I will be the first to admit that I was never much for reading and learning. For a great portion of my life, I swam in the shallow end of the pool and bragged about how much taller I was than the water. Then, as water will do, it subsumed me.
I suppose it takes a big man to admit how wrong he was for so long, even if it took so long. But I’m there. Perhaps it was the eight years of therapy.
After mistaking career success for happiness, I decided to man up and actually do the research necessary to get to a point where effort and success traveled the same long and winding road. I became good at what I did, not because I cozied up with fellow douchebags, but because I became smart and surrounded myself with people even smarter.
I helped run a successful ad agency and lived “the life.” I pitched and won huge deals, spoke on public stages, and became an executive producer of an award-winning documentary. I may have still been feeding my massive ego, but now I was earning it.
Then, I got married. We had two sons. I became a stay-at-home dad and wrote a memoir, the inspirations of which began in therapy, with the words themselves being penned in my San Francisco living room. Joey Somebody: The Life and Times of a Recovering Douchebag, four years in creation, was steeped in both exercise and exorcise. I worked through and shared a lot of trauma but my emotional muscles felt great at the end. It was exhausting.
Now, I am present more often than not. Henry David Thoreau once wrote “you must live in the moment, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” I used to launch myself on every wave because of how cool I looked. Now, I find the eternity.
I recently launched True Thirty, a journalistic platform which discusses and debates our society's most politically compelling topics through the lens of slow journalism. Each story is investigated with a focus on narrative as well as discovery. We believe that the complexity of culture cannot be crammed into six-minute television segments, or snippets and memes on social media, where ideology and entertainment is now the priority. Our collective goal is to help people better understand one another, not win a battle.