Well today is my birthday. Yes, believe it or not, I turn 40 today.
I don't feel 40. I have been working very hard to get to where I am physically and mentally. Over the past few years I have changed a lot of my life to get to 40 feeling much better than I did at 20 and I think I accomplished that.
The only thing that I get a little disappointed in is that I wish I was further along in my career. I see my friends from college and they are all completely successful, have great jobs and careers and are financially stable. However, I still struggle everyday. While I enjoy my career and I have a good job, I feel like I should be further up the ranks.
The difference is that I decided to enjoy my life right after college. Made some choices that may not have been the best career choices but choices that I do not regret at all.
The year after college I moved out to California to become a lift operator at Squaw Valley. I skied everyday during the winter and went to the beach on Lake Tahoe everyday during the summer. A few years later I found myself in Utah, again working for a ski shop and skiing quite a bit the first few years.
While I did not get a great job in Utah I did get one that was along my career path. The upside was that everyday I could go to the river to fly fish, go mountain biking or hiking in the mountains or skiing when there was snow. I could go camping on the weekends by just driving my truck into the mountains and not see another soul.
So while my friends all hit the grind right after college, moving to New York City or Boston and working there way up the ladders, I played. I traded the suits and tie for ski bibs. Instead of hailing a cab, I rode my bike through the aspen grooves, I fed wolves while I house sat for a trainer that trained bears and wolves for movies and I do not look back and think I should have moved to New York instead.
At 40, yes I do wish my career was further along, but I would not trade anything for the experiences that I have had in my life. I have stories that I can tell that not many people have. Being scared to death that I am going to be attacked by a mountain lion, alone in the middle of Idaho with an ax in one hand and a flashlight in the other. Being the first up to the top of a ski slope after the patrol completed the avalanche control and the first to make tracks down. Camping in the snow on valentines day with the women and the dogs that I love. Driving 10 hours at night over a mountain pass in a '72 Land Cruiser that did not have any working lights other than the headlights, then having it overheat 5 miles from where we needed to be.
I could go on, at 40 I have lived a full life, and there is much more to come.
So Happy Birthday to me. Let see how I feel when I hit 50.