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2016 promised nothing. Yet, it managed to disappoint a lot of people still.

By January, we were already seeing the blood-red spots in our peripheral vision that warned us that 2016 might not be as vaguely complacent as 2015. If you missed the hints, never mind — I’ll be honest with you: I did too.

The first half of the year whizzed past uneventfully for me. I began to register, with growing discontent, that everything in my life was…wrong. Compared to the previous year, 2016 felt like I was jogging leisurely in a cesspit. In 2015 I was learning fast and achieving stuff— I look back and remember how positive I felt about life going forward. I was poised to dive into the deep end and be all I could be.

So I did.

I’ve been throwing myself in the deep-end all through this year and I have suffered deeply for it. But if ‘wealth of experience’ is worth anything at all, I have grown faster than I ever have all year long.

But with this topsy-turvy existence comes depression. I have been battling the longest depressive climate in my entire existence. You know that point you get to where you’re always about the depression that it no longer makes sense to point it out anymore? Yep. That.

And I’m not even talking about the economy. That’s a problem we all must fight.

I experienced the disorienting realization that people are prone to be astonishing disappointments. They all are — no matter how remarkable they appear — made from the same mold as the rest of humanity. I slowly weaned myself off all mentors and I’m now following a deliberately-crafted ideal.

Ideals do not change; they’re all in your head. They live up to your expectations — they are not affected by the bullshit.

I realize, now, that the more depressed with life I got, the more I found humor easily. Counterintuitive? Plot twist? But I’ve been tapping into a well of ideas for Obaranda.com I didn’t even think I had.

I have taught a lot of people this year, too. I’ve had phone calls with people I may never meet in person, asking for my two cents on some issue. It’s humbling and exultant at the same time, the feeling: receiving messages from someone telling you something you said, or wrote, helped them through a tough one. It’s positive reinforcement: the more people tell me how I have helped them, the more I want to help more people.

Since 2015 I have doubled my paycheck twice over, and it’s never enough, not really. And I realize it never will be. I have begun to wean myself from the mindset of an employee into that of an independent value creator — something that might be interesting to observe in 2017.

If this post read like I was rambling, it’s not you, it’s me.

Thanks for reading —

Justin,

TheVunderkind.

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