November 2013

The People You Meet

Something I’ve started to appreciate more since I moved to Austin are relationships.

I grew up and lived in a small town in New Jersey for 19 years of my life. Same people, same events, same food — same everything. Not much changes in a small town. I liked that.

I miss my family, and I miss my friends all the time. How can I ever fill the void of going to Bren’s cabin parties, playing basketball with Frank, and eating my body weight in buffalo wings with Bernard when I’m so far away from it all?

I loved doing those things, but it was always the people that made them so special.

Don’t get me wrong, I came here knowing what I was doing, and in search for a better life. There are already things I’ve grown very accustomed to in my “new life” that I’d miss just as much as I do my life back in New Jersey.

I was lucky to move to a place where I already had friends. Friends who helped me get situated (big shout out to Sean, Chris, and Matt!), and feel welcome to Austin, as unfamiliar as I was with it.

The more people I meet, the more “right” it feels to call Austin my home. I came here for reasons primarily based around my business, but have found so much more in the relationships I’ve made here.

Maybe I appreciate these relationships even greater since I don’t go to school, or have a regular job, and meeting people hasn’t been as “traditional” for me.

I think the circumstances of how some people meet are incredible, though. And even more incredible is how a random sequence of events can pair you up with someone who shares similar interests, has a complementing personality, and can help you grow as a person.

People make all the difference in your life. Don’t take the people in your life around you for granted, and never pass down a chance to make a new friend.

You never know how a person you briefly met even just a year ago, under seemingly meaningless circumstances can suddenly come back into your life and change… everything.

Surrounding Yourself

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher
— Oprah Winfrey

One of the biggest burdens that we carry throughout our lives are bad relationships. In other words, maintaining relationships that don’t necessarily benefit us or push us forward in our growth.

It’s so easy to go out and make friends. The challenging part is keeping that person as a friend, whether you interact with them frequently or not.

The hard part, though?

The hard part is building a mutually beneficial relationship. A kind of relationship where you grow with each other, oftentimes because of that person.

Want to know what I think is the most frightening, confusing, and saddest part of some relationships are?

It’s knowing how to let a person go; to let their influence on you dwindle, and to start dedicating more of your time into yourself and to other more beneficial relationships.

It’s something we will have to face in our lives at some point, and it’s one that I feel a lot of people fail at (man, oh man, how I’ve failed in this area so much).

Those emotions that I mentioned above (fear, confusion, and sadness) are not always put in their place, and cause us to make poor decisions. Of course, other emotions like happiness, excitement and other more “positive” emotions are at play too.

This mixed bag of emotions can cause us to hold onto people that don’t bring the best out of us, and even hinder our growth.

Because we as human beings are imperfect, we’re always looking to better ourselves in one way or the other. The best way to do it is to build great relationships.

Relationships where you have deep conversations. Relationships where you can relax, and think about/do nothing at all. Relationships where you go out and explore your environment.

I like to believe that the majority of relationships we hold onto are ones that truly benefit us.

But at the same time, I know it’s easy to carry bad relationships. It’s easy for things to fall through the cracks, and it’s easy to let emotions overshadow logical reasoning.

When you start to believe somebody is bringing you down in any way, it’s time to seriously reevaluate where you stand with that person.

You may not like what you find. You may keep trying to make things better. But never do it at the expense of you.

A Morning Routine

Mornings are a weird time of day for me. I love them, but they’re weird.

I’m a little groggy from just waking up, and I usually want to just roll around in bed playing around on my phone. All the blinds in my apartment are closed, and it’s pretty dark with the sun barely shining through.

It’s hard to get out of bed sometimes. It’s just a fact of life as far as I’m concerned.

Even when I have a million things to do in a day, and couldn’t be more excited to get to them, there’s this mystifying feeling in the air telling me to continue to be a lazy piece of shit for just a little while longer.

It’s important for us to start our days right. I feel that it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Sometimes being lazy in bed for a little while is a great way to go. But more often than not, we should probably get out of bed sooner.

Most advice you hear about “how to get out of bed faster” will tell you to plan your day out in advance so you have something to look forward to when you wake up. While this is great advice, I think we should plan for immediate results.

After all, that “mystifying feeling” in the air I talked about above couldn’t care less about what happens later. What’s in it for me now? Why should I get out of bed right now?

For me, I’ve found a morning routine I really love. I wake up between 8-9am, get a quick shower/brush my teeth, straighten up my apartment a bit, and get breakfast at my favorite coffee shop, Austin Java (on Barton Springs).

I love everything about my morning routine. I love that the sun isn’t fully up yet when I wake up. I love opening the shades in my apartment and watching that sunlight flood in.

I love the drive to Austin Java, and taking the exit on 290 that loops downwards towards the Barton Creek Greenbelt to get onto the Capital of Texas Highway.

This routine is something I look forward to immediately after waking up, and helps me prepare my mind and body for the rest of the day. Hell, I even love the thrill of trying to beat the heat, and getting outside while it’s still chilly out.

I take my mornings more seriously than any other part of my day. And it’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in a while.

What’s your morning like?