The 7-year cyles of my life
In July of this year I turned 35. It's an old idea that each person undergoes significant change approximately every 7 years, or that their lives can be sectioned out into 7 year chapters. I think there's something to this.
"What was the theme of my last 7 years?" I asked myself. "And the theme before that?"
Here's how I'd label each 7 year increment.
1. Ages 0-6
Survival and growth (1988-1994)
I almost died of an infection when I was only 10 days old, and the battle left me with a deformed left humerus. My left arm is shorter than my right, and the shoulder just doesn't work at all--but I had some corrective surgery as a teenager, so it's not as bad as it used to be.
My mother left when I was two.
Other than that, I was a pretty smart toddler and boy, and these were generally typical formative years.
I moved from New York to Georgia when I was 4, and lived with my dad, my brother, my dad's girlfriend, her son and her daughter.
2. Ages 7-13
Back to NY (1995-2002)
When I was 7, dad spent some time in jail and I went back to New York to live first with my Aunt Judy (my Grandma's lifelong friend, not technically her sister) and then with my Grandparents. At 11, my Grandparents moved to Georgia (ironically) and my dad got married, introducing me to the 'step-monster' I would be contending with for the next decade. By age 13, 9/11 had happened, I had gotten into countless fist fights at school (well over 20 of them), and I was coping with a stressful home.
3. Ages 14-20
Arts, crafts and mathematics (2003-2008)
I was a good student, and I loved school. In high school, I took every art class available to me. I took classes in Drawing I and II, Painting I and II, Photography, and Fashion. I took a Journalism class and took part in the school newspaper (I drew political cartoons). I took a Creative Writing course and even joined poetry club.
I was in advanced mathematics classes (one year ahead of everyone else, I took calculus in my senior year). When I applied to colleges, my parents refused to pay the $80 SAT fee, so I had no choice but to go to Community College, where I decided to major in mathematics--which disappointed my art teachers.
I finished community college in 3 years after switching from mathematics to Computer Science in my second year. I was registered to finish my undergrad at Stony Brook University, but was offered my first job building iPhone apps at Northern Kentucky University in Kentucky, so I took that instead.
Anything to get away from the 'step-monster', I dropped out of undergrad and started my career.
4. Ages 21-27
The first leg of my career (2009-2015)
I moved to Kentucky at 21 to work on iPhone apps for NKU. I got gravely sick with an autoimmune disease called "dermatomyositis" which attacked my muscles and my skin.
One of the big projects I worked on, through my sickness and my health, was for a fire department in San Ramon, California.
After 2 years of working in Kentucky, the company Workday took over my project, so I applied to work with them, got the job, and moved to California. I lived in the bay area, and then in the heart San Francisco, for a total of 6 years. I worked at many different startups, converted a 1-bedroom apartment into a 2-bedroom apartment by turning the living room into a small bedroom, took on a roommate who was the top architect student at his school. I saved up some money and had a ton of of fun building iPhone apps for many different startups--at least a few you probably heard of.
5. Ages 28-34
Search for Truth (2016-2022)
After living the city life for 6 years and engaging in frequent debates with feminists and socialists during my more liberal phase, I realized that lifestyle wasn't for me.
I knew I wanted to find myself a wife and start a family, and I had saved up enough money for a home, so I shopped around and decided to move to Garner, North Carolina (a 12 minute drive to downtown Raleigh).
I took a few different jobs in North Carolina, but they never paid well, so I switched to remote work even before COVID-19 lockdowns were a thing. I bought a second home, rented out the first one, and became a landlord for the first time.
I was a big fan of Jordan Peterson and started a "Jordan Peterson" study group in Raleigh. I admire his quest for truth, and for two and a half years, my study group explored a range of topics, from masculinity, to feminism, to intersectionality, to the roles of men and women, to religion, to Truth itself.
In 2019 (and thanks to the help of a Christian member of the group) I became a Christian. In 2020 I met Kat, who would soon become my wife. In 2021 we got married, moved to Virginia (where we live now) and in 2023 we had our first son, John Marvin (but we call him Jack.)
In this 7-year span, I sought truth, found truth, and boy do I feel thoroughly blessed.
6. Ages 35-41*
Fatherhood, health and fitness (2023-2029*)
Today, I am working on a few things simultaneously. For one, I am seeing a voice therapist to work on my voice, which was badly damaged by the autoimmune disease I endured in my early 20s.
I injured my back jumping off a cliff in Hawaii many years ago, and that has had various negative effects on my lower body strength. Situps, squats, rows, and anything that activates my core / lower back are severely lacking.
With our son growing stronger each day, I realize it won't be long before I struggle to keep up with him.
My wife is in great shape, it's me that needs work. So I want to spend a good portion of these next 7 years getting into better shape. My voice, my core, my lower body, my cardio, and my overall strength. I'll write a post soon on my first 7-day voice and exercise challenge.