Change in one’s life can be scary, and a quick transition from one chapter in life to the next can be terrifying. While change is inevitable to me and everybody else I can’t say that quick transitions have hindered me or have even happened through the midst of this chapter of my life. I try to slow down life in every way possible, to reduce quick transitions, by paying attention to the little details, living in every moment and recognizing my environment and people around me. Even while doing so life still moves quickly, sometimes too quickly, for us to realize what we have. With the end of a chapter, a new chapter is soon to follow where change is inevitable. During that transition period between the chapters is where one can be lost, misled or confused. Part of this current but ending chapter in my life started eight years ago where my life changed in an instant on July 26, 2007. Needless to say, it was an immediate transition and a drastic change of lifestyle and physical ability, but I found a way to manage much due to the credit of all of you who are reading this very post. What came with that change through that transition, was a loss of identity, confusion and loss of physical ability. The “why me?” and the “what if’s?” were limited to say the least and the “what can?” and “what will?” soon followed as I rebounded from my injury and look towards the next step of a great life. In any case, a new chapter was born.
The ability to be what I thought was a college kid and a young adult was nonexistent, to my knowledge, in my life at that point, while the loss of independence and the inability of driving hindered me in many ways. The thought of getting back behind the wheel after being in a life-threatening crash because of my own decisions (Of trying and avoid debris on the road) was something that I put off and refuse to acknowledge for many years because of the fear of not just hurting myself again and the possibility of hurting others. But, what I failed to realize was that in the process I began to selfishly rely on others to get me places, to be my support and to always be there for me through the snap of a finger. This wasn’t to say that I disregarded being respectful to these people in my life, but I most certainly felt that a change was necessary in my life to take the next step of regaining the independence of being a young adult and a kid again.
The answers to all of those questions have come recently as I have gotten back behind the wheel for the first time in eight years, which in itself is a scary thought, but at the same time brings a sigh of relief to many around me.
Often times I explain life as an analogy of driving down a city street where often times we are faced with stoplights; the green, the yellow and the red lights. What exactly do those signals mean to you? Whether it’s through driving or through situational things in life. Does green always mean go? Or when you see green do you start with the why question? Often times I think we live such a fast-paced life’s that we fail to regard the green lights as a moment to start with the question of why? Why are we doing something? Why are we at this juncture in our life? This isn’t to say to ask the question of why to be a skeptic, but merely to be fully invested in what it is that you are doing and the decision that you are making so you are able to make the best and proper decision at that moment in time. Does the yellow light always mean to proceed with caution? Sometimes those in between signals in our life are the things in life that are telling us to take a chance and go after something.
Then there are other times, which I believe this is more relatable while driving or to other situational things in life, where an in between signal might mean to slow down and stop and assess what’s around you before you proceed. Then there are the red lights where we automatically assume to stop dead in our tracks because if we move forward any farther we could be put in harm’s way. This is a spot in people’s lives where a lot of times they find themselves confused, in trouble or indecisive. These are the moments were people second-guess themselves, have regrets and can’t live life with a clear mind because of their past. I challenge you with this, whether it is with people or situational things in life, do not let the past effect the future to the point where you won’t give a current situation or change in your life a chance to transpire into something great.
Life for me, oddly, has slowed down since I’ve started driving just when you think it would have sped up and been on the fast track to freedom in my life. While driving I am so zoned in on the road and so attentive towards my surroundings that I slow life down in every way possible rather than having driving and life become second nature to me and putting the road and my life on cruise control and letting everything happen before me and pass me by.
While there is a time and a place to put your life and driving on cruise control, there is also a time and a place to take the bull by the horns, go after what you want, be assertive and have no regrets. Equally there is a time in your life to slow down, come to a complete stop and be a spectator while others take control. However, it is hard for many of us to compartmentalize what we are supposed to do in certain situations, whether it is to be a Type A personality and take control or Type B personality and to just sit back, relax and let fate take its course. But, do we control our own fate and destiny or in other situations is it divine intervention? So, as each of us individually write our own books and create our own chapters of the story that we call “Our Lives”, all of us in our own ways can control when these chapters say and new chapters will arise with change on the brink. It isn’t to say that as writers of our story that it is easy to find a transition from one thing to the next, but a lot of times it’s like jumping off a cliff and hoping that water is below you to create a soft landing. I’ve always wondered since my accident what life would be like after I graduated college? Then what? Not that I’m an indecisive person or not assertive, but then the question marks of acceptance came back into my life again and those demons surrounded my head of wondering did I have what it takes.
Let me just reassure you that those questions only arose in my mind for about 2.5 seconds until I laughed at myself with knowing that anything is possible with the support that I have behind me. What do you want to do with your life? Who do you want to be? These are questions that we were asked probably in grade school for some of us and thought we had answers to, but now more than ever we waver on those decisions. There’s something to be said that on average students change their majors four times while in college. I’m apart of that statistic myself. There’s something to be said in life that people on average change career jobs seven times in their life. I can only hope, and not because I’m judgmental of those people that can’t settle into the right job, that I find a job that I love and I stick with it, because that would reiterate to me that all those questions of “What will I do after college is over?”, will be answered. Much of that has been answered over the past year as I broadcasted for the Los Angeles Kings AA hockey team, the Ontario Reign. Yet again, as life always does in every way shape or form, change was put upon the Reign organization this off-season. The team heading into the 2015 – 2016 season will now become the AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. While that is great news for everybody inside the organization, especially the front office, that has left me with the decision, an easy one at that, of wanting to return to the team as a broadcaster for the upcoming season in my pursuit to someday make it to the major league level for one of the four major sports.
While great opportunities have been put in front of me, I would like to think through the help of many great people along the way I have found my niche and excelled in every way that I possibly could to my own standards. But, even though I have excelled during that time how I would’ve expected, I still have an expectation of myself that is far beyond where I’m at currently, which again means more change and more transitions in my life. I am not scared, if I’m being honest with you though, because as much as I have loved this chapter of my life, I have my pen ready to go and writer’s block not even remotely close to hindering me, as I’m in the preparation phase to write this next chapter.
I graduated undergraduate college from the University of La Verne on May 30th of this year. It was a great start to my summer to say the least. I graduated with a degree in Communications, with an emphasis on Sports Broadcasting and Business. While the degree has opened up many new doors for me and many new opportunities, the education was invaluable and has contributed to my expertise I so many different ways. Last year alone for the University I was able to commentate over 55 games for all of the schools collegiate sports and I’m honored to say that I received a co-broadcaster of the year award, alongside my best friend Andrew Zetterberg. The award for us was very humbling and a testament to the hard work he put in for preparing for games as well is putting up with me. I also am very humbled to say that I received the first ever award that was presented in the school’s history called “Voice of the Leopards”. It was an honorary award that the sports and athletic department issued me, which was completely unnecessary but I am very appreciative for their acknowledgements, and it was their way of telling me that I would be a Leopard for life and can always come back to broadcast games for the school.
While nothing that I do in life is to receive high regard for doing, I was beyond appreciative for their acts of kindness, as well of the schools support of me and to Be Perfect. The Integrated Business Program at the University of La Verne raised $6700 this past semester for the foundation by going out and promoting the foundation’s mission statement and selling waterproof portable speakers, which proceeds were to go back to the foundation. The group, of about seven students, worked very hard over the semester and by far exceeded their quota, and were the highest grossing group in the entire integrated business program with their particular campaign throughout the semester.
This type of support has made me want to be a Leo for life in every shape and form, beyond just being a Leo for my zodiac sign. I have just received word and have fully committed to going back to grad school at the University of La Verne starting this fall to receive my Masters degree in Leadership and Management. Much of this program centralizes around nonprofit management, public speaking and what it means to be a leader. These are all aspects of my life within my education that could greatly benefit me take my career path to the next level and I am beyond excited for this change and this transition in my life. So, while the next chapter of my life will include more change, more schooling, harnessing my driving skills and still pursuing my career of sports broadcasting, there will also be constants in my life, many of which have been consistent throughout the past eight years; friends, family, Claremont, foundation endeavors and event planning. So while I’m closing up with my remarks writing this chapter I can’t help but wonder what my hand will write on the paper for this next chapter.
Much of that will begin on May 21, 2016 when the Be Perfect Foundation will host its Seventh Annual event, “The Seventh Inning Stretch” (Sports themed). Unfortunately, for many of us our biggest fear in life is what will happen next and how we will react to those moments in situations. But, many of us need to understand and reflect back upon our life and ask ourselves the questions of did we regret the things in life that we did do or did we regret the things in life that we didn’t do? I think it’s fair to say, that many of us are where we are today because of our past decisions and many of us have no complaints about where we are, unless it’s in regards to materialistic things.
If we are at a stage in life where turmoil is happening and things aren’t going our way, we all need to understand that tough times end, light is at the end of the tunnel and much of the time those are just phases in our life; simple paragraphs throughout our long chapters. What will happen next for you in the chapter that you are writing? Don’t stress yourself out about it, just react and live in the moment.
Last Sunday marked my eight year anniversary since my accident and I will tell you that every bit of those last eight years are moments that I will never regret and that have made me who I am today and I have each and every one of you that’s reading this to thank you for the great value, wisdom and inspiration that you brought to my life. It’s fair to say I would not be who I am today without all of you. And while I could only hope that each and every one of you has a few sentences if not many paragraphs written about you in my next chapter, then I hope that you make a cameo in my chapter at some point because sometimes those are the most meaningful and all. I love you guys and here’s to a big cheers to what the next chapter might bring to my life and to yours…. BE PERFECT
“LET GO OF THINGS YOU CAN’T CHANGE AND ONLY FOCUS ON THE THINGS YOU CAN CHANGE”
“THE SECRET OF CHANGE IS TO FOCUS ALL OF YOUR ENERGY, NOT ON FIGHTING THE OLD, BUT BUILDING THE NEW”
“CHANGE THE CHANGEABLE, ACCEPT THE UNCHANGEABLE, AND REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE UNACCEPTABLE”