Searching for Something

I normally don’t have trouble sleeping at night.

photo credit: Got Credit via creative commons

photo credit: Got Credit via creative commons

I will wake up during the night realize it’s not time to get up and go right back to sleep. Last Sunday night/Monday morning was different. I woke up at 1 AM and made the inevitable mistake of looking at my phone. Twenty minutes later after boring myself with pointless internet material I realized I wasn’t going to be able to fall right back asleep. As I rolled over I clinched my left hand and realized my wedding ring was gone. I immediately began feeling around trying to find it. It fits well and I couldn’t figure out how it could have fallen off but I knew I went to bed with it on. I never take it off and right before bed I took my contacts out and I washed my hands so I would have noticed it missing then. I still decided to get up and look around. I walked to the bathroom and didn’t see it there. Walked to my office and didn’t see it there. I started panicking. You know the feeling you get when you have lost something. You think there is a mistake. This isn’t actually happening. A knot forms in your stomach and your brow starts to sweat. I had to wake up Morgan to find it and my first statement to her when waking her up was that, “I lost my engagement ring.” This made literally no sense but she knew what I meant. Luckily I found the ring about 30 minutes after I started looking for it. It had gotten tossed around in the sheets somehow while I was asleep. As I tried to lay back down to go to sleep it was even harder than before my internet binge so my mind took off in a million different directions.

It’s amazing how the feeling of losing something makes you feel completely out of control. The illusion of control disappears. I hate the unknown. I hate when all you can do is wait for something to happen. I am learning it’s life. Life happens while we are waiting. The torture known as waiting is what makes us human. As David Brooks wrote recently, “We are the only animals who are naturally unfinished. We have to bring ourselves to fulfillment.”

Sometimes I find myself searching for a quick answer. Searching for a thought to write about or a city to visit. Other times it seems I don’t have to search for anything. It’s like my whole life was mapped out and I drive on a navigated path. Big moments have a way of appearing when you least expect them. Like an old friend who you run into unexpectedly. That’s life. I’m searching for those moments by leaning into the waiting which is a constant in life. Don’t hide from these moments. Find enjoyment in the search.

It’s amazing the clarity you have at 2 AM when you have found what you were searching to find.

The Secret of Perseverance

When I write it happens when I get to about 400 words.
When I run it happens when I hit 1.5 miles.
When I read it happens about 20 pages after I start.

Photo Credit: Tim Lucas via creative commons

Photo Credit: Tim Lucas via creative commons

We all have walls we run into. Most of us have ambition. But there comes a point when the motivation and ambition fades and we have to decide if we want to keep going or quit. I remember when I played basketball I had to use this to my advantage. I was smaller and slower then most people I played against but I realized I could push myself to keep playing hard when others got tired. I remember a practice well before the season started when we were running suicides and I was mad. I ran as hard as I could to let out the anger and I even surprised myself how hard I was running even though I was tired.

I struggle to emulate the same perseverance in the real world.

Complacency is a terrible thing. When I get too complacent it is hard for me to accomplish anything. I talk myself into being fine with where I’m at. Are you happy with where you are at right now? If you are that’s great but I have to believe there is a desire deep within you for something better.

I don’t have it all figured out but I have read enough biographies of successful people to see common themes. One of the most common themes I have seen is they believe they can do something most people think is impossible. Most of the time it doesn’t come easy for them. I love this quote from Thomas Edison: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

I know when I fail at something I want to quit quickly. It’s embarrassing. The older I get the harder it is to fail at something.

When I struggle with anxiety or when I am dealing with a really stressful situation I shut down. I shut down mentally, physically, and emotionally. I want to sit in a room with all the lights off and dwell in my sorrow. I have learned recently greatness is shaped in those situations. When we want to do nothing is when we need to do the most.

The secret of perseverance is it is 100% up to you. It should be encouraging to hear. You don’t have depend on anyone else or worry about anyone else. It is all up to you.

What Do You Do When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going?

It’s hard to admit I am bad at something. There are certain things, like repairing anything, I can gladly admit I can’t do. If I had to be a handyman to make money I would be either extremely poor or everyone would have major issues with things I had “repaired” at their homes.

photo credit: Ian Burt via Creative Commons

photo credit: Ian Burt via Creative Commons

I like to think I can write well. However, sometimes I will click on a blog I have never read before, written by someone who I don’t know, and I will find myself enamored with their writing. I think, this is how writing is supposed to look. I then pull up something I have written and it reminds me of a letter an 8 year old writes to Santa without the cuteness factor.

It’s hard to read someone who I have never heard of, write something which is so good. And it happens all of the time.

In my current role at work I feel extremely confident in what I’m doing. I have been doing it for several years and I’m good at it. It is one of those things I’m good at naturally. I’m not trying to gloat but we all have strengths and I have found something to do for a living which is a strength.

I’m starting a new position in January and I don’t know if I will be good at it or not. I have confidence in myself I can learn the position and I will use my work ethic to become the best I can be to excel. Trying hard isn’t always enough though.

I was listening to Larry David get interviewed by Bill Simmons recently and he said something funny (surprising right?) about challenging himself.

Bill Simmons: I love that you keep challenging yourself though.

Larry Daivd: I don’t.

Simmons: No that’s good. That’s a good quality.

Daivd: (laughing) It might be a good quality for someone else.

You can watch the full interview here. (This part starts at the 20:00 mark.)

That’s how I feel right now. In my career I am challenging myself to start a new position and I might not be good at it. In my writing I am trying to get better. I want to be the best I can be but I also want to be better than anyone else you read. I feel like instead of driving my car on the road I am driving it through a body of water. And sometimes it turns out like driving a car through water.

I love to say I like challenging myself but when it comes down to actually challenging myself I regret it.

Why can’t I stay on the road and drive like others? Why can’t I be content working a 9-5 job, not taking risks, and living like so many other seemingly happy people do?

I think about where I want to be in five years and I don’t really know. There are a lot of directions I want to go in but I don’t really know where those roads will take me and it scares me not to have a defined route.

There is a Mark Batterson quote from his book, All In, which I have tried to push myself to live out.

The quote is, “it’s time to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.”

The purpose of life is not to travel down a defined path at a safe speed knowing where you are going. When I look back on the scary and uncertain times they were almost always followed by amazing experiences I never would have experienced had I not taken a risk.

So when you don’t know where you are going remember the point of life is not to be cautious. It sounds simple but it’s hard to live out. However, if you do live it out you will experience something safety can’t offer.

An Open Letter to Kim Kardashian

I am like many people and feel like I know a lot about you because of the lack of privacy you have. But the only things I know about you I have read online or watched on TV.

I know a lot of people think you are famous for no reason. Although there is some merit to be had in their thoughts, I would disagree with them.

You are an easy target to make fun of and I believe people get confused and believe you are a joke. Let’s be honest, you have brought most of it on yourself. However, if those people who mercilessly make fun of you (sometimes myself included) had their lives scrutinized the way yours is, we would also be easy targets. I know I would be mortified for every mistake I have ever made to be on public display like yours are.

I saw your “break the internet” picture. You are a beautiful woman. Nobody could possibly deny it. It pains me you did that however. I don’t want to hear it was art. If it was art it wouldn’t have been titled in such a way. I fully support people having the free will to do whatever they want, and doing whatever you want with your body is included. Some people think you shouldn’t have done it because you’re now a mother. I completely disagree. Being a mother shouldn’t eliminate you from doing anything. I think it’s awesome you are a working mom.

That being said, I have a hard time believing you lay down at night and feel good about all of this. You are smart. You’re an insanely successful businesswoman. Do you really want your legacy to be as a sex symbol? When North grows up, do you want her to see you in a manor like on the cover of Paper Magazine or do you want her to see you as a successful entrepreneur? I could be way off on this but I think it’s the latter. I know you want to have a career and a family. You feel strongly about it and I wish you would talk more on this subject.

From a moral standpoint I completely disagree with what you did. From a standpoint as someone who has sisters, a wife, I’m hurt and angry. I don’t want to talk down to you but I wish you would use your platform for good. With countless women being paid less than men who have the same job in all fields and women dropping out of the workforce in droves, I wish you would chosen to take a stand instead of doing another photo-shoot. I know you feel strongly about being a working mom and I wish you would talk about this more to your audience.

As far as breaking the internet goes, more people tweeted about the comet landing than your picture. People want to be led. I hope you choose to lead rather than to take pictures of yourself.

Sincerely,
Jacob Clingan

Turn It Off

During a 7 day week I do this for 24 hours. It is a high number for some people and for others it isn’t much at all. How many hours a week do you spend watching TV? You probably feel like you don’t watch much but if you sit down and count the hours it adds up.

I don’t want you to feel bad about watching TV. I watch a ton of TV and I love it. With Netflix and the ability to record anything you want you can watch a great deal of it and have it not control your life because you can watch things when you want to watch them. I also watch sports constantly. This time of year on Saturday and Sunday there is more football on my TV then the TV’s at NFL Network.

Although I love watching it, I have to turn it off sometimes.

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Morgan and I rarely eat out. We make it a point to sit down at our kitchen table and turn everything off and focus on each other when we eat supper every night. There is no background noise. We don’t have our phones near us. We sit and talk. Initially, we never had a discussion about this. Later on when talking about it we both realized it is how both of our parents wanted things when we grew up. When it was time to eat at night you turned the TV off and everyone sat down at the table and you talked to each other.

I’m a prototypical introvert. I love being alone, but I need to spend time communicating with others, especially my wife. It fuels me and helps me talk about things I don’t want to talk about but need to talk about. There is something about being fully engaged with someone in person that trumps texting with that same person. I’m no psychologist, I can’t read body language but taking away distractions, like TV, puts blinders on me so I can center in on conversation.

I’m not telling you to watch less TV. All I am saying is turn it off occasionally. If you normally watch TV while eating supper attempt to turn it off one night and sit down at the table. You will be surprised how much you enjoy it.

27 Things I Have Learned in 27 Years

Sunday I celebrated my 27th birthday. I know I am actually getting old because my sisters used to give me a hard time about getting old on my birthday but this past weekend they were telling me how 27 wasn’t so bad and I was not that old. Despite getting old twenty-seven has been great thus far and I came up with a list of 27 things I have learned in my lifetime.

1) My days are simply better when the first thing I do in the morning is read my Bible

2) 5:00 AM is not as early as it used to be

3) 9:00 PM is not as early as it used to be

4) I’m so lucky to be married to my best friend

5) As the years go by the more I want to read

6) Vegetables taste better than they used to

7) Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is the best

8) I turn into more of a morning person every day

9) I care less and less what people think as the years go by

10) No matter what is going on it is important to go to church on Sunday morning

11) Hangovers hurt much more than they used to

12) Driving out of the parking lot at work on Friday afternoon is the best feeling

13) I love this quote by Dave Ramsey in regard to finances,
“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

14) Age truly is just a number

15) The older I get the more concerned I am with the weather and I don’t know why

16) Even though I am extremely pale I feel at home at the beach (my skin does not)

17) My biggest fear is not pursing my dreams in life

18) It is OK to go to bed before midnight on a Friday

19) I actually enjoy cooking but I never do it

20) I remember eating Jack in The Box and Taco Bell in the same day a few years ago I will never eat either again and I am still recovering

21) I watch a lot of TV and I’m completely OK with that

22) Netflix > doing anything else on a Friday night

23) I love music and wish I had some talent in that area but I absolutely do not

24) Death is a part of life but it never gets easier to lose someone

25) I’m so blessed to live in Nashville I forget sometimes how awesome this city is

26) I’m the world’s worst handyman and I’m alright with that

27) There are much worse things than getting old

Four Years in Music City

In July of 2010 I moved to Nashville, Tennessee. I could have never predicted how the last four years have gone but I would not trade my experiences for anything.

Although I’m not in the music industry my reflection on the last four years here can best be reflected in Jason Aldean’s song, “Crazy Town.” I’m not even a huge fan of the song but when there is a song about the town you live in you are drawn to it. I like the line which says, “We love it, we hate it, we’re all just trying to make it.”

That line should be the motto of the first years after college. I have loved not being a broke college student but at the same time I have hated the grind of the real world. It can be exhausting trying to continually prove yourself. Starting out at companies you constantly feel like a nobody. Respect is hard to find and your lack of experience seems like an insurmountable obstacle.

The weird thing is I have started to not be the youngest one at work and I miss it. I liked having people be blown away when finding out I was born in 1987 and how young I was. I have already started becoming the blown away person by finding out some people I work with now were born in the 90s.

While work can sometimes be the equivalent of the movie Groundhog Day, I feel I have done a great job of experiencing all this great city has to offer. I have been to numerous concerts, sporting events, and done more things here than most people who have spent their whole lives in Nashville have done. This town is not mundane at all and I have experienced a lot of really cool things while living here.

I’m so thankful to live in a city which has so much going on. My favorite activities in the city have been attending Preds playoff games, running the country music half marathon, and touring the Hermitage. I’m aware it is incredibly lame I enjoyed touring the Hermitage so much but I don’t care it was awesome.

Those all pale in comparison to being married at Travellers Rest. What an amazing day. It was great to experience such a special day with Morgan, friends, and family at a historic Nashville landmark.

I can only imagine what the next four years will bring to Music City. I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 4 and I’m ready to see what kind of experiences this crazy town has in store for me in the future.