The Decade that was

I gotta be honest… I’ve been wanting to write this post since the decade started. It should have been part of a new initiative to share my thoughts more frequently, which apparently failed since this is now going live [hopefully] on January 22nd.

Better late than never, they say.

I’ll start with a short disclaimer as to what The Jameson Diaries are and what they mean to me. When I purchased the domain “jamesondiaries.com” I had idealist thoughts on becoming famous through it, rich even. I used it as a therapeutic tool to jot down insights that I believed could be relevant to others and hoped that I’d get enough traction to justify something more. That has since changed. And this is what it’s all about: CHANGE.

On January 2010 I was self-employed, in the process of founding my soon-to-be bankrupt company with five other partners, my then girlfriend had just moved to Germany, I was certain of what I wanted to do with my life, I didn’t do much sports and I lacked the initiative and maturity to achieve any of the things I wanted to achieve. And it is important to note that, while I was stressed and frustrated to some extent, I can remember clearly that I wasn’t unhappy.

Fast forward to 2020 and the first thing that comes into my mind are the little moments where I am pissed that nothing has happened. It’s not only an ignorant thought, it is an ungrateful one at that.

You see, not only has a lot happened during the last decade, but most of it was achieved by collaborating with people with whom I conflicted during this time. If our failures are our biggest source of learning, then the people who you are unable to share an opinion with might end up being the ones that transform you into a better person.

So, as a start, I say thank you to my business partners from way back when. While I am sure that there was more wrongdoing on your part than mine, my ill-fated first experience as an entrepreneur with you was the start of a very important journey in my development as a professional. And I am thoroughly convinced that, had I had this experience nowadays, the outcome would have been greatly different. It is not to say that I could guarantee success were we in the same constellation, but I would have better contributed to finding ways for our co-existence. Or maybe not, who knows… You guys are assholes, after all. So thank you, but fuck you, too.

While on the subject of my career, I need to thank both my bosses at my first employer after I decided to amicably (hehe!) leave my own company. There wasn’t a single day where we were not in conflict with each other. Yet I cannot remember a time-frame in my life where I learned so much. Moreover, the fact that I am friends with one of you to this day and I see that I contributed to you changing as a person has made me realize the awesome feeling of having a positive influence on other people’s lives. We even talked about the very conflict-oriented nature of our professional relationship, but at the same time marvel at the fact that, contrary to a majority of such collaborative initiatives, we managed to make sure that the common goal was still being followed.

Thank you to my employee who allowed me to participate in her own journey of anger, frustration and absolute professional success over the last two years.

Thank you Richard Branson for your inspiring quotes that always look cool on a whiteboard.

Thank you cigarettes for not being a part of my life for more than five years now. And, especially, thank you nicotine abstinence for making me hungry and afraid of gaining weight, which led to my transformation from couch-potato to half-marathon runner (btw. the half part of that marathon is going away this year). I call it my mid-life crisis, but do want to go way beyond sixty, thank you.

Thank you for being my wife. Thank you for being my son. Thank you for being my mother, my father, my brother, my niece and nephew, my cousin and thank you all for being my family. Thank you for being my dog and accepting to be the infallible source of good mood when everything else won’t allow it.

Thank you 10k distance for keeping me sane, focused and allowing me the mental headroom to enjoy the important things in life, eliminating the noise in the process.

It is amazing what can happen in ten years and, thinking about it, accidentally listening to a track from the original score for the movie Ad Astra while sitting in a hotel bed in Berlin, I deeply enjoy the fact that, this time, I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen during the next ten years. As a matter of fact, the time before 2010 has become fuzzy to the point where I have a hard time identifying with the person that I was then. It’s not that I don’t value my heritage, my upbringing and my past life, but I am so different now that I have a hard time fitting that personality-construct with the myself of today… Will this happen again in 2030?

It might… Or I’ll become more methodic in posting my experiences here and will have a ton of reading to do as we close the next decade (don’t get your hopes up). But still, one shouldn’t underestimate how much can happen in ten years. So, as we welcome the two-thousand-and-twenties into our lives, I wish you godspeed and good luck.

I thank you all.

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