I used to be a drifter. Whatever I wanted to do I’d do. I didn’t have any real sense of direction. Maybe it was my youth and wanting to try new things. Everything life that I did revolved around pleasure. Heightening the senses through drugs, alcohol, sex, partying and random trips. Nothing was directed and because of that I ended up nowhere. Despite all the fun I had I had little remembrance of any of it. A huge debauchery filled existence that lacked any true fulfillment.
Then everything changed. I started to take responsibility for my life. I started to live with intention. The first thing I made a conscious decision to do was to quit drinking alcohol for at least a year. As of this writing I’m 15 months sober. Getting sober created space for me to face the demons and traumas of my past. To forgive myself and to forgive others as well. It felt like I was shedding a skin and a new me was being born. Or maybe I was returning to myself again. My sister told me she liked me better sober. She said I was happier and she liked when I was happy. My dad told me he could see my face light up again and that my skin got clearer. Maybe he felt like he’d gotten his son back.
Friendships got better, people reached out in congratulatory fashion and even for advice on how I quit drinking alcohol. More importantly I got back to myself and started to live with more intention. I started to realize what I actually wanted for my life. To do the things that I’d always wanted to do so that I wouldn’t have regret later on in life. None of us are guaranteed a death bed with our loved ones surrounding us goodbye moment. Some of us will die in an instant. I’m an optimist in that I believe I’ll die of old age. At least I hope so.
It’s because of this that I moved to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I always knew I wanted to live abroad for some time and it seemed like the right moment to make a move. Pandemic or not, I needed to go. I have one of my best friends to thank for encouraging me to pursue the move. He held me accountable when I almost got cold feet. That’s what friends are for. They see when your fear starts creeping in and remind you to question why you wanted something in the first place. “You never know how you’re going to meet” he’d say to me.
Through this I’ve started to realize that intention is everything. It’s about pointing your compass to whatever your north star is and heading towards it. Maybe you don’t know what’s going to come along on the journey or who’s going to come along. One thing I’ve learned for certain is that lessons are guaranteed. Living life with intention means accepting the good and the bad. Taking the lessons and experiences as they come and dismantling them into digestible thoughts later.
I’m starting to learn about what I want, don’t want, accept and am able to compromise on in terms of people, places, and experiences. Living life with intention means asking better questions. It means acting in such a way that your future self will thank you for. It’s leading by the example of the person you wish to become. What would that person say to how you’re living now? I tend to ask myself that whenever I feel like I’m getting off track.
It’s living in pursuit of a better you. Not a perfect you, just improved. Doing what’s right, even if it feels uncomfortable or painful in the moment. Being honest with yourself and with others. Time becomes much more important when you live with intention. Wasting your own and the time of others becomes childish. You want to make every moment count. Every second really.
Start asking better questions of yourself. Demand answers of yourself and be honest, even if the answers suck. That’s the beginning of it all. That’s how the ball of intention starts rolling. Peel back the layers of yourself and the direction you want your life to go in one question at a time.
You owe the world the best version of you. Not the mediocre version you’ve accepted as the self. You owe people authenticity. You owe it to yourself above all else. You gotta look in the mirror and stare back at yourself. It’s probably best to love what you see. Start being more intentional. You’re worth it.