I wanted to use this post to better explain why I chose to start this blog, why I named it “Whyharmony.com”, and my vision of what it will become in the future. I’d like to start off with some back story. Growing up, I had a tendency, as many young boys do, to bounce between a number of different passions, interests, and hobbies in what seemed like a chaotic whirlwind.
Starting in 6th grade, I fell into a deep and impassioned love with the game of soccer. I poured just about every waking minute of my existence into researching professional soccer teams, playing the wildly popular video game FIFA, and dribbling my Navy blue and maroon red soccer ball in and out of cones at the local park. During class, I’d slip into daydreams imagining how euphoric it’d be to abandon my life in Silicon Valley and throw on the royal blue jersey of my favorite English Club team, Chelsea FC.
And I still love soccer to this day- it’s just that the beautiful game no longer navigates the waters of my life. The thing is, once one passion would slowly fade to the background, another seemingly unrelated interest would take control.
Starting in 8th grade, I embarked on this strange mission to memorize the capitals of all 193 countries the United Nations officially recognizes. I grabbed a couple stacks of flashcards from the local Office Depot, hopped on Wikipedia, and spent my childhood afternoons memorizing the fact that Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and Rabat is the capital of Morocco.
And when my love for geography simmered, I decided it was my destiny to become a bestselling author. Once this idea washed over me, I descended down a rabbit hole. I devoured Literary classics such as George Orwell’s “1984”, Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, and Kurt Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions”. I furiously typed thousands of words in my electronic journals I kept on Google Drive. To provide you with some context of what 15 year old me was up to, here are some entries I wrote in 2014:
“Poppy (my cat) is one elegant and graceful creature. She is constantly in a state of lithe focus, and it is beautiful. Her feline beauty is stunning, and without a doubt immutable. She will forever be the embodiment of physical and aesthetic beauty.”
“Everyone has creative genius within them, they just have to release it. You can’t just say you want to become a writer, you have to work towards it and achieve your goal.”
“In America we strive endlessly to hoard possessions, acquire money, and attain a more prestigious job. Our hunger and avarice is never fully satiated. By the time we achieve any of the goals we set for ourselves, we have toiled away a massive portion of of our lives. Why not start living now?”
I cherry picked the highlight moments from the endless sea of bullcrap I wrote when I was fifteen (I could be melodramatic), but I hope I get the point across that I was really into it.
Yet, despite my unshakable conviction that I was the second coming of Mark Twain, I inevitably lost my bright eyed zest for writing, and I was off to something new, whether it be my quest to understand French Culture, my short lived obsession with documentaries, or my summertime adventure into the world of gardening.
While it may sound as if I’m patting myself on the back for the variety of the interests I’ve held, I’d like to point out the flaws, and thus the lessons to be learned, from my tornado of a childhood.
1.) I struggled with self discipline. I couldn’t make a commitment to myself and follow through. For all those middle school years I spent daydreaming about soccer, I quit the team my senior year of high school. Despite my promise I’d memorize every capital city, I barely scratched the surface of Southeastern Asia and Africa. I wrote 413 pages worth of writing on Google Drive alone, and I never shared it with a single soul.
2.) My fear of vulnerability dominated my life. I’d parade around my house telling my parents one day I’d be a writer, but I never shared a single sentence. I spent hours a day learning French, but I was so mortified of my atrocious accent, I never spoke a word in front of anyone. Until recently, I was so terrified of playing guitar in front of others, it’d only happen if I was halfway through a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Hell, I’d even refuse to play music for my dear old Granny due to my fear of vulnerability.
Talking about oneself becomes tiresome, but this post is more about the interconnected nature of everything we do. It’s about the pursuit of harmony. None of what I’ve done would be possible if it wasn’t for my Dad willing to give me money to buy whatever book or expensive pair of soccer cleats that crossed my path. My Mother spent the better years of her life driving a grey Honda minivan around the wonderfully boring town of Los Altos. These actions were investments, not only in me, but in themselves. When we do favors for other people, we assume that the other person will RECIPROCATE, and then we mutually benefit. If you’ve ever experienced psychedelics, you understand this concept even if you don’t have the words to define it.
Eat vegetables, tell your parents that you love them, and strive to be the first to smile. Listen to new music, bathe in the sun, and watch sunsets with people you care about.
Nature admires passion and courage.
(Paraphrasing Terence Mckenna)
// Cabezon // Red House Painters
// You Probably Won’t Die For A While // Skegss
// Born and Raised // John Mayer