Goodbye 2014. Another trip around the sun as we hurtle through space towards, another trip around the sun. This is my 50th year living and breathing.
It is my 50th year of consciousness and the biggest revelation to me this year is that I’m probably past the half way mark of experiencing life on earth and to my knowledge the only time I will ever be alive ever in history in this reality. I don’t remember any past lives. I don’t have concrete evidence that there is anything after this or other realities or universes. I don’t believe in heaven or hell. These are ideas that come from the ancients, the same people that told us that thunder meant the Gods were angry. I have my spiritual belief that i will live on. This is loosely based in science in that the molecules in my body have been around for billions of years in other forms, as I slough off skin and sweat and excrete dead cells I am slowly returning to the earth but at the same time I’m being nourished and regrown as I take in air, water and food. Eventually the chemical reactions that animate this organism that is me will cease. I will die. The chemical reactions in my brain will stop and my consciousness that has been labeled Stephen Hamm will stop.
Really that’s it.
I’ve noticed that through movies, books, stories and history we tend to assume that we are some how immortal. We build ourselves a past that reaches back thousands of years before our personal conception and we build a future through our imaginations that may or may not come to fruition after our deaths. I think this is one reason why science fiction is so popular. Hypotheses of great civilizations or dreary grey hell. But somehow we’re able to trick ourselves into believing that we were there in the past and we’ll be around in two hundred years. We won’t. All we have is now and now and now and eventually there won’t be a now.
When one is young this is a cerebral concept that you nod you’re head at and go “Ya man, I hear ya ‘cause I’m gonna be a member of the 27 club”. But this year I began to really feel it more than conceptualize it. So what to do about this? I’ve been working hard the last ten years to overcome developmental and lived trauma and to heal the mental, emotional, mental and physical manifestations of these afflictions: addiction, depression, relationship chaos anxiety and exhaustion.
It’s been hard work. I’m a member of a a twelve step program, I’ve worked extensively with a therapist. Two years ago I sought help at a residential treatment facility for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I quit drinking, drugging and smoking. I’ve changed my line of work, a few times and now I’m working on my physical health by loosing weight exercising, getting proper sleep. Over the last few months I’ve implemented a budget and have started getting my financial house in order. These last items on what as I write it down is looking like a really substantial list.
Two years ago my dear friend Terry and I started a podcast called What Are You Gonna Do? The idea was to talk to people who we thought had their shit together and glean knowledge from them as to how to get our shit together. I recently watched a TED talk (yes I watch such things). It was by a woman named Summer Beretsky and she talked about the idea that what drives and fulfills us is Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose.
As I gain control over my life I realized that I am achieving these things.
At the beginning of my journey in recovery I was involved in a program to help you figure out a career path. I was stuck in a job I deemed ‘a Golden Handcuff Job’ because it paid well but it no way helped me achieve any of the above curriculum. In one of the workshops the presenter talked about how we have to fulfill certain things in our live, pass certain road signs if you will to achieve fulfillment in life. One of those was at a certain age one must make the shift from student to teacher. I feel that might be where I am in life. I will always be a life long student. Everything I’ve been working on for the past decade and everything I experience prior to that both positive and negative may be able to help others. I’ve seen in twelve step fellowship how the experience of others has helped me to sort out my story. Maybe that’s where I’m at in life.
I will continue to learn and to build on what I’ve learned and to put into action what I’ve learned. This year I’m gonna keep on keeping on start writing about my experience thus far in life and maybe by the end of it I will feel like I’ve lived a life with purpose. Stay tuned for more.

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