On Turning 35, Writing, My Family, My Army Career and Everything Else Important To Me

Photo on 7-11-14 at 7.15 PM #3

I’m a very deep person. A little TOO deep for some, says my wife. Not “genius” deep, but with the way society thinks and does things, “deep” in this sense would mean simply thinking in a way that many others don’t.

When birthdays roll around, many people use it as an opportunity to party, to receive gifts, or to just drink the night away. To each his/her own and we do deserve that every once in a while. As far as reflecting goes, I think I’m one of the very few people who do so on my birthday.

I celebrated my 35th birthday a few days ago. I’m in Afghanistan right now for the next few months, but I reflected just as I do on any other birthday.

As far as simply turning 35, I feel absolutely fantastic. Overall, I feel relaxed and just at peace with a lot of things. My health is pretty good, aside from a sore ankle recovering from being broken about two months ago. As young as 35 may seem when compared to folks who are around for much longer than that, the reality is that many people, for one reason or another, never make it this far. For many, this occurrence is so uncommon that it’s just silly to them that a person is “thankful” for reaching this age. I can think of a lot of reasons that 35 certainly hasn’t been guaranteed to me by any means. 1) Tomorrow isn’t promised to ANYBODY; 2) I grew up in Baltimore City and if not for my mother, I very well could have remained there, whether living or death would have some day followed, and 3) This is my third combat deployment. Not to mention all the times I ever got on the road back in the states and avoided car accidents and things like that. In this day and age, yes…reaching 35 or even anything close to that, sadly, could still be considered as an accomplishment.

I don’t believe I could have asked for a better family. Tomorrow, my wife and I will celebrate our 15th anniversary. While we will be separated, there is nothing the Army or anyone else can do that will change the love I have for her and how much I appreciate her being in my life. It’s the same for our two children. I am so proud of them. But there is always room to improve, and every day, that’s exactly what I look to do. Being away from them means that I mostly need to think about how things will be when I get back and what ways I can show my improvement to them.

As for my writing goes, it could be better. No excuses there. There are a lot of things I can “blame” my lack of writing in the past month or two on, but the truth is, a real writer would not do that. I’m looking to become a screenwriter once I’m retired from the Army in three years, and if I really want to make this happen, then I need to work harder at it, period. Some would think that I’ve done pretty well since I started this early last year, but I don’t. I need to get to work and as soon as I finish typing this, I will. I’ve made decent progress, but I’m not going to make it with just “decent.” Right now, I’m working on my second television drama pilot. I have a few movie scripts done already, but again, I need to do more and work even harder at this.

As far as my Army career goes, I just reached 17 years and I feel very thankful to have been able to do so. I still have three years before I’m eligible to retire, so I’m going to work on being the best I can be for the remainder of my time in. Even though a lot of my focus will be on my screenwriting, since it does take some people years to break in, I know that I still have to earn a living as a soldier and I need to put my best foot forward as far as that’s concerned as well.

As far as “everything else important to me,” the truth is that I’ve hit all of the most important aspects of my life. All except peace. I’ve talked about this in my blog titled, “The Joy and Peace That Comes With Being Yourself…I Mean, REALLY Yourself.” In getting older, with all the bad things going on in the world, I look for inner peace.

The first reaction of many is to make fun of that. Not my concern. I’m still left with myself when those people finally shut up, so my own peace is where my thoughts go, not the temporary nature of bored people running their mouths.

I think a big decision for me is to let go of the negative people and those who are not looking to improve themselves in any way. I have no control over their behavior, but I DO have control over mine and I don’t have to be around people like that. I don’t choose to be anymore. It’s always crazy how people like that just seem to NEVER grow, but you do, and they look at you as though YOU did something wrong. I will not provide explanations. I’m thinking that maybe it’s God’s way of letting me know that I’ve learned all I can from that person and it’s time for them to exit my life. Forcing the issue will not help anything. Besides, I’m just tired of doing so anyway. People have to learn on their own and I get that, but I’m just not going to hang around to wait for them to do so.

Many of my “friends” won’t understand this, but that’s the thing about achieving inner peace. They don’t have to. I have no obligation to explain myself. People so often feel they’re entitled to explanations that they’ll feel it’s automatic. I hope they don’t expect this out of me here, because they will be sorely disappointed.

I’m not looking to judge or put anyone down by saying this. The bottom line its that some people have no intention of changing or even improving and I just choose not to be around that anymore. At all. It’s long gotten old hearing people say that everyone else needs to change, yet we’re supposed to sit around and be patient because they’re “a work in progress.” Simply put, I’m sick of hearing it, especially from grown adults. To put it candidly, it’s just a BS excuse for people to nag at others and not work on themselves.

Other people seem to be drawn to negativity, but I’m not about that at all. If others want to be, that’s fine, but I’m just done with it. I’d rather NOT follow society and be happier with myself than to jump on the negativity and mediocrity bandwagon that IS society, just so I can get to age 40 and 50 and then say, “Duh…where has the time gone?”

Right now, I’m going to control where that time is “going.” Into making myself a better person in every way.

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3 Responses to On Turning 35, Writing, My Family, My Army Career and Everything Else Important To Me

  1. M.C.Simon says:

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on turning 35. I wish your dream comes true. Keep going on!


  2. JF says:

    I am a bit older (80) and I lived 40 years in the Soviet Union and 40 years in the USA. It is very important to have many people like you who learned to think for yourself! Our wonderful country goes in the wrong direction and it must be stopped! First of all, we need to fight people who play race card just to get power and money for themselves!
    We also have to inspire people to improve themselves, to learn, to stop being ignorant and make wrong decisions.
    Best wishes to you and your family!


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