Finish Year, Week One

Today I am officially a graduate of Regent University. I started pursuing a Master’s Degree right after I finished undergrad, and after two years of hard work, I am done. I have a Master’s of Communication with an emphasis in Digital Media. Whatever that means.

I’m at a weird stage in life where I’m an adult, but only sorta. I have a job, I pay for all of my own stuff, and I’m about to get married. But I also have those moments (or days or years) where I feel like I’m still a punk kid who has no idea what he is doing. I have a retirement account and pay all sorts of bills, but I also have no idea what a Roth IRA is and spent hours asking questions to my dad about my taxes.

Not to mention that I get mistaken for a college kid or intern just about every day.

Now that I’m done with papers and lectures, I’ve decided that I still really want to be intentional about learning and growing. For as long as I live, really, but especially during this stage where I don’t have kids and I (usually) don’t get stuck filling out paperwork by candlelight after the janitors leave the office.

I decided to steal an idea from my blogging idol, Jon Acuff. He has this thing called a Finish List (usually used as a hashtag, which automatically makes it 45% trendier) where he blogs weekly about a handful of goals he set for himself to accomplish in one year. It feels a bit strange to do something like this in May and not in January during resolution season, but this is a good starting point for me.

There’s always a temptation with stuff like this to make it a point of pride for myself where I get to brag about cool things I’m doing. That isn’t my intention at all. I actually want to give myself a sense of accountability by posting about my progress and documenting my work so I can see growth. So here’s my list:

  1. Read one Mashable and one Acuff blog/article five days a week. I don’t know exactly what my career will end up looking like, but I’m pretty sure media, technology, social media, and popular culture will be involved somehow. I love Mashable and they do a great job at pushing out content that is cutting edge in these areas. It’s great to have a degree in Digital Media, but digital media will look different in one week. I can’t be done learning. I want to stay relevant and informed, and Mashable is a great (free) way to do that.
    If you can’t tell, I basically want to be Jon Acuff. I even bought a Hello Somebody watch after meeting him last year. But even deeper than my slight man-crush, he’s just a good guy I want to emulate. He’s young, incredibly successful, and laugh-out-loud clever. But more than that, he is a generous man who cares about people and pours into others. I love that. If you don’t read his blog already, I highly recommend it.
  2. Exercise. I like to run and try to stay in shape. Recently I’ve been extra motivated after finding cool apps for my phone and buying sweet new jogging shorts from Target. It’s the little things, folks.
    I’m aiming to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, at least four days a week. On the fifth weekday, I want to exercise my mind. I have a big stack of books I’ve wanted to read for a long time and all sorts of websites I want to keep up with. I’ll probably use that fifth day to update my #FinishList (45% trendier!) and document what I’ve been learning.
  3. Handwrite Scripture. One of Jon’s goals was to copy the book of Proverbs by hand. I’m not sure why, but that idea really stuck out to me. Actually writing down Scripture word-by-word forces you to think about every single thing that was written. You can’t skim. And for me, there’s something strangely relaxing and soothing about sitting down and writing by hand. I have to admit that I don’t handwrite anything anymore.
    I’m starting with the book of Luke and hope to pick a new book after that. Although, I quickly discovered that this is going to take forever. I started about a week ago, and I just finished the first chapter. But that’s ok. This is something I already enjoy–and think about how great it would be to give my kids portions of Scripture that I wrote with my hands and a Sharpie. No technology involved. Probably won’t find that on Mashable.
  4. Find a mentor and a mentee. Because I recognize how young and ignorant I am about important things like career, family, sparkplugs and basically anything found at Home Depot, I want to find an older man who can help me learn those things. Especially recently, I recognized that I need help figuring out what I want my life to look like. I have sort of tried this before and the relationships never blossomed–mainly because it’s a huge time commitment on both parts. But I think it’s important, and I want to try again.
    I’m also at that weird age where a few younger people think I’m cool. And it has nothing to do with my actual coolness, because I have none. There’s just something magical about twentysomethings that fascinates teens and other younger people. I don’t feel like I have a whole lot to offer, but I know I would have appreciated someone just a bit older than me who simply cared about what I was going through. Hopefully I can be that guy for someone out there.

So that’s what I want to #finish (hashtag!). Four is an odd number for something like this, but I don’t want it to become unrealistic. I think it’s a good list, and they are all things I can look back on and see measurable growth. I’m excited—but then again, it’s always easy to get excited when you start stuff like this; it’s the following through that gets tough. I invite you to track my progress, but I’m going to try hard to not make this about how many comments or pageviews I get. I just want to grow and learn and see where this takes me.

For starters, I HAVE to figure out what the heck a sparkplug does.

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