So I’m 29-years-old, now, and even though I’ll perpetually refer to myself as a kid, I’ve decided that I’ve lived roughly one-third of my life. Sandy Ford, my guidance counselor in high school, taught me about the value of 5-year plans and setting up processes for achieving my goals in life.

My five-year plan after I graduated came to fruition three years earlier than I’d expected. My list was quite short back then. I simply wanted to run my own business, be successful at what I did, and love every second of it. In 2002, two years after graduation, it happened. The network that I’d built while dodging bullets through the dot-com boom had paid off and before I knew it, I had more work moonlighting than I did at my deskjob. I’d survived the collapse of two companies and risked it all to accomplish this dream.

If I’ve learned anything in this time it was that the two ingredients for this success are: 1) Take Risks, 2) Empower People. Those ideas are the backbone of my business and have yet to let me down.

With my five-year plan accomplished, and the business continuing to grow, I’ve found smaller milestones along the way that have kept me satisfied and yearning for more. In the back of my mind, however, I realized that I needed a bigger plan for the second third of my life.

The words “husband” and “father” float to mind and somehow they seem less frightening than they have just years before. For the first time in my life, however, the goals set before me rely equally on someone else. There’s comfort in the knowledge that she’ll be sharing these milestones (and in some cases, carrying more of the burden) and that I’ll have a partner in striving for their achievement.

Before I’m able to establish this five-year plan, though, my guidance counselor recommended that I took time to reflect on the things that I have accomplished. It helps to understand my abilities to attain my life’s ambitions and why I’ve been successful before.

The following is a list of things that I’ve done that make me who I am today. I have no doubt that this list will continue to grow and will glance back at them—without regret—as they all played a small role in my growth. Simply: good or bad, they are what make me me.

1) Won a talent show
2) Starred in a college play
3) Published a newspaper
4) Got an after-school detention
5) Lost a fight to a kid that was bigger than me
6) Moved away from everyone I knew
7) Wrote and directed a one-act
8 ) Rode a horse
9) Got a driver’s license
10) Was a news anchor in high school and college
11) Carried a casket while my mother cried
12) Cried with her
13) Was president of a student design organization
14) Sang a solo on stage in front of a (sizeable) audience
15) Learned an instrument
16) Saved a cat from a dumpster
17) Learned to speak French
18) Acted in a movie in three different countries
19) Jumped out of a plane, twice
20) Had my share of recreational drugs
21) Fell in love
22) Got my heart broken
23) Fell in love again
24) Moved to NYC and slept in a U-Haul
25) Held an animal while it died
26) Danced for 12hrs at a rave
27) Waited tables
28) Got stitches
29) Wrote a novel
30) Fell asleep on a boat, under the stars
31) Made mudpies
32) Started my own busineses
33) Took a roadtrip to a place I’d never heard of
35) Was an altar boy
36) Travelled to 8 different countries
37) Graduated Magna Cum Laude
38) Fell off a trampoline
39) Babysat
40) Drove a car in Europe
41) Won a national poetry contest
42) Made a tree fort
43) Ate a worm on a dare
44) Fell into a career that I love
45) Gave someone chicken pox
46) Peed between cars on a subway
47) Sang Karaoke
48) Illustrated a book
49) Learned when to say “I’m Sorry”
50) Learned when to say nothing at all
51) Was a camp counselor
52) Danced on the beach with someone I love
53) Won a fight with a kid that was bigger than me
54) Cried when my brother went to the hospital
55) Rewired a house
56) Broke someone’s heart
57) Planted a garden
58) Stole a candy bar and gave it back
59) Ran a cable access show
60) Stood up to a racist family member
61) Made someone breakfast in bed
62) Fainted while giving blood
63) Ate a snail (not on a dare)
64) Won a national design award
65) Had a penpal in Iraq
66) Went two four proms
67) Fired a gun
68) Protested a war
69) Was the bestman in my brother’s wedding
70) Hit a grand slam
71) Chased a bat out of my house
72) Skinny-dipped
73) Removed a piece of thread from a pigeon’s foot
74) Rode in a hot air balloon
75) Found her

3 Replies to “Accomplishments

  1. Damn, I don’t know which I’m more impressed with: the list of accomplishments, or the fact that you actually had a guidance counclier who actually gave you helpful life advice. I’m not sure if you realize how rare the latter actually is. ^_^

  2. What a well-rounded kid with tons of life experiences!! They really do make a person who they are, and, whether good or bad as the experiences are, it’s up to the individual to make it as a respectable, accomplishing, law-abiding, loving, and kind person and that you have become.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *