Well, here we are, a few days away from the end of the 2010s! Soon, it will be but a memory, like all decades before it.
This decade was quite significant for me personally, as I went from an unmarried guy playing retirement home piano shows in the Bay Area and dreaming lofty dreams of being a rapper to being the illustrious Me who types now on this blog.
Since I’m so into self-analysis and especially lists, I would like to create a list of some of main breakthroughs I experienced in the last ten years (I’m sure you have your own list, and I would be interested to see it!).
Here are the TOP TEN (that I am consciously aware of) changes, breakthroughs, processes, or events of my last ten years:
- Married Life: I spent most of the decade (happily) married and living in Sacramento. 2/11/12 was the special day. And it still feels special. In fact, I consider it an extraordinary blessing to be with a woman I can honestly say I’m as happy with today as I was the day we got married.
- My Piano Studio: I started my piano studio when I moved here at the end of 2011 to get married. Not too long before that, I imagined that I didn’t really like teaching, and that I might not be doing it much longer (!). Happily, I was wrong about that… teaching has provided much joy, as well as a wonderful community of students to work with. It has also provided much appreciated economic support for our life 🙂
- From Troubled and Confused to Happy and Aligned: I started the decade still chasing after answers from others. It took me nearly the entire decade to start following my own wisdom. I worked with one music mentor after losing another. I eventually left this second mentor, and then found myself hiring a business coach. I hit a wall with each of these, and much stress and misery ensued. Ultimately, I realized I didn’t need to incessantly follow mentors. I decided to stop trying so much, and only reach for things that feel good. I decided to stop making myself wrong for just chilling. This has been life-changing.
- Happy Runner Me: I spent the entire decade running. At the beginning of it, my usual run was about 25-30 minutes. For several years, I never ran more than about 3 miles. That changed when we moved to our current flat. I began running 4- and 5-mile midtown loops, even adding an occasional 9-mile loop through Discovery Park and through Old Sacramento. I was running 5 days a week without rests between most runs. Eventually, this didn’t work any longer. Without realizing it at first, I began to change my running patterns to train for longer runs. I did my first half marathon, then my second, then my third, then my fourth. All in all, it’s been a joyful trip, and I have clocked thousands of miles in the process.
- Productive Musician and Creator! In the past decade I wrote many songs, many piano compositions. I put out two albums, scored the music for a play, and wrote a birthday song for my wife every year. Meanwhile, I performed for hundreds of shows, and even spent several years playing with a Journey tribute band. I performed on TV multiple times, and performed for Sacramento Concerts in the Park, for thousands.
- Blogger Extraordinaire! I started this blog in 2016. And though it has largely failed to become popular or highly-read, it has served me personally very well. It has been an important part of personal journey to happiness. In fact, publishing it without the weight of trying to succeed or gain popularity has largely been very good for me. Personally speaking, My Happiness Obsession has been a total success!
- Personal Finance Junkee: I started the decade fending for myself as a bachelor. Being married changed everything very quickly for me financially-speaking. Within a few years of marriage, the fire to become financially awesome lit up under me: not merely the grandiose dreams of fame and fortune I always had, but the commitment and passion to learn about money, to learn about personal finances, to save and to invest. I stopped merely dreaming of big scores and started focusing on building wealth one fricking dollar at a time if needed. Because that is how it starts!
- Success on My Own Terms: I started the decade with a view of success that was extremely exciting and glamorous, but scary and probably not a great fit for me. Especially once I became married, I started to settle into a very simple life… and found I rather enjoyed it. I became a Happy Homebody, and started to focus more on daily activities that pleased me rather than glamorous-seeming ones that maybe didn’t.
- Master of the Art of Happiness: This one is probably alluded to in all the other items. This has been the on-going process of becoming kind with myself, of loving myself. It is also the process of learning to focus on what I desire and want, and letting go of old preoccupations on unwanted things or worries. Writing, blogging, cafe-ing, running, meditating, resting, teaching, reading and simply “being” have all become partners in my on-going journey towards self-mastery through enjoying my day. It is quite fulfilling.
- Law of Attraction Wizard! I wrote this title somewhat facetiously. I am sure I have a ways to go in this department, yet I have been very interested in the Law of Attraction the last few years, and have probably become much better at allowing my focus to be on what I want, instead of what I don’t want, as I said number #9. I feel that I am learning the art of letting go, of allowing joy and ease and satisfaction in my life. You might call it “the Art of Manifesting,” though for me, that word has tended to bring up a lot of pressure and stress. Yet that is truly what it is. It is my intent to continue to focus on joy and alignment. Great manifestations surely will result!