It's interesting to be able to look at yourself and where you have been in the past with a bit of objectivity and perspective. What you've been through, how you handled it, what's different about yourself, and what you want to change. Its an ability (for lack of a better word) that seems to come more easily with maturity, and its not something that can only be done around January 1st of any given year.

I've had a couple of conversations recently on this subject - about others and about myself - and the key to the conversations always seems to be the word I mentioned above: perspective. We all go through tough times, but those times can be magnified through a lack of perspective, which Merriam-Webster defines as "the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance." Quite honestly, one of the best things about having a few years behind you is being able to recognize what shit is important, what shit isn't, what shit will be important, and what shit won't matter at all. The younger you are, the less likely you are able to see these things for what they are. And that's not a dig - it's just a fact. Not three years ago I barely had any real grasp on who I was, what I was doing, or where I was going. I would say that I wanted to achieve things, but how seriously was I really working to reach those goals? How much responsibility was I taking for my life and my decisions? How much am I taking now? I'm proud to say that I have a slightly better grasp of these things today. Slightly.

On Saturday night, I had a conversation with Seth (studio PIC) over some Sam Adams Summer Ale and he introduced me to the "Oh Shit Phase." What is the "Oh Shit Phase?" It is the phase where your life falls off the cliff, everything starts to spin out of control, and you have to learn to bridge that gap between being a child and being an adult. Its a concept that he learned about from his college psychology professor, but I had never heard it before. And so after he explained it to me, I thought about it and was able to pinpoint fairly precisely when my life entered the "Oh Shit Phase" and when I came out of it. He was able to do the same. We then talked about defense and survival mechanisms that we used to make it through, and how if you look you can begin to notice who is in the "Oh Shit Phase," who is past it, and who hasn't gotten to it yet. And the best part is, none of this conversation could have happened without perspective. It's rare to meet a 22-year-old who can say something like, "Yeah, I know that two years ago my ego got pretty big, but it was really just an overreaction to a rough patch in my life." I know when I was 22 I never would've said that. I know that even a year ago I probably never would've said that, even though I was past my "Oh Shit Phase" at that point.

Perspective is a tricky thing. You want to have it and people tell you to have it, but the funny thing is you can't have it until you're ready to have it. Often times this is after you need it. I bet if you think about it for a minute, you can look at your life with some perspective and pinpoint your "Oh Shit Phase." If you can't, that means you haven't gone through it yet. Good luck.

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