I never liked organizing my own birthday parties because sometimes organizing your own party results in more worry and stress than fun, and birthdays should be all about fun. My birthday was on November 7th and I was lucky enough to be able to put my responsibilities aside and simply relax for a day, something that I don’t do very often. All I needed for my birthday was nature, a backpack and some good company. I regret not being able to spend time with my dear mom this year, but I’ll make it up next year! Promise, mom!
Red Rock Canyon
I decided two days before my birthday to start my celebration by going to Red Rock Canyon in the morning. This was extremely convenient because Cristina and I recently relocated to Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon is 40 minutes away from our house. Our friend (and team member) Catalin is visiting us and he was very excited to go as well. It was the first time the three of us saw a canyon, it was also the first time I hiked on my birthday, and it was simply magnificent. The dramatic landscape created in million of years is incredible to observe. Red Rock Canyon was under the ocean 600 million years ago. Fast forward to 180 million years ago, the area was covered with thick sand dunes, which cemented in time and became these amazing rocks. I did not know what to expect, but because I’m a big fan of nature and hiking I knew I’d have a blast.
Peter, a friend of ours who was also celebrating his birthday on the 7th, joined us. He was the perfect local host who showed us around and made our exploration even more exciting because he hiked the area several times. There were plenty of people hiking, rock climbing, and biking through the canyon. But because it’s extremely big, it was not crowded. Peter chose Calico Tanks Trail for us and I was not disappointed. The hike was perfect for all of us.
We hiked and talked and hiked and laughed. At some point there was a portion of sand that was so soft to step on that my feet were simply immersing in it. 2 minutes later we were climbing rocks. 1 hour later we were on top of the world. Asti, the adventure dog, was the happiest. The hike is super dog friendly if your dog loves escapades. The hike was so unpredictably beautiful, that I got back in touch with my need for exploration and remembered how alive I feel when I feed into it. Letting go, exploring, and simply enjoying life are vital factors that boost my creativity, energy and self-esteem.
The ages of 24 and 25 were extremely tough for me. I spent a lot of time learning “how to” and thinking “how can I”. I was disappointed many times by my family, my friends, my developers, the system, and most crucially, I disappointed myself in the process. I tried and tried and failed and failed again. But always picked myself up. Many things happened and I kept asking myself “why?” Why is this happening or why can’t I? Many of these questions were asked because I try to do something bigger than myself and I have little to no support. As there’s the quote “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” (Quick note: there’s no real evidence that it belongs to Shakespeare). And of course, I expected something else when I embarked on this entrepreneurial journey. Starting a business is a lot of “blood, toil, tears and sweat.” (Thank you Winston Churchill for defending the world’s democracy). But truth is, all you need for your business is purpose, a good and talented team, hard work and patience.
Another answer, to my numerous “why” questions, was: I cannot control everything. Even as I am now writing this, I think about my car that broke down earlier today and I had to take it to the shop and fix it. This is an example of things that we cannot control and are simply part of life. Even though these happenings drive me crazy – oh, another bad luck! – they mean nothing. Zero. I won’t remember this in 10 years, exactly as I don’t remember the ones from six months ago.
Another “thing” that we cannot control is other people’s actions. In the past two years I was so focused on trying to change some people’s behavior that I ended up being further away from my inner self. I realized that as much as I wanted to change some people I care about, or as much as I wanted to drag something on for the sake of my relationships and collaborations, I simply cannot. I learned to let go. And so far it did me a lot of good. I am a lot more focused on myself and on people who influence me positively and appreciate me. I am a lot more selective with whom I work and with whom I spend my time.
When we got to the peak of the trail, I took a moment to breath in and out. That’s because I also discovered, thanks to my dearest Cristina, and then David Lynch, meditation. I love taking a few minutes of my day to meditate. This helps me gather my energy and focus for the whole day. It’s so good to keep in touch with myself and to make time for myself. Being on that peak, looking at the horizon and simply being present, made me see the tremendous amount of things that I’ve done, created, discovered and learned. I can sincerely say I am proud of myself that I’ve come so far and I’m looking forward to experiencing some more.
I aim to make my 26 count, to create more, to grow Hiphoster with tougher blood and sweat, and to enjoy more.
Damn life, I love you.