Jan 15, 2009 personal
I awoke from a dreamlike state the other morning, wishing I could return to sleep and live permanently in that alter-universe I experienced. It was so lucid, and so…happy? It was a dream where I woke several times, and yet still returned to the same environment with the same people each time I fell back asleep. It was vivid and beautiful, and the lucidity of it all was exhilarating. My alarm would go off, and I’d hush it just so I could hurry back to my second life.
I finally gave up, woke up, and went to work a little later than usual (though still on time).
I spent that morning in a reflection. On the dream I had. The people in it. Then on life. On what my passions are, what I enjoy in life, what I hate about life. It was a refreshing morning to cycle through my emotions and check myself against reality.
I always tried to live the saying “live a life without regrets”. Truth is, that is impossible. We all have regrets at some point or another. And when those regretful events occur, we look back and say “if that didn’t occur, then A and B couldn’t have happened.” Those tiny regrets are easy to overcome, whether through justification or comprehension. It’s the big regrets that take chunks out of you.
I have one major regret in my life that I’ve struggled with over the years. When I was 15, my cousin and best friend passed away. He suffered from muscular dystrophy and spinal meningitis. Prior to getting the meningitis, we’d hang out with our other cousins (we had a close group) and roam the streets of our small town as teens. My cousin truly had the spirit of a teenager despite his physical limitations. He was a very cool kid and as my elder, I wanted to be just like him.
It was the combination of the two diseases that were lethal, and he survived several months longer than was expected, to the point where we thought he’d fully recover from the meningitis. I spent nearly everyday with him in those final months, often spending the night at his house and assisting in anyway I could. Meningitis is a scary disease, with the afflicted often phasing in and out of a state of awareness. I didn’t understand much at the time, but I was there by his side as much as would allow to be there during the brief moments when his self-awareness returned. I cherished those moments, and the depth of the conversations I had with my cousin made it clear that he had an understanding of what was happening to him far beyond what I could fathom.
Every night, when I left to go home, I’d always say “Good Bye Casey, see you tomorrow!” whether he could comprehend my words or not. The night he passed away was the only night I didn’t say goodbye. And I’ve regretted it ever since.
His death spun me into an extremely long and dark depression in my late teens. During the time when most kids are sprouting and finding their identities, I was sequestering mine. Much of my sophomore and junior years of high school are blocked from memory still to this day. It wasn’t until my senior year that I finally started to break out of it and truly find out who I was. I had friends and family who pulled me along, and I truly wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today if it wasn’t for them.
In my adult years, I’ve come to full understanding of what that night meant. I know that the last thing my cousin would want me to carry through life would be a mediocre regret such as that. I put a lot of weight into that regret when I shouldn’t have. I know he would have brushed it off like it wasn’t a big deal, and would expect the same from me. It took me a while, but I did.
And its something I’ve learned to do over and over. It’s OK to have regrets in life. Learn from them and move on. I have my one regret, and I’m OK with that.
There’s a saying that goes “Hindsight is 20/20″. Oh how true that is. When we reach the crossroads in life, we may not know the meaning of the events that are unfolding before us, but we need to accept them and move on. Later in life we can see how the pieces are put together, and see why things happen when they happened. Or not. But we need to move on.
I truly miss my cousin, along with several other friends and family members that have passed on. I owe them the world, because my world wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for them.
WCLV has announced over $2000 worth of door prizes that will be given away to attendees at random points throughout the event. These aren’t hokey dollar store gifts either. You have an awesome opportunity to win tickets to a Cirque show, premium themes, software, and t-shirts. Check out the list:
- 1 pair of tickets to see Cirque Du Soleil’s Ka
- 1 pair of tickets to see Cirque Du Soleil’s Mystere
- 3 Pro Plus Theme packs from Revolution
- 3 copies of SnagIt software from TechSmith
- 3 copies of Camtasia Studio software from TechSmith
- Several WordPress t-shirts
Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Add this to all the hoopla I told you about yesterday and it cost you less than a single round of roulette!
WordCamp Las Vegas is happening this weekend. Sadly, I moved from Las Vegas earlier last year to pursue an endeavor in South Florida, so I will not be attending (much to the organizers disappointment). But I will be participating remotely as much as I can via Ustream and Twitter.
I have to give major credit to both John Hawkins and his wife Chris for putting on this show. I may not be attending, but I’m on meebo with John on a daily basis and know how much effort he and Chris have put into organizing this event and coordinating all the details. I am in awe and much inspired by how well they have done at securing speakers and sponsors for the 2-day event, and at how well they have held it together while picking up all the last minute detail pieces. I really am bummed that I won’t be able to attend to see this event in person (that’s a major understatement), an event which I feel is probably the pinnacle event of John’s online marketing career. My only hope is that it is such a huge success that there will be many more WordCamp Las Vegas events to come!
To those fence sitter friends of mine in Vegas and Utah wondering whether or not to attend, to all those from my affiliate marketing past who will be there for Affiliate Summit, and to all those gadget junkies I’ve met over the years from my portagame days who will be at CES:
THIS IS A MUST ATTEND EVENT!
Here’s the deal, for less than the cost of a single hand of BlackJack* you can attend a 2 day event that will:
- Get you 1-on-1 access to 15 high profile speakers that are A-List bloggers and designers!
- Give you access to a list of of over 100 attendees who are passionate wordpress nuts
- An awesome agenda full of wordpress goodies, as well as basic marketing, seo, and design sessions.
- Opportunity to win some fantastic door prizes! (Ahem, John, you might want to make a small post mentioning what prizes are up for grabs and who sponsored them…if you haven’t already).
- A weekend in Vegas where you’ll most likely learn how to make money instead of lose it.
The speaker list is crazy packed. How John pulled off getting all these people together in the same room, I’ll never know. The WordPress and/or Vegas gods must be smiling on him (I haven’t heard of a poker tourney win lately, so I assume its the WordPress karma spreading wildly). The speakers include:
- Matt Mullenwag
- Joseph Scott
- Aaron Hockley
- Lorelle VanFossen
- Jim Kukral
- Geoff Kleinman
- Liz Strauss
- Michael Dorausch
- Dave Taylor
- Micah Baldwin
- Shayne Sanderson
- Ethan Gahng
- Chris Brogan
- Jim Turner
- Niran Amir
With speakers like above, you are already getting a much better return for your $20 than any table game would give you.
BUT, and this is a huge but, since this is happening pre-Affiliate Summit, and smack in the middle of of CES and AVN’s AEE, don’t be surprised if you see some major cameo’s happening during the event. I know many big players who will be in Vegas were invited to the event. Of the definite maybe’s, I’m really curious to know who shows up.
Even if you use Blogger, TypePad, MoveableType, LiveJournal, or MySpace as your major blogging platform, the WordCamp show will still be a huge value to you and get networking with some great people.
And all this for $20.
Register now. There won’t be any onsite registration, and the ticket booths close friday at noon.
I repeat: register now!
To the speakers, staff, and especially the Hawkins: Good Luck and may this be the best WordCamp Ever!