MIP (Man in Progress)

This will be my last post as 24 year-old Ollin.

Of course, when we get close to our birthdays we can’t help but make some assessments about our lives. Where we’ve been and where we’re headed. We feel sad about the people we lost touch with, and smile at the thought of the new wonderful people who popped into our lives this year, if only for a brief moment. In awe of how old friendships got deeper.  Distressed at how fast new friendships can fizzle out before they have even begun. We go over the hard decisions we had to make, about other decisions we regretted. The mistakes. The hunches we thought would be mistakes and now realize we we’re right on the money and should have listened to ol’ reliable intuition. The moments we totally embarrassed ourselves but were glad no one was watching. The moments we impressed ourselves and wished someone was watching. The good times. The really good times. The bad times. The really bad times. The times we were so certain that this or that situation would be the end of us, but somehow, we made it through. There are the questions we never got answers to. There are the answers we got, but didn’t like, but we accepted them anyway. Then there are those answers that did come, much faster than we thought they would, that kinda blew our mind.

We might marvel at how much we have grown. At how fast time moves when you look back at it, but how when you’re in it, time sort of, drags along, in a predictable sort of way. There are two things that are happening. The old you is leaving, the new you is taking its place. You kinda don’t want to say goodbye. It’s not that you wanna get stuck at a certain age, it’s just you were starting to get comfortable. You just started getting used to all that it meant to be that number. Used to saying it when people ask you, and now suddenly, the number’s changed. Okay you think, I guess I’m gonna have to get used to this new number means, and what it’s going to teach me, and what it’s going to help me with, and the joys and tears that it will bring, and, and, and, and…  But I was just getting comfortable!

It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s really scary. It’s really exciting.

What I can say at this point, is that I used to judge a year in my life by whether I had “wasted” it or not. Goes to show you how my perspective has changed. That’s a HORRIBLE barometer! No, no. That won’t do. I think the way we should measure a year (other than love–cue the RENT song!) is by what it taught us, of course. I think this year I truly learned how to deal with the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of my  person. It was a hard road to get there, let me tell you, but I have gotten there. Finally. I feel very confident and comfortable with these three areas of my life and I am ready to move on forward with other aspects of my life that need attention.

Those three aspects are:

1. Physical

2. Career

3.  Romantic Relationships

Oh boy. Each one of these makes me squirm.

I’ve always hated sports, and just could never get myself to love going to the gym. I’m turning 25 but I still have the body of a pre-pubescent boy. Not. Sexy. I’ve gotten a little bit better with eating healthier, but I seriously have no idea where to start about nutrition or protein shakes or whatever it is you’re supposed to eat daily so you don’t get cancer/diabetes/mad cow/third eye. (Wait, a third eye might be cool to have. Quick–what do I eat so I can get that?”)

As far as career goes:  I was always good at being an artist, but not quite good at making a living out of it. I can get myself to write some pretty decent stories, but submitting them to places, looking to be represented, actually going out of my way and trying really hard to get someone to pay me to write–we’ll I’m not there yet. It’s not because it isn’t possible. I know a few of you who already make a living out of your writing, which is so inspiring. So I know it isn’t the writing itself. A career in writing CAN be had, it’s just I haven’t shown enough gusto to want to have it. I’m not gonna lie, I’m totally guilty of fearing rejection, fearing failure, and at the same time fearing success (do not ask me how that is possible.) There are several things that block me from this.  I learned that emotional, psychological and spiritual limits can be removed when you apply focus, energy, and a willingness to face what blocks you. Seeing my success in these three areas means that now I can apply this same principle to my career with some confidence.

Then there’s #3 on the list.  Uhhh… Ehhh… As you can see this one’s going to take not only year 25 of my life, but maybe 26 and 27 to get through… and 28, and 29, and…  Let’s just say that the fact that I can’t even talk about number #3 without wanting to hyperventilate shows you that this is one area of my life I really need to improve upon.

Well, there you have it. There’s the good, the bad and the ugly. The good thing about 24 is that now I can accept it all. I don’t yet love it all, but I can accept it as who I am at this moment. I don’t like admitting that there is room to grow, but we have got to address these aspects of ourselves eventually right? So, why not now?

Join me in moving forward then. Pick an aspect or two you need improvement on and promise yourself you’ll put renewed focus on that part of you for the next year or two. (Please don’t make it more than three, don’t overwhelm yourself!) Start with small little goals for each one, and don’t hold yourself accountable for anything but trying to accomplish these goals, not on achieving them. The promise you will make to yourself is not that you became a new man or woman overnight, but only that you will try.

Which reminds me of one last thing I learned at age 24. Yoda was wrong. Trying is vastly underrated. You’d be amazed at how much you can grow if you just ask yourself to try, instead of demanding that you do or do not.

So here’s hoping for another year of progress. For me and for you.

much “a very very happy unbirthday to you… to YOU!”


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37 comments on “MIP (Man in Progress)

  1. Here’s wishing you a very, very happy Birthday Ollin!
    And I am sure you are one awesome MIP! 🙂 Stay like this, forever.


  2. Happy Birthday Ollin!
    Isn’t it amazing how many of us cool kids are born in September?
    What a fabulous post. You’re honesty is wonderful. Exactly what we need to move forward in our lives.
    I wish you all the best this year as you truly deserve it!

    • Ollin says:

      Thanks. Eh, sometimes I wonder if I’m too honest. Oversharing much? lol.

      You’re september too? Libra? No wonder we get each other! What day? My big day is next tuesday the 28.

      • Ah, you are the day before my Mum! Which scores you extra cool points!
        I’m a virgo, Sept. 8. But yep, it works.
        I hear you with the worry about being too honest, but then I question that question.
        How can we give the best of ourselves when we hold back out of fear? mmm, sounds like a blog post…

  3. Agatha82 says:

    How wise of you to take account of your life like that. I haven’t even done that now, and I’m way past 25. I try to keep to fit by walking. Eating healthy, well, I struggle with it, do it for a while and then I lose it and stop contemplating if what I am eating is good or bad etc. Never mind about No.3 (relationships) I don’t bother but that’s my choice I guess. I’m too picky for my own good and I don’t even care any more.
    About writing and making a career out of it, yes, it’s very hard and I understand the fear of failure along with the fear of success as well. More than anything, I struggle with self-belief as I honestly do not know if I am actually a good enough writer to succeed but I am trying to see if I can cut it and make a career out of it as working in some crap job that pays the bills until I retire makes me want to scream in horror.

    • Ollin says:

      Well, Agatha, I won’t lie. It ain’t easy. It took a lot of pain to get to that wisdom. Maybe one day I’ll feel more comfortable sharing all the personal details, but for now I can say, I feel for the first time that I’m headed in the right direction, and I’m doing all right for myself considering the things I’ve had to face.

      In terms of food and relationships, you and me both! Maybe I should lower my standards, but screw that, I deserve somone great! If that means I’ll be alone for a bit, so be it.

      Well, for what it’s worth Agatha. I believe you. I really do. You are one of those readers who inspire me with their story. You are so brave, and the fact that you’ve arranged a life where you can take care of the basic essentials and give yourself the time to write is a pretty grand achievement let me tell you. I’ve given myself time to write, but can’t quite strike the right balance with this and financial stability.

      Good luck to you! 🙂

      • Agatha82 says:

        Good god, scatty me forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday. May you find everything you are looking for and yes, do not lower your standards! Trust me, you’re better off alone until the right person comes along. Thank you for your lovely words. You’ll get it all sorted one day, including the right balance to do everything. Took me years and I had years and years of horrible debt where I was pretty much addicted to my credit cards and felt like a prisoner with no way out.

  4. T.S. Bazelli says:

    Happy birthday! I think you have just the right attitude going into the quarter century mark. You’re right about how important trying is. It’s the first step for everything, and necessary. Best wishes 🙂

  5. Ollin says:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

    We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

    Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

    There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.” – Marianne Williamson

    This quote keeps turning up recently. Seriously. I don’t look for it, it’s just everywhere I look. I’m not sure it’s because it’s growing in popularity, or if Somone is trying to tell me something. 🙂

    Maybe it’s both.


  6. Happy birthday Ollin!!!

  7. milkfever says:

    Happy birthday, Ollin. Your honesty is truly a breath of fresh air. Thank you. For what it’s worth, I think you’re right on track and doing splendidly. 🙂

    • Ollin says:

      Thank you Lisa. It’s great to hear someone outside of my head telling me I’m on the right track. I always have those nagging doubts I have to push away. They tend to shut up more when other people give me better perspective on my life and progress. So it helps. Thank you! 🙂

  8. aloysa says:

    Happy birthday! Hmmm… interesting post. Now, I understand better why you had some questions about exercise. 🙂 It is hard to motivate yourself, trust me. Protein shakes won’t help. I actually don’t believe in them. Career – that’s tough too. Especially for writers and those who want to have a writing career. Relationships… oh well… let me just say this – I believe that relationships in your 30s are so much better than in your 20s. 🙂 Cheers!

    • Ollin says:

      Yeah I might have to drop by your blog and get even more advice from you.

      Great, I’m going to have to wait 5 years until I have a great relationship! Say it ain’t so! LOL.


  9. jannatwrites says:

    Happy B-Day! It took courage to post your ‘fix it’ items for all to see. Good luck on getting the third eye – although that might not help you with #3 on your list 😉

    I TOTALLY get your fear of rejction/failure/success because I have that too (weird. I referred to it like it was a disease). Good luck conquering it…when you do, can you share the secret??

    • Ollin says:

      lol, well that word “courage” in my blog title isn’t there for nothing. I think you need a lot of courage to write a novel and a whole lot more to write your own life. Thank you for the well wishes!

      I will certainly share if and when I do find the secret. But there are people out there who seem to have found it since there’s plenty of them with great bodies, great careers, and healthy relationships. So this “secret” shouldn’t be too hard to find, right? Well, I hope so, lol.

  10. Tammy McLeod says:

    Happy Birthday Ollin! I always take time to regroup, rethink and retrench at my birthday and at New Year. It’s a wonderful habit that you’ve acquired.

  11. Heart says:

    I read a little bit of your blog yesterday and some today.. And man, should I say, you definitely don’t sound like a 25 year old.. And I don’t want to get beaten up by anyone under 25 ;), but at that age I certainly did not have the kind of maturity in thoughts as you do! Love your blog ideas, and you are honest about where you stand in life, not everyone can portray themselves the way they are.. In other words, we cannot look at ourselves as mediocre, I guess!
    A great public service blog!
    Keep up the good work and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  12. Barb says:

    Ollin, you lived ONLY one quarter of a century! 😉 It’s quite early to start looking back on what you did or didn’t achieve… I didn’t do that for a lot longer (BTW, point 3, I’m still at the start – at 45 – so… it’s never to late)! 😉
    I’ve lived in the past for way too long. Now I try to look only forward.
    Have a happy birthday!

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