Coming To Terms With Time

Today marks the 11th anniversary of this strange little blog of mine. While last year was a milestone year for the blog, this year will see two milestones elsewhere. First, in July, the YouTube channel turns 15, granted it wouldn’t be until February of 2008 that the first video would hit. The second much less exciting milestone hits in September, when I say goodbye to my 20s and turn 30.

In other words, for better or worse, this year marks half of my life being documented online in one way or another.

This blog was started as my first year at Drexel was wrapping up. The YouTube channel started in roughly my third year of high school. It’s now been seven years since I moved to Portland, and six years since I started working at Kroger. It’s incredible to look back and see how much has changed so quickly, but I think it’s more important to see what hasn’t changed. There’s no denying that I’ve been very fortunate over the last 30 years of my life and I’ve had many experiences few others have had. There are many things I would like to do again that I likely will never have the chance to. There are far more things I’d like to do for the first time that maybe I’ll have the chance to do.

The harsh reality is I’ve now lived out at least a third of my life expectancy.

I say “at least a third” because I honestly have no idea how long I should expect to live to. Sure, we’ve made significant advances in medicine and technology since I’ve been born, but I still have a family history that really is not in my favor, and it’s one where it has come time for me to begin paying more attention to it.

A few weeks ago, I had my annual physical and while my physical in 2021 confirmed that yes, work from home and less activity has caught up with me to make me officially obese – if literally right on the borderline – this year would be the first that I’d say I didn’t exactly have a clean bill of health, and with that family history, is something I need to change.

Immediately.

While, thankfully, I haven’t been unfortunate enough to be told I only have X number of years left to live, I have been told that I’m at a pretty damn high risk of continuing family history and developing heart disease.

While I’m not the doctor nor the nurse in the family, I suspect working from home isn’t the only thing that has worked against me for that. While I am legitimately happy with where I am now in my career, the last several years I really wasn’t. To be blunt, there were some pretty shitty times, more than a few where I probably should have looked for professional help but decided against doing so because I didn’t think I was in a financial position to do so. The hardest day of my life at Kroger (so far) wasn’t an outage that made me get more gray hairs, it was the day I was assaulted on the way to work and had to decline taking the day off, instead telling my supervisor Kroger didn’t pay well enough for me to miss a day of work.

There were multiple occasions when I did think moving to Portland was a mistake and I really would have loved to have had a time machine to do things over, but reality just sucks like that. On the other hand, it probably is a good thing isekais and microwave time machines are things that only exist in the worlds of anime, manga, and light novels. One thing is for certain, my 20s were one hell of a brutal learning experience, but there are very few things I would do differently if I could have.

So perhaps it’s a good thing the last several years have gone by as quickly as they have, but now that I’d like to think I’m in a position where I can actually start to enjoy life, it would be nice if time started to slow down. I doubt that will happen though as despite having three calendars around my desk, I honestly haven’t been able to really keep track of what day it is for probably the last two years now. Sure, it would be easy to blame COVID for that, but I probably have even more family history working against me too. Heart issues were only half the fun; there’s a side of cancer and Parkinson’s to go with it.

Now to be very, very clear, no, I do not have any of those, but I do have a family history of all of them. What I do already have is significant nerve damage from birth, and that really hasn’t gotten any better recently.

I have little to no grip in my left hand.

I have a benign tremor in it, which to be fair, is an improvement over when I lost control of it entirely a few weeks before graduating Drexel.

That was also when I got tested for Parkinson’s at only 23. It came back negative.

I’ve pulled my left shoulder muscles (well, what’s left of them) on multiple occasions, increasing somewhat regularly in the last three years.

I’ve dislocated my right shoulder, and it’s never really sat right ever since.

I have cholesterol problems.

I have a BMI of 29, one point below obese, but indeed overweight.

There’s a reason why I gave this post the title of, “Coming To Terms With Time,” and it’s simply that I’m now at the point in life where time is against me. Yes, you could argue time, even if it is really something that is just figurative, is always against us, but I’m now at the point in life where time actually matters. Historically, I would almost never take time off from work, something my supervisors always hated me for, but it’s something I have started using more often, and it sure as hell feels a lot better than working over a month straight without taking a day off (which yes, I have done).

Now that my 20s have come and gone, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I’d like to do in my 30s instead. There are still a lot of things I would like to do, but I know I’ll just never get to. One thing I’ll admit to definitely needing to do is taking better care of myself. I don’t think it’s a secret anymore that I really haven’t for the last several years.

Granted the year is almost halfway over already, but if I do accomplish anything this year, I would like to see more of this state that I’ve called home now for seven years. I’ve only been to the coast once and only for a few hours. I’ve only driven by The Gorge once, and that was when we had the horrible forest fire that destroyed so much of it. I’ve never actually seen Multnomah Falls. Heck, I go by it every single week on the way to the Japanese Garden, but I’ve still never gone to the zoo here. I’ve been to our saké brewery, but I’ve never seen Oregon wine country.

And so with all that said, I think it’s well past time I’ve gotten out of the routines I’ve lived like clockwork for the last seven years, even if I was – and still am – terrible at keeping track of that clockwork. I know it’s incredibly cliché to quote Steve Jobs, but there is a quote of his that I’ve always liked, but failed to carry out:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement address on June 12, 2005

It’s time to stop wasting time. Goodbye, 20s. Goodbye, another year of the blog.

Hello, change.

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