It took nearly three decades (if you count the baby/toddler years) but I finally found true self-awareness. While it wasn’t something that reached down out of the sky, snatched me up and smacked me across the face, it didn’t come to me in a gentle way, either....it wasn't something that reached down out of the sky, snatched me up and smacked me across the face... Click To Tweet
My Teen Years
Without realizing it, I think I had a ton of self-awareness during my teen years. I was very aware of what I wanted; it just didn’t translate to what I wanted later in life. At the time, I just wanted to make the baseball team, play basketball and have a girlfriend. However, I was very aware that I wanted these things.
I worked hard, as a teenager, to get the things I wanted, even when I didn’t have everything I wanted. Those were the years where it was easy to be aware of what I wanted out of life, but I never truly looked past high school.
While these were years where I knew what I wanted, I was also very lost. Since I was stuck in a teenage bubble, I had no idea what to expect when I hit 18, 19 or even 20. This is when things started to change and I became less and less aware of what I was doing, why I was doing it or where I was going in life.
My Lost 20s
I can easily label my 20s as lost years, well at least some of them, because I drank too much, chased too many girls, opened and closed a dozen businesses (some were merely ideas) and did many things I am not proud of. However, I struggle to believe any experience is truly lost.
As I went through these very difficult years (only difficult looking back as I wasn’t aware of what was going on in the moment) I can find many learning experiences. I can find plenty of moments where I could have gone one way or another way and chose correctly. I can also find many moments where I chose whet felt good or seemed cool instead of what was right.
These years I was not connected with God much at all, I was only somewhat connected with family and I had many drinking buddies, but very few actual friends. In fact, outside of my family, I don’t speak with anybody that I met during my 20s anymore. It’s a bit sad, but that’s what happens when you bond with so many people over partying, drinking and having fun instead of things that actually matter in life.While my 20s were not years I am incredibly proud of, I can say I had enough courage to try many different things. Click To Tweet
While my 20s were not years I am incredibly proud of, I can say I had enough courage to try many different things. I think this is missing from the journey for most people as they let fear keep them from even trying something new. During my 20s I:Most people let fear keep them from even trying something new. Click To Tweet
- Attended and Completed Bartending School
- Moved to North Carolina
- Moved Back to Indiana
- Attended and Graduated from Golf School
- Rediscovered my love for Writing
- Started my Freelance Writing Career
- Moved to Florida
There are probably a few other things I did that are worth noting, but these are my highlights. When I was newly 21, I went to school to become a bartender as I realized selling mortgage wasn’t something I enjoyed or wanted to do any longer.
After bartending and serving for about four years, I moved to North Carolina for a short amount of time, only to discover I wasn’t able to truly grow the way I wanted to there. I moved back to Indiana only to move away again a couple years later to Florida for Golf School.
My self-awareness started to kick in with the decision to attend Golf School. It came to me while on a treadmill through a commercial I saw for the school on the Golf Channel. I was chasing my passion, at the time, and loved every minute of Golf School.
However, I quickly discovered that a career in the golf industry would have me working 60+ hours a week doing all kinds of things that had very little to do with golf. I had no desire to watch other people play as I worked the business side of the industry, so I went back to waiting tables and bartending.
During golf school, I was writing for my own websites and made enough to help support myself through school. However, this wasn’t sustainable as one smack from Google would take it all away pretty quickly, which I found out later.
After moving further south in Florida, I discovered that I could write for clients and replace my income as a server/bartender. This was the next step and in 2010, I made the leap to go full time with freelance writing. I had been part time and seasonal for extra holiday money before that, but made the decision due to self-awareness leading me away from the restaurants/bar industry.
The Best Decision of My Life, but Only a Temporary Stop
Becoming a full-time freelance writer was the best decision of my life, up until this point. I gained freedom and could work from anywhere, which I still enjoy to this day. However, my self-awareness journey was really just beginning.
As I entered into my 30s, there was something missing in my life. I thought it was a woman and moved to Texas to chase one only to find out, it wasn’t the right decision at all. Moving to Texas, however, was amazing in many other ways.
The first leg of my Texas journey had me living with a roommate and my dog in an apartment where I didn’t know anybody. I ended up in a bit of an isolation period as my roommate borrowed my car for work and I had the apartment to myself on many days. It was a lonely time, but very necessary to make the leaps forward I needed to make.
A book about Payne Stewart opened my eyes to what was really missing. I have always found great messages and great advice through books. This one led me back to Christianity and soon after, I moved to a different suburb of Dallas only to discover Christ for the first time in my life.
I was introduced to Christ as a child and all throughout my upbringing, but never embraced Him and quickly went the opposite way as I entered my 20s. Through this re-introduction, I met the man that would be one of my Best Men at my wedding and I started to become very aware of most everything in my life. He runs a wonderful organization called Family Greenhouse and helps married couples and families with all kinds of “life things”.
This is when things truly started to change, but it wasn’t easy. I had my heart broken, moved back to Indiana, spent even more time in isolation, while becoming a part of my family once again. In addition, I went through a recovery period because of the break-up I endured. It took about four months to really get my sea legs, maybe a little longer, before I was aware of what I really wanted.
Many conversations with a good friend and family members helped me through this time. As I became more aware, I realized, for the first time in my life, I knew what I wanted in a partner and I went after it.
A few months later, I met my now wife and we just celebrated our second anniversary!
Self-Awareness Never Quits
I have run many blogs and websites in my life, but it was always about the money. Recently, the awareness I have had for a few years finally caught up to me and I realized what I have been missing, once again. While I am certainly called to be a writer and I am passionate about this purpose in my life, writing for others was just supposed to be a temporary stop.I have run many blogs and websites in my life, but it was always about the money. Click To Tweet
I have known this for the past seven years, but never took it seriously. I was always very money focused instead of calling/passion/purpose focused. Now, things are changing and it’s all due to self-awareness once again shaping my life.
While freelance writing brings me plenty of freedom, it still has me chained to clients and the topics they want me to write about. There isn’t much freedom in writing when you are chained to the topics of someone else’s calling/passion/purpose, yet it pays the bills.There isn't much freedom in writing when you are chained to the topics of someone else... Click To Tweet
Today, I am working hard to build my blog, get things back on track when it comes to writing for me, adding in eBook writing and working hard to increase my reach on social media channels, such as Twitter. Self-awareness has led me to writing more for myself and finding the time to do what’s necessary to build it into a solid source of income.
I have many eBooks on my list and have released 10 total since realizing this was the direction self-awareness was leading me in. With plenty of good, smart work and plenty of persistence, I hope to start cutting back on the clients I work for and eventually eliminating my entire freelance writing business.
Right now, I am split-focused, which isn’t bad, but not the best situation, either. I cannot wait until I can become single focused on just my blog and my eBooks. When that day comes, it will be one I have worked towards for many years without realizing it.
The Importance of Self-Awareness
Throughout my life, awareness has played a huge role. As a Christian, it has led me to confront my sins. As a man, it has led me to find a partner that actually matches what I need instead of what might look good on paper. As a writer, it has led me to finally start publishing eBooks and finally start writing about my passion.
Self-awareness is something we all need and it’s like a muscle; it needs to be used. You have to take out some of the things blocking it, if you want to fully become aware of what you’re capable of and how to get there.Self-awareness is something we all need and it's like a muscle; it needs to be used. Click To Tweet
If you’re searching for your calling/passion/purpose, let self-awareness in by eliminating the things draining you of energy and keeping your mind from truly experiencing life. Put down the drugs, the alcohol or whatever you’re drowning your sorrows with or using as a distraction. Spend time in silence and you’ll start to become aware of what you’re really called to do with your life.If you're searching for your calling/passion/purpose, let self-awareness in... Click To Tweet
When has self-awareness played a part in your life? Have you found your calling/passion/purpose because of the awareness you’ve experienced? Let me know in the comments.