I’ve done really well for myself. That’s a statement of fact, though it sounds like I’m glossing myself. I still see a lot of guys I used to know who, back in the day, I was almost certain we’re going to go places and do big things. With the exception of maybe two, every one of them has fallen short of what I used to think they’d accomplish. A lot of them were the inspirations for posts about changing the direction of your life to better facilitate a woman’s plans for her own life. People hate it when other people compare lives. The standard line is “well if they’re happy who are you to judge?” or else it’s “we all find happiness in our own ways” or something suitably ambiguous. It’s one of those things we say so as not to appear judgmental. But everyone of us makes comparisons about a great many thing. There’s not a woman on planet earth who doesn’t compare herself, her quality of life and the man she’s married with her sister’s.
I could give a shit about what these guys have done with their lives up to age fifty, but I do think we need to take assessments of how our lives have turned out. It’s natural for us to want to measure our achievements, but at my age all that does now is make me realize how stupid I was when I thought so much more of other people and not enough of myself then. We shouldn’t compare ourselves with anyone else, I got that, but we should compare ourselves with what we believe is our personal potential. I’ve still got a lot to do before they put me in the ground, but I think I’ve done okay up to now with respect to my potential. If anything I don’t think I gave my potential enough credit when I was younger. Maybe we all do that?
I’m kind of scared of the future in a way. My Dad died from Alzheimers/Dementia just shy of his 73rd birthday in 2010. He had early onset too, so he started forgetting things at about 64. At least thats when it became apparent to everyone. That’s my worst fear today, but it’s also whats driving me now. In the autobiography of Steve Jobs it was obvious to everyone that once he acknowledged he was going to die early he started pushing the limits of what he wanted to get done before he went out. Consequently we got all of these great innovations in a relatively short time. Look at Apple’s “innovations” today. *I’ve only ever used Macs, even when they weren’t cool.
I’ve done far better for myself than my father ever did. Again, that’s not a ‘slay-the-father’ sentiment it’s just fact. My dad didn’t have the same potential though. And I still have more potential to fulfill. This has become more pressing for me recently and not just because of the fear of dying early – and yes, I do fear death, but mostly because I see it as a cessation of potential to do more. I genuinely have a mental list of things I need to do that I’ve only really become aware of since I started this blog and became an author and matured into the 40-50 year old Rollo Tomassi. Don’t think of that as a bucket list of some experiences to be had before death, rather, think of it as a ‘to do’ list that I need to accomplish before I go out. And that ‘to do’ list only became apparent to me in the last 7 years.
I know what I need to do now. It kind of sucks that a purpose to life might be something you only realize later in life. I’m sure it happens sooner for some guys, but for me it was necessary to live through the experiences that made me before I could know it. I’m still an artist in my essence, and I get edgy if I’m unable to create something new every day. Seriously, I’ve been like this since I was a child. I have a need to create, even if it’s just something simple, every day. That need has carried over into every aspect of my life and career. And really, the books are products of that need, but there’s a lot more, a purpose to the works themselves and that’s what my life has been about since I began the blog and the books and my persona.
I am Rollo Tomassi now. Don’t worry, I’m not legally changing my name. At first it was a clever online handle for me, and my real name is so white-bread generic it almost serves as a form of anonymity. Now it is me, and I’m okay with that.
Having said all of that, I’m considering a kind of semi-retirement from my primary career in the liquor and gaming promo business and applying myself more to writing and speaking. I’m already kind of doing this now since reaching a state of being financially anti-fragile. I’ll never fully retire from my brands so long as I have ownership percentages and creative decisions will need to be made. I’m not sure how this is going to look, but I find myself wanting to apply more of myself to writing, speaking, maybe doing some kind of podcast or terrestrial radio show. I feel like I need to do this now with my 50s ahead of me and more potential to do good in the world with what I have and the time I hope I have left.
In the comments today I was hoping to see what my peers thought of all this. I hope it’s not to navel gazy.