Just the particulars
Me: What if one day you get new glasses and realize how old I am?
Firecracker: I don’t think so. Maybe I’m just more into antiques than I thought I was.
4. You can reinvent yourself again and again
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote Alison’s favorite book, The Great Gatsby; I loved that girl as much as I hated that book.
Fitzgerald had a famous quote that went, There are no second acts in American lives, which is about as wrong as someone can possibly be.
It’s onea those things that have the air of truth to it but no actual truth to it at all.
When I was in college, I spoke four languages and was certain that I’d end up working for the Foreign Service.
Then I changed my mind and wanted to be a writer – ended up writing for several national publications including one of the first major articles on Windows NT versus Novell for Computer Shopper, and some travel articles for the New York Sun.
While doing this, I worked in the club industry and made a name for myself, which a few people still recognize me for.
Then I decided I wanted to build networks and ended up building a 100-seat computer network for a Fortune 600 company on Madison Avenue.
Then I went to law school to become a lawyer. Then I went to CNET and became their first International Sale Manager. Then I went back to being a lawyer.
Then I bought my building with some friends and became a building manager.
Then I got another degree and became one of only 350 people in the New York State with that degree while still working on my legal career. Somehow found myself lecturing on the law all over including Europe and New York. Even won an award.
I also started teaching kali on the sly just a block from my pad and started up a private jet company.
After Alison got sick, I gave up everything and became a cancer researcher, a caretaker, and then a father.
Somehow, in my late 40s, I also became a YouTuber and a gym owner.
Look, my point is that Fitzgerald was fulla shit.
You can be anything you want to be. You get to decide and no one else does.
I decided at 14 that I didn’t wanna be fat so I stopped being fat. It was as simple and as difficult as that.
Few things in life are actually difficult; the most difficult thing you’ll ever do is to decide to do something.
Everything else after that decision are just the particulars.
This is dangerous – I speak from both personal experience and as a new father.
My greatest fear is that kid’ll meet some knuckleheads that get him into trouble.
Look, you choose your friends because they mirror some quality you have or desire. I don’t have any close friends that are, say, massive gamblers, because I’m not a massive gambler.
You don’t get to chose your family but you do get to choose your tribe. So, if the people that you hang out with are a buncha people that cheat on their partners alla time, you’re gonna become someone that chats on your partner.
If you’re the most successful person in your group, this is probably a bad thing, too. You need a better group.
This is one major reason why I didn’t want to continue some romantic relationships I was involved in; because, while they were usually fine, their friends weren’t the type of friends I wanted in my life.
Or my kid’s life.
Him: (a long time ago) I heard you two broke up, I’m sorry.
Me: It’s fine. There’s no tragedy that doesn’t have some positive bonus and the bonus here is that I literally never have to pretend to enjoy hanging out with her lame friends again.
This is why I’ve cut so many people outta my life – because I want to be around people that point me in the direction I want to go.
Speaking of bonuses, here’s a bonus tip.
Bonus: Sometimes, Logan, you gotta say, “Fuck it, I’m out.”
If you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most, then I’m grateful that Bryson’s one of my oldest and dearest friends – for a whole host of reasons.
He’s dangerous; he boxed with Dolph Lundgren, is a brown belt in BJJ under Fabio Clemete, is a black belt in shorin ryu karate, and is also a skilled Japanese fencer.
But, he’s also a great father and cook, married to a beautiful doctor, and helped build a buncha businesses that you’ve probably visited.
Most importantly, though, he’s a great human being. He’s the kinda guy I wanna be, so I try to hang out with him whenever I can.
And I want the boy to hang out with him too.
Years ago, I visited him and his then girlfriend (now wife) out in San Francisco and I was probably depressed when I met them.
I was struggling with whether or not to quit my job and also leave the girl I was seeing.
For the former, it was a great job but I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue being involved with it. The latter? Well, kinda the same thing.
I had all the mixed feelings of duty, loyalty, guilt, etc.
Him, his wife, their roomie, and I, somehow ended up on a boat in the middle of a lake where we got into a water gun fight with some group of people on another boat.
I got onto that boat confused and depressed and left it feeling..pretty good.
And it was because I started telling him alla these issues I had with the girl and that job and he listened, politely, and then simply said, Sometimes, Logan, you gotta say, “Fuck it.”
I added on the “I’m out” over the years.
The number of times I’ve said, Fuck it, I’m out, since that day has gotta be at least in the hundreds, if not thousands.
It’s an incredibly powerful statement and one that you can whip out at any time, in any situation.
Bad job? Bad relationship? Bad habits?
Fuck it, I’m out, is a perfect answer that leads directly to Tip 4, which is reinventing yourself.
But be careful, because it is so powerful. Use it with caution.
Once told you about this snippet of a Batman cartoon I watched when I was younger.
In it, a villain was trying to convince Bruce Wayne that Bruce was mad but Bruce/Batman fought back and won.
When his friend asked Bruce why he was so sure that he (Bruce) wasn’t crazy, he answered simply that the voices called him “Bruce.”
But that’s not what he called himself.
I’ve been many things I’ve been proud of. I think that, by the time you read this, Scenic Fights will either be at exactly 400,000 subscribers or close to it.
And I’ve got some big things happening in my life that I may or may not tell you about in the future.
But none of that matters, really. In my head, I’m the kid’s father. Full-stop.
If that ends up being the only thing that I’m known for, I’m ok with that.
Substitute teacher: And you are?
Me: (pointing at the kid) His father.
Her: (brightly) Oh! He’s a wonderful child! When I said that I was a substitute, he came up to me afterward and said that if I forgot anyone’s name, to ask him because he would tell me. He was my helper all day.
Me: (laughing) That’s awesome.
Her: He’s awesome!
Me: You’re not wrong, lady. You’re not wrong. (sighing) He takes after his mom.
Her: You two are lucky.
Me: (nodding) Yeah. Lucky us.
I’ve been alive for exactly 18,250 days.
I’ve only got 8,250 days left, if I’m…lucky.
Hopefully, I’ll keep writing and you’ll keep reading, yeah?
Location: earlier today, buying a $12 ice cream cone on Amsterdam for my favourite tiny human
Music: Don’t wait, don’t hesitate, now. Don’t stop and watch the clock (Spotify)
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