myself out there digitally in the first place.
Who knows if we'll have any readers during this glimpse into our once-shared, now diverged lives. My hope for any internet vagabond that stumbles upon our words is that they provide some motivation to appreciate what you've got going on right now. An Instagram pic, Facebook post, or tweet is not enough to do the job. You can't mentally catalog all of the joys in front of you and save them for sharing later; it's going to stack up on you. Appreciate what's good in your life now. And then tell someone about it. We'll do our best to do the same.