On Monday, May 23rd, 2016, I will turn 26 years old.
This time, last year, I did something unique for my birthday. I went on a retreat with a bunch of students and an old teacher of mine from my former college, Columbia in Chicago, and we drove four hours into the middle of nowhere, Illinois. We stayed in this very nice farm house and spent 3 days meditating, going on nature walks, journaling, sipping tea and discussing art. On the 3rd day, we held an art circle and all shared pieces that we had been working on. I read a chapter from my forthcoming memoir, Confessions of a Teenage Gamer.
This was the first time I had shared any excerpt from my book in over two years. Since graduating from college, I kept the work entirely to myself, hiding away in my apartment and slaving over the manuscript in isolation. I didn't want to share it because "it wasn't ready yet."
When I went on this 3 day retreat last year, I knew I needed to finally read some of it out loud. I needed to hear it and gather feedback so I could figure out how to best move forward with the project.
Now, exactly one year later, and I am approaching the end. Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite. Until you cannot rewrite anymore, and the work has decided on its own that it is "complete."
I think this is an important element of personal development that doesn't get talked about much—the importance of both sharing, and at the same time making an concerted effort to do what it is you need to do, for yourself. Last year, I knew that it was in far better interest for me to go on a 3 day meditation retreat than to party on my birthday. It aligned more closely with my goals and where it was I wanted to move to next. And I suppose you could say that a year later, this is now the unfolding of that investment. The choice I made a year ago helped propel me to where I am right now.
That is the key. If you can make decisions intentionally for where it is you wish to direct yourself, then you will live in a constant state of unfolding.
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