Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Edge of 17... errr... 30

Just like a white winged dove sings a song it sounds like singing wooo baby woo. woo.

(Surprisingly close to the correct lyrics. Thank you Stevie Nicks for your appropriate segue into my 30th year.)

So I started writing this blog, which I continued to do spottily at best. The last time I submitted something for your consideration it was regarding my 4th anniversary, which was in August.... buuuuuut to be fair and in my defense, I also spent a bunch of time writing for Kick James and for Little Baby Chew, both of which I will comment on in a little bit.

So I started writing this blog three days after I turned 29 years old.
I started writing as a motivation to do the things I always said I wanted to do, but didn't set aside the time for. In retrospect I think I looked at the last year of my 20's as an opportunity to frantically accomplish all the things I wouldn't be able to accomplish when I was too old. AKA 30. Oh one year ago Tom Chew, you were one dumb son of a gun. When you take into account the list I made myself to accomplish and how my year actually went it's pretty hilarious. To me at least, but in general I think I'm really funny.

Hopes for year 29, from the first post of this blog:

Brewing So I brewed a few batches of beer with my buddy Brian and they turned out pretty alright. I still have a bunch of brewing equipment in my basement, where it goes unused and Brian still brews regularly. I'm glad I did it and I'm glad I have a better understanding of how the beer I enjoy oh so much is made. I'll most likely come back to this one randomly.
Get in shape I'm no Paul Ryan or anything, but compared to where I was at a year ago, I'd say it worked out. A few friends and I started a little weight loss competition that lasted two months and I lost over 20 pounds and worked out much more regularly throughout the year. In now way has it been perfect and I have definitely gone up and done and been in and out of it, but overall I eat better. I move more. I feel better. I can do 1 million push ups and I don't wear a blindfold in the shower anymore to hide my shame. (Now I wear a blindfold in the shower to challenge myself. I have not been completely clean and my shaving has been remarkably shoddy for months. I smell terrible.)
Fighting I didn't get into any fights, but I think I could totally take you.
Podcasting This just didn't happen. I also had a fantastic idea for a documentary I'm going to get on top of sometime. Long shot, but I'm also hoping to write or direct one of the new Star Wars movies.
Writing Like I said, I didn't write a blog post every week like I wanted to, but I did continuously contribute to three blogs and I'm proud of some of the things I got down on internet paper. I was just reading over a few of the old blogs and they made me happy and smile.

Favorites maybe you'd like to go back and read 
(or you could spend the next week at work reviewing our year together):
Why Your Mid to Late Twenties Suck and Are Awesome
The Buffalo Bills are Amazing For All the Wrong Reasons
Parson Brown Infuriates Me (this one isn't for everyone, but it should be)

In general I wanted to talk about all the cool shit I think is cool and the zany misadventures I think I get into (I don't).

So here it is. It has been a year and oh what a year it has been. I wanted to actively live my 29th year and I honestly can't believe it is over. I intermittently thought about it throughout the year and I went back and forth on whether I was happy with how it went or not, but that was absolutely ridiculously stupid because the last year of my life has been fucking amazing.

I have little to no concept of time, so the following might not be in any sort of true or honest time line, but it all happened and it all has been amazing.

The first couple months were consumed with the idea of this blog and living actively. I got less fat, I gained energy, I decided to be a better me. In all honesty, I don't think I could have accomplished nearly as much this year without starting the year with that mindset. I've been happier. I've been better. I've been so much taller, it's amazing!

This way of thinking made me better at my job. I'm not perfect and I get apathetic sometimes, just like everyone else (right?), but I know my students need the best me and I try to give that to them. I know how easy it is to take those years for granted, believe me I wasted a lot of great moments, but I didn't have someone trying to help me see these things, or if I did they weren't loud enough to overcome my drunken yelling and big hair and black Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt.

We bought a freaking house! And it's a great house. We saved, we skimped, we worked really hard and with the help of some of the amazing people around us (thank you Jesse and Sandy and Fordy and Tim and everyone else who went above and beyond to help us make this our home!) we bought a house that is warm and welcoming and inviting and beautiful. Jenna has been amazing at making it ours and a home we are so proud of. The new couch on the third floor is one of the last big pieces of the puzzle unless someone wants to give us 20 grand to put an addition on the back, because we will take it!

My favorite room has to be the nursery. Oh you didn't know, I don't talk about it enough, you haven't seen Jenna, you haven't read the other blog, no not that one, but you should it's funny, this one, the important one my beautiful wife and I have tried to share with everyone we love.

We are having a Chew! When you think of living your life actively, nothing puts your life into perspective more than the fact that you are not nearly the most important thing to live for. Mabel Jayne could be with us any time and that is both terrifying and the happiest thing I have ever read. I look at Jenna and smile. I feel her tumbling around her momma's belly/uterus and it changes me a little more every time. You think you know love or responsibility or fear or commitment or anxiety or joy or utter amazement? Well then you must have either been to Tibet, have a baby, or have one on the way!

I've written, probably exhaustively (I know because they all tell me they fall asleep while reading it), about the friends I've made or kept in my life. I've written about Rochester and how she has opened her arms and hear to us. I've written about the changing dynamics of family and friendship and all the different ways love and life effect our every day and alter our perspectives on existence.

Author's Note: I'm not sure if I've ever actually written about the last sentence you read, but if I didn't I think I should. That sounds like blog gold! That stuff is right up my alley and is such a big part of growing up and living your life. I really can't remember writing it, so let me know if I did... and if I did I hope it was prophetic and helped change your life and you, my loyal reader, are a better person because of it. But if I didn't, then I just put a lot of pressure on myself to write a blog post equivalent to the song Bill and Ted are destined to write that changes the future and leads to their Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey. So if you read this and I haven't written that, or you'd like to read that, and you see me around give me a friendly reminder to change the world. I'm sure I'll get around to it at some point on my own, but until then, thanks for the reminder

Our families and our friends who have become our family are so ingrained in our lives that one of my biggest concerns with the growing family and the growing up is how to balance all of it. I spend so much time thinking about Mabel and Jenna and all the exciting things we'll accomplish together and teach each other that these side thoughts have sometimes turned to worries, but recently, while reflecting, I've realized that it doesn't matter and I need to stop worrying in general. I am a bit of a quiet worrier, but look at our life. Look at your life. We are who we are because of the choices we've made and the decisions to do this rather than that and because of the people we choose to surround ourselves with. Our lives should make us better people, and if they aren't then we only have ourselves to blame.

Life is work. Life is hard. Life can be sad.

But life is fun.

Living presently and consciously isn't always easy. It can force us to confront uncomfortable situations or answer hard questions. We face hard truths and persevere (that word is incredibly difficult to spell) through harsh realities that can either become a blip or the catalyst to becoming better people. I've said it before, but I think it is important to push yourself to learn life lessons every day. Sometimes I'm a dick. Sometimes I think I'm funny when I'm not. I still crave attention and want to be a part of everything. I know I can't do those things anymore and as soon as I'm a dick I typically realize it and try to stop or make up for it. I know it doesn't always work. I know when I'm not funny it isn't my fault, it's definitely my audience who doesn't get it and they need to start asking themselves those hard questions. Just kidding... see there we go, that wasn't funny and I accept that.

We all have our reasons and motivation for doing what we do when we do it. It would be easy to say my daughter or my family were my motivation, and in a lot of ways they are, but we still have to live our own lives just like Mabel will have to learn how to live hers and learn her lessons. I live this life for me. I hope unselfishly. I want to be a better person and live a better life so I can help my daughter and my nieces and my nephew and my parents and wife and brothers and sisters and friends and everyone I come across live a better life as well. It isn't hard. You just need to want it and take responsibility for it. Beyond speculation we only know for sure that we get one chance. Within the grand scheme of that one chance we make a billion choices and each day is a chance within a chance to live, let live, or let life pass you by.

I'll be thirty years old in four days. I feel and believe that I am better for the life I've lived over the last 51 weeks. I hope, if you're reading this, that I have made you smile. I hope you go to bed happy more often than you don't. I hope the people around you appreciate and respect you. If any of these things aren't true in your life, I hope you know I'm here for you and that I'm happy to help any way I can.

If you are reading this I probably have some sort of love for you. Thank you. thank you for helping me become me and throughout all my many flaws, thank you for helping me want to be a better man and live a good life. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your trust. Thank you for your truth. Thank you for being a part of my first thirty years.

Cheers to the next thirty. I hope we're a part of each others lives and we bring each other a million more moments filled with love and smiles and hugs.

Happy Thanksgiving.