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Catching greenlights

At the end of every year, it is very natural to look in the mirror. Now the past year can be the best year of your life: take notes on what works. If the opposite is true, that’s what makes it interesting. When you’re at your rock bottom pit, it’s easy to wish and pray how things were different and fill your mind with excuses. But the fact is, you’re still in the pit. C’est la vie, my friend (“that’s life,” for those of you who aren’t French). When you’re at the bottom all you have is yourself and that is when you truly learn who you are. Self-reflection is a key part of growing into you and what Matthew McConaughey and I call your own personal "style." It is not just with how you look or what you wear, but how you talk, walk, think, act, carry yourself and everything in between and above. YOUR style.

Gore Vidal says, "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not give a damn.” I’m not too big into rushing things (at all), but we can all start feeling how we are, taking notes on what makes you, you. Whether you’re at your Everest or you’re in your pit. The whole goal in the process of life is to find out how you do it. How you handle the middles of the Everest and the pit. No author is the same, so how can the story be the same? It can’t. How you climb out of the pit. How you enjoy the view from the top, knowing that the good weather is not going to last forever.

Now, not to get too personal, but last semester specifically was the hardest part of my 20 years on Mother Earth. Riddled with depression, anxiety, self-doubt about medical school and all of the above. I learned more about what I am not and what I am than when I was cruising and had it easy. I had to deal with climbing out of the pit and on occasion enjoying the view. I started reading a lot more, and my two personal favorite books to help me were both gifted by my father, “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey (literally my personal Bible) and “Make Your Bed” by Admiral William H. McRaven. They both are written by men who have experienced hundreds of lifetimes on their own.

Matthew McConaughey, according to his own Instagram, “Husband. Father. Actor. Minster of Culture. Professor. Creative Director. Austin FC. JK Livin. Pickle Expert,” and Admiral William H. McRaven was a former Naval Admiral, Navy SEAL and the Chancellor of the University of Texas. Two very different men with very different lives, speaking similarly on the same topic: how to deal with life. Both spoke of how life is not fair, taking risks and realizing the only person in your grave is you, so you gotta live how you want to live.

Now that there is a fresh start on the calendar, try and be YOU. In the wise words of Mr. McConaughey (again): realize all redlights turn into greenlights, and “You just gotta keep livin’ man… L-I-V-I-N”.


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