Some Things I Know About Myself After 27 Trips Around The Sun

Written by SeanRitchey on February 10, 2014

While traveling in Colombia these last few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on my past couple of years. I’ve been looking at how I move in the world, what my strengths and weaknesses are, what I’ve prioritized, learned and created. Both taking note of how my life feels, the things I’ve accomplished and the endeavors I’ve fallen short on. This process has been a foundation to look ahead, framing my strategies and aspirations for the next bit of my life

I’ve been writing as part of this process. I sat down this morning to see about shaping some of that writing into a blog post. But instead I opened a new blank document and wrote “Some Things I’ve Learned” at the top of the page. What follows are the answers to that question, that came tumbling out of me.


I am creative by nature
Question the status quo often
Enjoy turning preconceptions, ideas and deeply held beliefs in their head

I am a generalist not a specialist
When I’m interested in something, I pursue it to the point of being very good, but rarely to the point of mastery
I’m good at more things than most people, great at a few, truly exceptional at none
My ability to draw connections between many different disciplines and skill-sets is one of my greatest assets

As [I’m sure] many would attest
I can be arrogant
Self centered
Over estimate myself
And often take up too much space

But I am also a care giver by nature
Perceptive of others people’s feelings and reactions
Keenly self-aware
A highly calculated, big picture thinker who rarely does something without a reason

I am less extroverted than I used to be
I feel the best when I have private space – a room with a door that closes, a house, etc – as a base camp
But I’m also social by nature. I thrive with people around me
But not lots of people. A small group of close allies suites me best

I need lots of sleep

I dream big
And often
I’m better at coming with ideas and plans than I am at doing them
In the last ten years, I have have actively, and persistently worked to become good at taking things from concept to reality
Maybe in another ten years, I’ll be really good

It feels quietly hopeful and palatably reassuring to watch myself get better
At being grateful
And powerful
And learn from [some] of my mistake
To watch myself get better
At being me

I feel more grounded now then I ever have
My life feels stable and also highly liberated
I have the feeling that i can do what I want in a more truthful and empowered way now than ever before

I have the sense I can see the momentum of my life growing
Which feels good

I love food

My default reaction to almost anything I do, is that it could be better
But I’m getting better at being gentle with myself

I forgive myself more now than I ever have
I still have have plenty of work to do in this area
But that okay (see, I’m trying)

I almost always have something to say

But also, over time I’m learning the value of silence
“But I don’t hear anything…”
“…except the wind…”
“…and the rhythm of my own heart.”

I receive a lot of praise and acknowledgement of who I am and what I do

But also

I am white
Class privileged
Able bodied
English speaking
I grew up being told I was capable, worthy and powerful
Was raised by two parents, who love and respect each other
Have had enough to eat and clean water to drink
And a warm, dry, safe place to sleep
I have never feared violence – from my parents, lovers, peers, enemies or random men on the street
And I have always known I’m loved

To say that I’m “Privileged” does not even begin to capture how unbelievably stacked the deck is in my favor

A major reason why my personal framework has slowly trended from arrogance toward the still far off border of humility, is a growing recognition of how much quiet structural support I receive
Increasingly when people tell me how impressed they are by something I’ve done, I’m silenced by an inability to explain how much help I’ve had, and how small a portion of the recognition is actually due to me

My assumptions about the future
Do not include a stable planet
Or peace, stability and safety
Or even myself living to old age

But I am so grateful to be alive

And my greatest hopes
Are to contribute
And be happy – content – fulfilled

I aspire to show up fully to all that I do, right up to my last
To live adventurously
Never stop learning
Love without asking for things in return
To allow myself to be held, vulnerable, safe
To be generous
To be present
To live this incredible gift of a life
Day by day
Breathe by breathe

When I stop
And close my eyes
And breath in, slowly
What rises up
from inside my being with my exhale
are two words
“Thank you”

Leave a comment

  • Ruth

    Absolutely lovely.

  • Blake Boles

    Love this. Sharing.

  • Aleesha

    True talk from within for most people is hard to share with the public, thank you for doing so. I enjoyed reading this post.