Well, for better or worse, here's my attempt to catch up. It's been a crazy year, both professionally and personally. Time passes by too quickly. Man, if I could only go back and convince my younger self of that fact! I thought time would never hurry up. Now, a year goes by in the flash of an instant.
My collegiate aviation program has seen a lot of changes and improvements over the last year. This thing takes up all of my time, but it is extremely rewarding work. We've been helping students become pilots left and right, and we are about to certify our first flight instructors. I love watching them reach the big training milestones. I love watching them succeed. It's a huge flashback to all my moments of success in aviation and a huge reminder of all the people that helped get me where I am today.
But life is never without its disappointments. There are always things we wish we would have done or done better or done more often. I don't consider it useful or practical to have regrets. Doing so just seems to cause a lot of unnecessary and unsolvable pain and grief. However, there are always things you look back on and think, "what if I had (fill in the blank)." I've had plenty of those, professionally and personally. While you can't make everyone happy, and certainly not all at the same time, I do try really hard to form meaningful relationships with people that involve mutual benefit. My greatest ego-crushing fear is letting down the people that I care about. It's a reality of life, but not one I enjoy or relish. And I've had more of those instances in the last year that I would have liked to have. Some were avoidable, and some were not. Regardless, it bothers me when I let people down. In Eric's ideal world, people would generally consider me to be affable, reliable, and valuable. It doesn't always work that way, but I can say with complete confidence that I have formed more new relationships and strengthened more existing relationships that I have harmed. I'll have to be satisfied with that. If nothing else, it's a point from which to learn.
I have learned a lot about myself in the last year. I've learned that I am capable of more than I thought. I've learned that people who succeed in life have to find joy and contentment in the seemingly mundane things to remain grounded and relevant. I've learned that pride and ego and selfishness are even more useless than I've always assumed they are. I've learned that there are few people you can or should truly count on in life, and that's not a bad thing. And I've learned to let go. Perhaps the most useful lesson was the last.
Whatever you've been up to for the past year, I hope you can say that your year was as successful as mine. I'm ahead of where I was last year. I'm content. I'm excited about this next year. (And I hope to find the time to post a little more about it.)
If my life lessons are useful to you, learn this: there is no point in building yourself up if your foundation is weak. I've poured some extra concrete into mine. Time to start building again. I've got the best people in the world helping me with the work.
Life fruitfully, my friends!