Some Thoughts on 2009

2009 has come gone and I’ve had a chance to spend some time thinking and reflecting on everything that’s happened this past year. Overall, it’s been an incredible year of growth and maturity, and through my experiences and actions, I learned a lot about who I am and where I want to go in life. Most importantly though, I had fun along the way. So here’s to 2009, and another exciting year ahead for 2010.

Some key highlights:

1. I continually tried new things
In 2009, I picked up snowboarding/snowshoeing, went curling for the first time, completed a triathlon, dehydrated a meal for a camping trip, attended a raw food potluck, experimented (is “cooked” the right verb here?) with bacon ice cream, led a focus group, and MC’d at my sister’s wedding just to name a few things. I really enjoy trying new things as variety is indeed the spice the life, helps me put things in a different perspective, and keeps me humble by putting myself in the student’s perspective going through the learning process.

2. Started a successful business
2009 marked the launch of Young Urban Farmers, a business I cofounded with two other friends/partners. While it was filled with a variety of challenges, I would consider our first year a success, especially as were were featured in two major media outlets.

3. Connected and reconnected with a variety of incredible people
As I’ve grown and matured, I realize that nothing happens without the suport of other people, and developing healthy relationships is at the core of it. Through reconnecting with old friends, meeting new people through networking sessions, friends of friends, or some other scenario, I felt that I was able to meet, network, and connect with a wide group of people. While some of these connections will be temporary, I hope that many will lead me to new and interesting paces I wouldn’t have imagined had I not met that person. So to all my friends and family who have shaped me in one form or another (you know who you are), thanks for being there and helping me become the man who I am today.

4. I failed at a number of things.
To fail is not to be a failure; rather to not try is to be a failure. And I believe if you’re not failing often enough, maybe you’re not challenging yourself enough. I’ve learned so much through failure, and in my opinion, even more so than through success. While I don’t think anyone enjoys failing, it does show that I’ve been open to putting myself in new and challenging situations oustide of my comfort zone to help me grow and develop as a person. Two failures that stick out in my mind was my Lemon/Herb camping trip and not fulfilling my volunteer commitments for the non-profit group Endeavor Volunteer Consulting Network.

5. I had fun
Despite the failures, 2009 was a fun year. From playing ultimate frisbee to summer BBQ’s, from winter hiking and summer camping trips, and from sharing a beer on a quiet patio to celebrating a few weddings, 2009 was a spectacular year. I can’t wait for what 2010 has to offer.

Theme for the Year:

Theme for 2009
After thinking about this for a while, I would say that 2009 was the year of personal growth: mentally, emotionally, and physically. With this has come increased confidence in who I am, realizing that it’s ok to be vulnerable, letting go of the belief that I should know everything, and being better equipped at dealing with a wide range of emotions (joy, happiness, sadness, grief, excitment, anticipation to name a few). There were fears and uncertainty, awkward moments and exhilarating experiences, joys and triumphs, and it is by living through and overcoming these situations that makes all the hard times worth the effort and journey. 2009 was not without my fair share fears such as fear of failure or fear of looking silly, but even if these things did happen, life would still go on. I’ve learned that the only person stopping me is me (and my own fear).

Theme for 2010
>Going into 2010, I feel incredible knowing that I had an amazing 2009 and that the man going into the new year is different than the man 365 days ago. I’ve tentatively labelled 2010 as the year of breakthrough – that is taking things to a new level, reaching new heights, and continuing to shatter expectations. That’s as far as I’ve figured it out so far, but for now, and the clocks already ticking for 2010, and before I know it, the

To end, I want to leave you with this quote by Robert Cushing, “The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.”