Ten Year Lens

A year seems to go by so quickly yet when we look back beyond just one, it’s amazing how much can happen over ten years. Ten years gives us a much different perspective, a wider angle to look back on our lives and study. In ten years, I’ve gone from graduating college in London, Canada, as a lanky kid without much in terms of dreams but just some hopes that hard work will get me somewhere. Now I’m married to a wonderful woman and we live together in New York City.

Time quickly blends together, a lifelong reel blurred but for moments burned into memory. Spliced back together, these scenes show themes where the past made itself stand out, showing a hand to what our future selves should watch out for. These are some themes that stand out to me looking back over the last ten years of my life.

Technology is an important tool to amplify human greatness but can also be used to squelch it. I need to be conscious to use technology well and not have it best me. We’ve seen the drastic ways devices and online services can change lives for better and for worse but as a general belief, technology just amplifies human tendencies. We can’t depend in tech—and especially not tech companies—to be anyone’s savior. Pay better attention to human needs to solve problems better with technology.

Experimentation helps as a method to avoid stagnation. Over this decade, I’ve overcome fears by trying new things as an “experiment.” Things seem less daunting when with the attitude of “lets give it a shot and see what happens.” The result could be what you feared and is easy to correct, reset, and come back unscathed with nothing worse than the results of your test. But I’ve developed a new fear of becoming stuck or becoming bored or, worse, boring. I need to keep this mode of experimentation to keep myself from stagnancy.

Our world is more incredible than we could ever imagine and it’s disappearing before our eyes. I must waste no time in seeing as much of it as I can and slow down while I’m there to truly appreciate it. Connecting with people is the best way to connect with the spirit of a place, so I can’t be shy. It must be a priority to maintain a lifestyle that has a low impact on the earth and a positive impact on the people inhabiting it.

Love is powerful and moving. Since I met my wife, she has changed me for the better through love. Love should be the guide for everything I do, giving it more weight than success. Love brings joy whether it is in creative pursuits or family.

The last ten years have helped me form a healthy curiosity for the world and the people around me. These years have given reason for the creative pursuits that help explain what it means to have a place in this world. But tragedy has also shown its face this past year and that has made it clear of the extra care and responsibility I need to continue showing my wife and my family as well as the importance of health, and the need to take advantage of the time and opportunity afforded to us since we won’t always have that.

I know I’ll be surprised by what the next ten years will bring, just like I was the last. For what comes this year will be a clearer focus and commitment to sharing this incredible world with my wife, deeper engagement into literary hobbies, and more time spent on the road exploring this incredible place we’re so lucky to share.

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