On My 50th Birthday

So I’ve finished half a century on the Earth. The word century always sounds impressive. And while fifty years sounds impressive, half a century sounds even better. I don’t feel fifty years old but I really don’t feel half a century old.

So many things have turned out differently from what I ever might have imagined.

Growing up as I realized I was attracted to men, I never imagined that I would some day be 15 years into a relationship with a great guy. Marriage wasn’t even a possibility, so being five years married to him was unimaginable. Instead I could only imagine that I would spend my life alone.

I would never have imagined that I would become as fat as I did. And once I did, I never imagined that I’d go through a process that would help me get my life back under control. I never would have imagined I’d be so interested in helping other people get their lives back as well. Or that I would put so much time and energy into helping a company like Precision Nutrition, a truly modern company more interested in collaborating with its clients than lecturing them.

Even a few years ago I wouldn’t have believed that today I would be someone who would be happy to eat an egg white omelet for his birthday breakfast (not that it would be merely acceptable but that it would be my preferred choice), or someone who would set a personal record for the hex bar deadlift on his fiftieth birthday. I wouldn’t even have known what a hex bar deadlift was. Today I can do a hex bar deadlift of 305 pounds… 10 pounds more than the record set by a middleschooler at my gym… I have a ways to go before I can out-lift guys my own age. But, last week I couldn’t lift that much.

I won’t even start on how much technology has evolved and how different the computer industry is today from even a decade ago.

If there’s one wish I could have come true: I wish people would own their own shit.

Whether your shit is hating on certain people because they’re different from you, eating everything in sight because you’re anxious or scared or lonely, compulsively helping people, telling people what to do, telling people not to tell people what to do, ranting and railing against the world on Facebook, drinking yourself to sleep at night… whatever it is, I wish you would own it. Accept it as truly yours. Not something your parents made you do, not something society made you do, not something some old guy with a white collar made you do, not something some book told you to do or believe.

No, figure your shit out and truly own it. Take responsibility for it. Figure out how it affects you, figure out how you affect the world. Put yourself on the other side of your own shit. Own and figure it out.

Because ultimately, if you don’t own your own shit, it’s going to own you.

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