“I can’t take this anymore…”
“Somethings gotta change…”
That was me 3 weeks ago. I was at my wits end. It felt like I was suffocating. What I was doing for the majority of the year wasn’t working and I knew it. I was overworked, ineffective, and unhappy. Basically, everything I didn’t want in my life. So I bailed… on almost everything.
It felt like I just chopped off one of my arms. But it was swift. Painful but swift. I closed 4 of my websites for good. I emailed my customers telling them I was closing up shop and gave them enough time to export and backup their data. And I cried a little. And I may have pooped in my pants. I can’t remember.
2016 was a lot like 2015 in many ways… it went a lot harder than I thought it would. If you were to read my 2015 update you could almost update the year from 2015 to 2016 and you’d almost be correct. It was much worse in many ways. But there’s only so many ways I can write I had a shitty year without sounding repetitive and like I’m feeling sorry for myself. There were some differences, obviously. It’s not like the movie Groundhog Day where I was living the same shitty day over and over.
Since the mid-year update, not much has changed except a few things worth noting. In August I began a four-month bulk that resulted in me gaining over 30 pounds. The really crazy part to me was about 2 months into the bulk, I was already over 35 pounds and far too fat. So I had to actually make some adjustments and ended up at 168 lbs. At one point I was over 170 lbs, which was crazy to me. All prior attempts at putting on weight never put me over 160, let alone 170. While I’m happy that I was able to put on that much weight in such a short amount of time, I will never attempt to do it like this ever again. I look and feel disgusting. I’ve got a huge gut, feel much more lethargic, and have a crazy amount of bacne and random skin rashes that refuse to go away. I also don’t have any clothes that fit me properly. So now I have to start cutting out the fat while maintaining the muscle I gained. Theoretically, it shouldn’t be too hard. Eat a little bit less while keeping the protein relatively high, and increase my energy expenditure (more exercise, more daily movement, more activity). Let’s hope it doesn’t get too difficult. I don’t foresee it being too bad but if my track record for everything else in my life is any indication, I’m probably way off.
The neck pinch I had in July resulted in another MRI scan of my neck. The results possibly explained the tingling and numbness I had in my arms and hands and fingers. 5 of 7 of the discs in my neck are bulging, 2 somewhat seriously with stenosis to boot. Yay, me. BJJ, one of my favourite hobbies, has been difficult. I’d spar with some people and my neck would be sore for a week. So I haven’t been going very often, unfortunately, which makes me sadface.
Productivity and learning really started to take off in the last quarter of the year. I was learning a shitload and getting a lot done. I spent a lot of money buying software and online courses to further my education. It was as if I was subconsciously building up a war chest of business software and upgrading my brain because of the coming fallout that my subconscious inevitably knew was coming.
I was disappointed in how I handled some important things this year, especially in business. I was overconfident in thinking I could do it all. Way too much hubris. But I didn’t know what to do and had nobody to turn to. I felt lonely. One of my best friends moved away in February. Another decided to bail on a business we were working on together. Another moved away in August. And my Grandma passed away in July. That one gutted me and still fucks with me. All in all, I felt lost, lonely, and unsure of what to do. I bought an online business because why not. I started dating again around that time because why not x2. They were all missteps that if I just took a second to think it through I would realize how bad the decisions were. I was adding gasoline to an already full tank. I was just overflowing, and scatter-brain, and unfocused. I was like a frog in a pot of water about to boil. It was around September that I was reaching the boiling point. And by December…pop.
But here’s why I’m not worried…
I watched the UFC last night – Rousey vs Nunes. I was wrong about both main events. Two of my favourite fighters lost, and one of them got murked. And then this morning all I could see were memes mocking Rousey for her loss. And I was reminded of something I already knew. People who make memes about women getting beat up just aren’t part of my tribe. I don’t even know how to associate with that or them on that level. But people who work their asses off day in and day out, who try their best and still come up short from time to time but who aren’t afraid to put in the work and keep going…shit…that…THAT is my fam. That I can relate to. All. Damn. Day.
This is Dominic Cruz after his loss. Listen to this shit. I had it re-running for 20 minutes straight so it could seep into my thick skull. The most dominant bantamweight in history just lost for the first time in 9 years yet his perspective is unexpected and inspiring.
Story time…. I haven’t told this one to anybody because it’s a little sappy and weird…
I went to visit my old stomping grounds earlier in the year. I went to say hi to some cafe owners I hadn’t seen in a few years – a brother and sister run business. I had gotten to know them over the years and found out a lot about them. Prior to the cafe, they ran a number of businesses – night clubs and restaurants, so naturally they’ve met a lot of people over the years. Anyway, when we were catching up they gave me a lot of life tips, wisdom and words of encouragement and fed me for free until I was stuffed to the gills. As I was about to leave the sister said something that really stuck with me. She kind of sat me down and looked me in the eyes, and in the most sincerest way I’ve ever seen she said I was special. That I was different and unique from anybody she’s come across throughout the years of running businesses and meeting thousands of people. I laughed awkwardly and looked over at her brother to see if she was fucking with me. His eyes were glued on me and nodding at everything she was saying. Then she said something along the lines of “Maybe the world doesn’t see it yet, but they will. How you will show this to the world is yet to be known.” It was so surreal and corny but still sends chills down my spine and something I think about regularly.
Oh, 2016… what a strange year. I made some bad choices, true. But I gained invaluable experience and wisdom. Nothing that I could get from a book or a classroom. I found limits in what I could do, how much I could juggle, and did things I didn’t think I could do. Putting on so much weight was a real eye opener for me. I’ve never been able to do that ever before in all prior attempts. And to do it so quickly, too. Sure, my businesses failed. But the feedback and encouragement from users has been amazing. For some projects, I was able to sell off the assets. For others, I walked away from bad deals after weeks of negotiation. And my skillsets really expanded. Realistically speaking, I’m capable of handling so much more. More pressure, more heartaches and headaches. And the only way to really find your limits is to try to push them.
2017 will be interesting. I have lots to apply and learn and my work is cut out for me. But it’s an exciting time. I hope I can make at least 1 business profitable – either mine or somebody else’s. I hope my cut goes well and I see my abs again. I hope I’ll be able to do a little bit of travel, perhaps in the spring or fall. I hope I’ll be able to connect with more of my tribe, maybe through teaching or joining some meetups. I hope to improve my Spanish. But, we’ll see. The last 4 years haven’t gone nearly as I’d imagined so I don’t really have any expectation that 2017 will be any different. Still, I am excited in the possibilities of what lies ahead. Happy new year and I hope you had a good one and an even better 2017.