Today I turn 31… I spent my birthday eve with my kids. I took a little time to reflect on the past 10 years. Do you remember who you were 10 years ago? I do. I was a cocky fool. I thought I had become a man when I turned 21. Boy was I almost right… but not really. I have no idea why I thought taking shots legally, having highlights in my hair, shaving my entire body (even though I had no hair to shave), wearing Von Dutch trucker hats, getting a tattoo from a random I met on the beach, and never wearing socks made me a man. For some reason, that was the age that made me feel invincible. I was far from actually being a man. I was selfish, I was reckless, I was immature, I was oblivious, I was angry, I cared too much what people thought about me, and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. But back then, I thought I had it all handled. The only thing I had going in my life was Kinsey.
So when we were doing the “Get Over It” lines yesterday, and I sarcastically told Kinsey to stop asking me what I want for my birthday, I meant it. Not in a rude way, but in a “I’m fulfilled” kind of way. Ten years ago, I could have rattled off 100 things that I wanted as gifts. That means something is missing. I can honestly tell you, that material things don’t really matter to me now. I think I have everything I need. I have a house. I have clothes. I have a TV. I have a car that can get me to work. Hashtag blessed (that’s for Rasberry). Most importantly, I have purpose. As corny as this may sound, my family is my gift, and I get it every day I wake up. In the last few months, I have not just realized, but witnessed how quickly life can end. I can happen in the blink of an eye, and I have always heard that, but it took an event where I witnessed it, for it to click. I really get it now. I really think that opening my eyes in the morning is a daily gift, along with the small things happening during my day. I don’t really think about the future anymore. It used to drive me crazy. The future was so scary to me, because I had no idea what was going to happen, and I expected the worst. Losing my job, failing, having to start over, etc. I can look you in the eye, and tell you that I don’t do that anymore. There really is no point.
There is one thing I can look forward to in the future: My family. They are the only thing that will always be there for me… as long as I take care of it. I have to enjoy this every single day. I have lost some really close friends, and maybe it’s because we grew apart, maybe it’s because my focus on life changed… I don’t know. Friends really do come and go. I don’t have a desire to go to clubs. I don’t feel like drinking my weekend away. I would rather play in the backyard with Cason. I would rather play my guitar for Chloe. I would rather get a babysitter and go on a movie date with Kinsey. It’s not something that was an overnight switch, it gradually happened. I wish I could pinpoint it, but I can’t.
Am I a man yet? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I still have a lot of growing to do, but I think I am on my way there. I seriously don’t know how I got this lucky. I never expected my life to go this well. I was at the bottom when Kidd hired me. I’ve said it before; I had no money. I had no home (I was living in Kinsey’s grandmothers house). I couldn’t even get a loan to keep going to school. This is why I don’t need gifts. I am living my dream. I have an incredible woman who loves me. I have two healthy kids. I have an awesome support group who listens to our show every day. And I have the opportunity to continue my teacher/idol’s legacy, with some of the best people in my industry. Seriously, what more could I ask for? Well, it would be cool if I could get to hang with Eminem, and maybe get a band to let me play guitar with them, and maybe a shirt. So I just want to thank you, if you are reading this, for coming along on this journey I call growing up.
Every event in my life, has shaped me into the person I am today.