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ImageI turned 48 years old today. And the new year just began three weeks ago. January tends to be a time of self reflection for me.

During the past few weeks all kinds of things passed through my head. I thought about some things I want to do, some things I need to do and some the things I wish I’d done. I beat myself up for not keeping some personal commitments, but I was also able to pat myself on the back for some other good accomplishments. The nice part is it’s never too late to start again. I do believe in that.

The current state of my life has been defined by some colossal failures that have their beginnings around 2005. I’d lost my life’s balance, made bad decisions and ended up wasting about seven years. I regret losing such a large portion of my life. No productivity. No personal growth. So I try to look on the bright side and tell myself that those years have helped carve the features of my character. And that the outcome is good. I’m now immune to that set of life’s maladies. Who knows, perhaps I may be able to help another with the pearls of my life’s wisdom.

At times I compare my current self to the me of my 20s and 30s. I assume that I’m not alone and many of you also do this … at least those of us with some substantial years behind us. I was as all young people of that age group are: energetic, positive, driven. I lived with purpose back then. At the time, I was too naive to know what that purpose was, but I was working toward something. I had a creative mind, a positive attitude and an amiable disposition. I had an innate knack for graphic design that I used to my advantage. These facets of my personality and skill gave me the confidence to start a business or two, or three. I was able to make a living from them. At different times, the progress of each rose and fell as with any business, but all would fizzle until the last one finally failed. It wasn’t because I didn’t have the talent or the work ethic. With the advantages of hindsight, I can honestly say: I sucked as a business person. I hated that part of owning a business. All I wanted to do — all I was good at — was the creative part.

In one respect, I’m glad I didn’t become a success in the business world. Make no mistake, the capitalist in me wishes I had. As an American I’m prone to believe the commercials: I DO need that new Audi … in fact give me one for each day of the week. And I’m going to need that 7,000 sq. ft. house with the 5-car garage as well. But as it stands, that’s not the way my life unfolded. My guess is I probably would’ve burned out on the unrelenting fast pace that business ownership demands. And I’d still be hating the business part of it. I’d have denied the small voice in me that wants to create my own art images. I’d not have the time for real self reflection and no time to write it down.

Currently, my occupation as a designer keeps me busy from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thankfully, work stays at the office and the rest of my night is mine. With time for thoughtful self reflection, I think I’m finally coming to terms with my past failures and learning what makes me truly content. All of this is an evolutionary process to become whatever it is I’m supposed to become.

All my life I’ve been a late bloomer. And even though this bud is 48 years in the making, I still believe the flower of my life is coming and that some really amazing parts are yet to be realized. I hope to receive them with humility and passion.

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