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  • Writer's pictureazimmz

Nearly Three Decades In: A Wake Up Call

I'm turning 30 later this year. Yikes. I'm still having trouble believing that.

In the last few weeks, I've been doing lots of media cleaning and purging of my digital files. It's been (mostly) fun to see all this old stuff originally captured in my college years. I've been sending old gems to friends and family or just enjoying looking through stuff myself, while deleting the files that just take up space.

It's refreshing! At least... until coming across lists of goals and aspirations I had in my early twenties. I can't help but feel jaded after looking at the longterm goals I write now compared with the goals I wrote back in the day.

I wanted to have produced a feature film by 30. I expected to be in a different profession and with a different style of living. I expected to have the physique and skill of an accomplished athlete in multiple sports. I expected to be an expert musician and a bassist in a popular band.

Nowadays, my goals are things like "Write SOMETHING once per week." That, compared to, "produce a feature" or "go on regional tour with band."

Where did that ambition go? Where did that unencumbered attitude go?

The everyday burdens of life caught up with me. After working for 9+ hours and finally getting home for the night, I'll be honest; sometimes I don't want to dedicate all my free time toward a longterm goal. I'm exhausted. Sometimes I just want to watch Netflix over a quickly made dinner and then go to bed. It's SO easy to fall into this cycle of exhaustion.

I'm several tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. I can't afford extravagant vacations. At times, I can't even responsibly afford weekend getaways. Sometimes I work my "day job" over weekends and forego progress on my passion projects. My longterm life goals have turned into just hobbies and side projects, as time allows.

This deeply saddens me! I want to get on a different road during these last few months of my twenties.

And sure, some of these things aren't going anywhere. But, my attitude towards all of them is the flexible part. One of my biggest 2019 goals is to just get that unencumbered mindset back and pursue passions and interests authentically and ambitiously.

To do this, I need to strive for things that may seem out of reach. These things should seem hard. If wondering how I'll accomplish all these things in less than a year stresses me out a bit, I think I'm on the right track. At some point I got too focused on realism and comfort. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it's been smoldering my fire. I'll ask myself, "Will I really want to do this? Will I have time and energy to practice? How will this fit into my life?"

I'm flipping all this. Now, I'm setting my goal and figuring out how to change my life to reach it. For too long in my late twenties I wanted things to happen and goals to be accomplished without majorly changing my life: Not going to work!

I also need accountability partners. No doubt, this will be a hard road. I've already set up a weekly goals progress report system with my brother. I need more of this. I need a support system, if I'm purposely making goals that I know will be really tough for me to accomplish. I also want to share a few of them publicly here. I want to be transparent about what I'm striving for and then be able to use this public awareness to motivate me and keep me accountable. Strangers will know of my shortcomings. That's scary. So here we go - a few stretch goals I'd like to have done by the time I'm 30, in November, 2019.

1. Produce and release a Strangelab original short film.

2. Fully launch and publicize this website.

3. Produce and release 15+ Strangelab super-shorts.

4. Produce and release 8+ Strangelab artist spotlight segments.

5. Find a Chicago church home and get involved in a ministry group or spiritual support system.

6. Produce and release a solo music EP project.

7. Run a mile in 6 minutes or less.

8. Dunk a basketball on a regulation rim.

9. Learn how to animate and produce an animation short film.

10. Write a feature-length film screenplay.

There we go! Now, I better get to it. If you have ideas or methods you use to create and attack your goals. Let me know! I'd love to hear about them.

With love,


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