I write for several reasons. The most important being that it helps me process thoughts. Putting ideas into clean cut sentences and physically writing them strengthens that thought immensely. I can go into a long explanation of how strong thoughts (positive or negative) physically affect you on a biological level and use quantum physics to also explain how thoughts affect the world around you, but my goal isn’t to teach you anything. I do it to give you insight. There’s nothing more pure and honest than talking to a blank screen. It doesn’t judge me, I can’t hurt its feelings, and it can’t question or second-guess my thoughts. Lastly, I do it for reference. Years from now I can look back at my writings, laugh at how different my thinking is, and see if I’m measuring up to the much younger and idealistic Sean.
Pretty much my entire life I’ve kept some sort of journal. From late elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and so on there’s either actual daily entries or weekly writings summing up what’s been going on in my head. It’s scary how much stuff I have and how much you forget over the years, especially things that seem really important in the moment…
A few weeks ago I went rummaging through old files looking for something in particular and I came across an entry that stopped me in my tracks. I can tell when I wrote it that I was personally listing goals and dreams rather academically trying to write something. It was meant for no one other than me, was never supposed to be “turned into something” (like part of a larger work), had nothing to do with what was going on in my life at that current moment, and was chillingly specific. It was like Sean from 6 years ago had the foresight to write a letter to future Sean to make sure that I stayed on track. For me, the biggest twist about coming across this entry was the timing.
Maturity and reality have been the biggest issues I’ve been facing lately. For months now I’ve known deep inside that I am ready for a change. I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten older and chugging beer doesn’t have the same allure along with sleeping on couches that it used to. Not really knowing what to do with myself but understanding that reality could no longer be ignored, I started to conform. I picked back up the family trade, found myself a little place I hesitantly call “home,” pop into Mom and Dad’s to help with chores or cook a meal, and dilute my thoughts each night so I can fall asleep with my new found mediocrity.
As much as I was trying to buy into this new direction of life, there was no amount of drugs, alcohol, sex, movies, iPods, Hulu, concerts, or Daily Show with John Stewart that would allow me to swallow this blue pill. I wasn’t being honest with myself. I wasn’t being honest with those around me. I was giving everyone what I thought I was “supposed” to give, not what I have to give.
People say that timing is everything in life, I don’t know what I say. However, it seems a bit too serendipitous that within 3 days I reconnected with an old family friend from Orange County, both the managing editors at Surfing Magazine and Surfline offer me freelance writing jobs, my Endless Summer 2 poster falls over laying directly in my walkway so that I have to stop and move it to be able to pass by, an amazing, beautiful, unstoppable spirit of woman that I was best friends with on Warped Tour, who now lives in Huntington Beach and surfs twice a day, out the blue adds me as a friend on FaceBook, and I happen to stumble across some of my own words from August 6th, 2005.
I don’t believe in destiny unless it’s manifest destiny. Get off your butt and take a leap of faith, who knows how many great things are waiting in the world out there…:
August 6th, 2005
"My mission in life is to be happy. Nothing else matters when you are happy. I’d rather be poor surfing everyday than working a job I hated. I also want to leave something behind, I want to make a difference.
Here’s my perfect day: I’d wake up just before dawn next to a woman that I’m totally in love with. I’d grab my surfboard and head down to the corner store to pick up a cup of coffee. I’d drive to the beach and watch the waves for a few minutes until there was enough light to paddle out. I’d be out for a few hours getting a fantastic morning session. Then I’d drive to Surfer Magazine headquarters with my hair still wet and begin working on a story. Lunchtime would come and I’d go get some Mexican food with the pro surfers that were hanging around the office. We’d talk shop, tell stories and plan our next surf trip. Then after lunch I’d make the rounds and try to find inspiration for upcoming articles. Then I would head home, stopping by the flower shop to pick up one hibiscus. My wife/girlfriend and I would have dinner, then make our way down to the beach to watch the last few waves before it got dark. We’d talk about each other’s day, memories, plans, whatever. Then we’d go home and go to bed early. I don’t think expecting too much… haha.
The trait I value the most in myself and other people is honesty. Be completely honest with me all the time no matter how bad the truth is. I hold myself to very high standards. Failure is not tolerable. I think if you’re going to bother to do something, you should do it right and to the best of your abilities.
When I “die” I want people to wear Hawaiian shirts at my funeral. I want people to be very relaxed and easygoing. I don’t think a traditional funeral would represent my life or what my life was about, in fact it would be the exact opposite. I want people to say that I had passion, love, hope, and dreams. When I wanted something I got or did it. I want people to say I had an impact on their lives, and on the world. I want to be remembered for doing something.”.