The first step is to throw away all your porno. That’s step one of my proposed strategy to master temptation, prompt some healthy change and quite possibly get myself robbed, married, lost or anything in between. It’s all part of an ongoing cycle of iterative, life-tweaking spurts that I implement every couple of years. Important to note: subsequent steps also include: taking an advanced motorcycle course, learning Spanish and heading to South America for a few months – but not before a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat and the systematic shaving of an armpit.
I felt this moment coming as my 30th birthday approached. It may have been the same acute awareness that an animal experiences before an earthquake. Or perhaps it was the day not so long ago when I pulled my car over at a park near downtown LA and cried for the first time in a decade, much to the pity of a passing Mexican balloon seller. His expression was understandable, there really is nothing more pitiful than seeing an overweight, balding man sobbing to himself. As usual, I had been stretching myself way too thin in the past few months and I needed to let off some pressure. In the last two years I had compulsively set into place a slew of recurring monthly events and social engagements, in addition to incorporating two companies, hosting events viewed online by half a million people, and all with just enough time for my 30th birthday to sandwich in a 7 day, 7 city, 7 charity fundraiser where the main diet was Cake, whiskey, and 5 hour energy shots. The experience of all these things combined left me feeling like a demented crack fiend – and as I entered what those in the club call “The Dirty Thirties”, entertaining the sexual advances of multiple women certainly wasn’t making me less of a mental case.
I was touching the edge of sanity. Like the reported final moments of delirium before someone drowns, I was being wooed by the comforting embrace of the end – in this case, certifiable mental dementia. Something had to change. Luckily, I had a couple of things going for me; I was at least aware of my compulsive behaviors and I had a group of stellar friends and business associates to help share the load.
So as has become customary just before the routine of life has time to solidify its stranglehold, I slap its subtly seductive hand away. I stopped taking new projects, cut down my social engagements and sexual conquests (as much as I deemed reasonable) and started delegating my responsibilities for my two ventures. I informed my crew that I had no idea where I was going yet, but come 2010, I was hitting the road. This didn’t seem too shocking to those close to me; in recent weeks my usual exuberance for life and relentless positivity were on the decline while comments about imposing insanity had increased. I wasn’t concerned that they weren’t capable, but the same compulsiveness that I lament, is also the very fuel that often brings highly detailed-oriented projects to fruition – especially when dealing with the logistics of events and intricacy of technology.On this flipside it could even be argued that my character prevented others from having the opportunity to express their ideas. Whatever the case, like the old saying goes: if a cook has giardia, it’s probably best if he stays out of the kitchen for a little while.
Soon after setting the broad plan in motion, I decided that South America would be my destination. I’d never been but Buenos Aires seemed like a good place to start and I’d probably head south from there. But I had to be sure I wasn’t making this a mindless escape. I had to take the next couple of months to get in the right head space and at least consider what I wanted to get out of the trip before jumping ship like a dehydrated pirate who’d drank too much salt water..
And so yes, the first step to avoid temptation and promote healthy balance is to throw away all my porno…