Dare To Express, Real Return

The Real Return

No more return posts, then vanishing into obscurity. I’m home, and I’m here to stay for a very long time.

I learned quickly that I was stretching myself too thin, trying to keep a three-pronged attack of blog, school, and hockey. In order to perform at my best in each area, I was compromising my health, trying to juggle too many things at once. I was trying to do too much, and that led into the inevitable war between my health and the quality of my work. In order to perform at my peak in all three areas, I’d have to be up ’til midnight every night, hammering out blog posts and homework, exhausted after a long day.

I knew I couldn’t survive long on a sleep schedule where I’d consistently be getting about 5 hours of sleep each night – my play in hockey and my performance in school would go down the drains faster than the speed of light.

I got my priorities in order and realized that this blog – the blog I treasured so much – would have to take a backseat so I could focus on school and hockey.

The results?

I’m still number 2 in my class (by a scant .03 GPA) and I had my best hockey season ever. After a slow start to the season – which, not-so-coincidentally, happened to come at the time where I was still working on my blog in my spare time – I stepped up my game a lot and ended up finishing in the top 10 in the division in points, as a defenseman. I averaged over a point-per-game and was the team’s shutdown defenseman, playing against the other team’s top line every single game, and doing well to prevent them from scoring. I had a lot of fun, but we endured a heartbreaking loss to our archrival in the district finals for the second year in a row, ending the season. We’re losing a ton of seniors, and, as such, I’ll probably take the reins as captain of the team next year. I’ve got my work cut out for me.

I’m glad I took time off from my blog. I’ve grown in many ways in such a short period, and a lot has happened. Let’s get you up to speed…

Life In the Hiatus

My life, especially in the past 4 weeks or so, has felt ripped straight out of a TV Show or some Hollywood drama.

In the past few weeks, I’ve seen amazing highs, and some dreadful lows.

I’ve gotten incredibly close to some people, and had the most poignant and heartfelt phone conversation I’ve ever had.

I’ve broken someone’s heart, because I moved on after we hung out on Valentine’s Day and nothing happened.

I’ve been a part of the most exciting hockey game I’ve ever seen or been a part of. We were down 3-1 going into the first intermission, and gave up those 3 goals within the first 5 minutes of the first period. We crawled our way back into it, scoring the tying goal with 9.1 seconds left in the third period to force overtime. We won the game in overtime, capping off a legendary comeback. We never gave up, and we were rewarded for it. I nearly collapsed after the game out of pure exhaustion. Simply the best feeling in the world.

I’ve started talking to this girl after I scrawled my number on her mirror with a dry-erase marker. That was pretty fun, and if anything comes of it, I’ll be thoroughly pleased. She’s… “cool”. Other than that, I can’t divulge any other information.

I’ve seen a couple of guys one day, then heard they got in a near-fatal car accident the next. One’s out of the hospital. The other’s in an induced coma and will probably never be the same again and will be a vegetable for the rest of his life. This just in: the kid in the coma was taken off life support and just died. HE DIED.

I’ve become incredibly social and make a habit of saying hi to everyone I know, everyone I go. I do it completely unconsciously and feel totally at ease in almost every social situation I’m thrown into – I stay centered and happy and active, even when I’m around people I don’t know or I know don’t like me. It’s quite an amazing transformation that seemed to happen overnight. I feel like striking up conversation with everyone. I’ve become a go-getter instead of the closed guy who opens up around his close friends. I just expect good responses from everyone, so I make an effort to meet everyone. It’s a blast.

I’ve experienced lows like I’ve never experienced before, feeling like I was hitting rock bottom on three or four occasions – questioning everything I believed in, renouncing a lot of the relationships I had, and, in general, feeling lost. I’ve grappled with a lot of tough questions, and found a lot of answers. But, still, I feel a little empty.

Why?

Again: during this time I wasn’t really creating anything. I didn’t have any ideas to really fire me up, to light my soul alight. I lacked direction – I was just wandering from adventure to adventure, lacking any sort of unifying purpose. While I reject the idea of a universal purpose to my life, or anyone else’s for that matter, I do think there’s something to be said for a temporary purpose, a purpose that sets us on the path to success for a certain amount of time.

Hell, if I were a fan of universal purposes, I’d say that everyone’s purpose in life is to create more than they consume. I’ll leave that up to interpretation. Creation can be whatever you want it to be, as long as it is the product of creativity and you put some effort into it.

Life After Hiatus

And now that I’m back, what will I be doing?

I’ll be relentlessly marketing the hell out of this blog and become one of the most prolific writers in the blogosphere, and THE most prolific in personal development. I’m not talking about post volume; I’m talking about WORDS. On pure word count and material, I will beat everyone. I’ll guest post everywhere, and try to generate as much traffic as possible to get my website up to C-List status, as hilarious as that sounds. I’m not looking to be the next Leo Babauta – I just want to be something closer to the next Glen Allsop. I know my inconsistency hasn’t helped me any, but I plan on returning with a massive vengenace.

You’re gonna see my name a lot all over the place – guest posting like it’s going out of style. I can’t wait to see what sort of material I’m going to produce – I can assure you that it will be awesome. In my time off, I’ve learned a lot – and shifted from idealistic to a more pragmatic philosophy. Life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, fellas.

I’m also going to revive my ambitious plans for the DareToExpress Community. I really want this to become a hub for people interested in self-development and making their lives better, day by day. Though, I’d argue that any hub, without people being involved outside of it, is totally useless. We need a balance between time spent outside self-development, and time spent inside self-development.

Each of my posts is going to be pretty epic in its length – I’m shooting for no less than 1000 for guest posts (depending on the subject) and somewhere around 2000 for typical posts on the blog. I’m going to get deep, deep, deep into this stuff, people. I’m going to be cranking out these essays like they’re going out of style.

Not that the quality of my posts will suffer – I can promise that they’ll be top notch and well-thought-out.

Just expect to see a lot of activity around here.