In Memory of Grammy Marvin

My paternal grandmother passed away on Friday, November 8.

I am privileged to have had the most incredible grandparents, and like each of them, Grammy Marvin was the best. Her spirit cannot be captured in words, and while her body is gone, she lives on in the countless lives she touched, no matter how briefly.

I am sure that, even on the day she died, she made someone’s day with her charm, smile, and laughter.

I will always hear my grandmother’s voice in my head and remember how loving, joyful, and radiant she was to the very end. She deserves the most wonderful eternity, and I am so happy knowing she’s there, dancing the night away.

Love you, Grammy.


The Next Me

Since I got my new job, I've been thinking a lot about the future and what it may have in store. There's no way to really know, but picturing what your life might be like in six months or a year can be pretty exciting. (Keeping expectations in check, of course.)

I finished my grad school coursework in May of last year. The fifteen months I spent working (and not working) on my thesis were relaxing, frightening, and uncertain all at the same time. Even though I wasn't taking any classes, I still felt tethered to academia via my thesis, which caused me to feel unmotivated about finding a job, relocating, or whatever the next step was supposed to be.

Now that this wandering phase has reached its conclusion, and I'm on the brink of the next era, I'm trying to imagine what it's all going to look like in full effect. Early twenties Andrew was one version, and now it's time for an upgrade.

Who am I going to be next?

Fortunately, I like everything I see. In the next year, I'm going to be:

  • An English teacher
  • A martial arts instructor
  • A yoga teacher in training
  • A writer
  • A podcaster
  • A bass player

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to say that these are all things I adore. I can now visualize a future where I make a living doing things I love. Up to this point, it's just been "karate instructor", but in a few weeks, it'll also be "English teacher". After I complete the training (it's a 200-hour program), I'll be able to make a little side income teaching yoga. I will continue to write QLE and explore new avenues for making the site even more useful. I will continue to record podcasts that are enjoyable and/or helpful. And I will continue to play bass with my excellent bandmates, and maybe we'll pick up some paying gigs down the road.

Not bad at all.

Having a clearer vision of my future feels good; it's a relief, no doubt about it. But I can't completely regret the fifteen months I spent wandering and thinking as I wrote (and didn't write) my thesis. If I had done something differently during that time, it may have lead me down a different path, one without so many of the things I love to do.

While those fifteen months were filled with a great deal of fear, I kept reminding myself that I wasn't going to die.

Sometimes you have to spend a lot of time doing what looks like nothing to figure out what the next something is going to be.

As my late grandmother was fond of saying, "Everything will fall into place."


Have a spectacular weekend, everyone.

Thanks for reading! Want more? Grab the free QLE Manifesto. Perhaps follow me on Twitter. Need something? Email me.

QLE's Greatest Hits: Year One

As promised, today I inflict upon you a list of some of my favorite posts from QLE's first year. They may not be the best, but these are the articles of which I have the fondest memories. However, I make no guarantees as to their quality, relevance, or literary merit.

They are presented in chronological order, so it's my hope that you'll be able to read some articles you may have missed the first time around.

There are a lot of them, which is kind of pompous, but you can write quite a bit in a year.

Have an awesome weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thanks for reading! Want more? Grab the free QLE Manifesto. Perhaps follow me on Twitter. Need something? Email me.

QLE Turns One

Three hundred and sixty-five days ago, I published my first post on, a website no one knew existed. Just one tiny little link. A block quote with barely a sentence of commentary.

But it was a start.

Since that day, I've posted three hundred and fifty-five times, including two hundred original articles.

When I started the site — my first real attempt at a professional online presence — I wasn't sure I could do it. I thought I'd post enthusiastically for a few days, maybe even a couple of weeks, and then abandon it like I had so many other blogging platforms. I thought no one would read. Who could possibly care about what I had to say? I was scared. Maybe it would be better to just keep the daydream alive...

But I started anyway.

I didn't want to publicly announce the site with nothing substantial to read, so I opted to write privately for a month, without telling anybody. I took comfort in the solitude, and even though I knew no one was reading, I experienced the thrill of hitting Publish on things I was proud of.

I emailed Patrick Rhone and Shawn Blanc back in those early days, and I received thoughtful, compassionate responses from both of them. Their encouragement was instrumental in QLE's formative moments, and I'm not sure the site would still be around had they replied differently or not at all. I thank them for that.

One month turned into two or three, but I eventually pulled back the curtain, letting in a few sets of eyes, and then a few more, and a few more. And then suddenly, it was a real thing. I had a website, and even a reader or two.

Here I am, a year later.

Writing QLE for the past year has been one of the most rewarding projects I've ever undertaken, and I'm proud to say that knowing it has been a complete labor of love, unmotivated by page views or click throughs.

My primary focus has been on building relationships. To establish myself as someone worth reading, someone worth knowing. To be one of the good guys. Though the Internet remains as vast and expansive as ever, I've been privileged to get to know some of its most brilliant individuals. Some I look up to as role models, some I confide in and collaborate with as peers, and all of whom I respect and admire.

Here are some of my proudest moments from my first year as a person of the Internet:

All of these accomplishments would not have happened if I hadn't decided to hit Publish three hundred and sixty-five days ago. And so while my little corner of the Internet is just that — a little corner of the Internet — I'm proud to call it my own, and I'm thankful that it has allowed me to meet such amazing human beings.

Thank you all for reading, and special thanks to all of you whom I've gotten to know in the past year. I look forward to making QLE even better in its second year, and I hope you'll join me.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting a list of some of my personal favorite QLE articles. If you have any suggestions, please do let me know.

All the best,


Greetings, QLE readers, and a happy Friday to you.

It’s been a dark week here on QLE, and I hope I didn’t scare any of you off with my morbidity. I had an emotional Sunday, and I ended up writing most of this week’s articles the following morning.

Writing is incredibly therapeutic, especially when you can’t say everything you want to say to the person you want to say it. In such cases, I find that the best thing to do is to write, and write, and write. Empty your mind. Get everything you’re dying to say out of your head and onto paper or your computer screen.

And remember to breathe.

It helps.

A lot.

Despite the fact that I want QLE to be an enjoyable and uplifting corner of the Internet, I opted to publish this week’s pieces because life offers just as many dark moments as light ones. It’s all part of the experience.

Inner peace means existing in a state of utter contentment — for a whole day, an hour, or even just a few moments. You have no wants, needs, worries, or fears. It’s very rare, but that’s what we’re here to practice and achieve.

Conversely, one could argue that any time we aren’t experiencing true inner peace, we are plagued with the desire for things to be other than the way they are. Sometimes it’s just a little twinge in the back of your head, sometimes it ruins your whole Sunday, and sometimes it makes your world collapse. In any case, I don’t wish to shy away from the really dark moments. We need to learn how to get through all of it, from a messy desk to the death of a loved one.

As always, I want to ensure that every article I post contains value for you as a reader. I don’t want to waste your time. With that in mind, I will always do my best in the aforementioned dark moments to offer some ray of light, some sense of possible resolution, for myself and for you. You will never see a post about how everything sucks and there is no hope — end of article — on this website. No matter how dark things get. Promise.

I appreciate you sticking with me this week, and I wish you the best in your pursuit of inner peace.

Have a positively radiant weekend,

(P.S. Between you and me… awesome stuff coming up. Tell you more later. Shhh.)

Thanks for reading! Want more? Grab the free QLE Manifesto. Perhaps follow me on Twitter. Need something? Email me.

Like a Slow Fire Burn

You are what you listen to.

In many ways, my iTunes library is an extension of my identity. This music defines me. These artists represent my values. These songs represent memories and scenes from my life.

My music is who I am.

I bought an iPod Nano the other day for workout purposes, and so I was perusing my iTunes library trying to decide which songs to put on it.

The problem with going through your library song-by-song is that you unavoidably come across its deep, dark secrets. The songs you no longer listen to because of the memories associated with them.

There’s one particular song I always scroll past because it reminds me of a girl I was in love with. Back then, I wasn’t familiar with the artist, but it was one of her favorites, and this particular song was the one I enjoyed the most.

It’s a song I never would have known existed if that relationship had never happened.

And now that the relationship is over, and the song is still here in my library, I find myself in a difficult position. Even looking at the song in my iTunes brings back painful memories. Or perhaps they’re good memories. Or perhaps they were good at the time, and the pain stems from their being lost.

In any case, on this particular day, something persuaded me to listen to that song.

It hurt.

But at the same time, it was a therapeutic pain. As soon as the song started playing, memories came flooding back. Images. Faces. Feelings. All of which were wonderful at the time, and all of which now hurt like hell.

But for some sick reason, I forced myself to sit through that song. And as I endured that chorus and let those memories punch me in the gut over and over again, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to cry over what I lost or smile about what I had.

The funny thing is, I played it again. And again, and again, and again.

And every time I played it, I felt a little bit better. And I felt a little less like crying and a little more like smiling. Because just because I lost it doesn’t mean it’s gone. The memories are mine, and they’re still here. The fact that they hurt only confirms that it was real. And that makes me smile.

It is a good song.

Life remains amazing.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

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Rest In Peace, Grammy C

My grandmother died last week. She was 92 and the best grammy her four grandkids could ask for.

As sad as I am over her passing, I’m fortunate to have nothing but wonderful memories of her, and I’m comforted to know that she’s in a much better place than the convalescent home in which she resided for the last ten years of her life.

I’m also reminded of the importance of recognizing that, while the body may die, the spirit lives on forever, and so she’s not gone. Not really.

The pain comes from no longer being able to see someone, to touch and hug them, to talk with them and hear their voice when we’re so used to doing so.

But we are fortunate to be much more than physical bodies.

To be at peace with the passing of a loved one, we must let go of our attachment to their physicality. Death is a natural part of life, and so the loss of the body is inevitable.

If we can let go of the body and preserve the spirit, we will never have trouble finding those whom we’ve lost.

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An Alternative to More

Seth Godin:

If your happiness is based on always getting a little more than you've got...

then you've handed control over your happiness to the gatekeepers, built a system that doesn't scale and prevented yourself from the brave work that leads to a quantum leap.

This article is one of my favorites, and it's something that resonates with me as I try to transition from full-time student to someone who works for a living.

Attaching your happiness to the notion of "more" is dangerous. There will always be more, and so you're attaching your happiness to something that's ultimately unattainable. Subsequently, happiness itself becomes unattainable.

There are ways to combat this attachment to more, and it's something I focus on here and in life. Minimalism is one way. To be able to identify what is enough, and then to be happy with it, is a valuable skill that must be constantly practiced.

Perspective is another. To realize what is and what is not important, and to be able to recognize who and what deserves your time.

Inner peace is another. To be so aware of who you are, and to love that person so unconditionally, that you have no fears, worries, wants, or desires, and you are content with You.


Their rules, their increments, and you are always on a treadmill, unhappy today, imagining that the answer lies just over the next hill...

All the data shows us that the people on that hill are just as frustrated as the people on your hill.

When I peer into the box that society wants me to crawl into, this is all I see. A smothering, unsatisfying existence, where happiness is always a little further ahead and just out of reach. The thought of living in that box makes me uneasy.

Luckily, there's hope:

An alternative is to be happy wherever you are, with whatever you've got, but always hungry for the thrill of creating art, of being missed if you're gone and most of all, doing important work.

There is an alternative. I know there is an alternative because there are people living the alternative.

Fortunately, the thrill of creating art and doing important work are what help me be happy where I am. Unfortunately, I've yet to determine how to make a living while doing it.

Richard J. Anderson had a great post on this topic a few weeks ago:

I like technology, writing, music, art, and variety. I like having clearly defined goals I can check off a list when they’re done. I like knowing that what’s done really is done, and I don’t have to fix it unless I made a mistake. Where do any of these things intersect, and do they intersect in a place that also provides enough money to live on while I focus on what truly matters to me?

These are the questions I'm asking myself, too. I love to read and write. How can I make a living doing these things?

I'm not sure yet.

But, the answer is out there, and I have faith that it will reveal itself.

The trick is to not give up on looking for it.

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The Beauty of Being Wrong

The fact that I’m doing yoga at 7 AM every morning still blows my mind.

It’s been two weeks since I became an early riser, and I love it just as much as I did on day one. The quiet solitude of the morning, the sense of having so much more time, the increased exposure to sunlight… All so wonderful.

But, for all its awesomeness, this change has created something of a splinter in the back of my mind.

The Stubborn Night Owl

You see, for years I was convinced of my own superiority as a night owl. It appealed to my introverted nature, and I liked the rebelliousness of staying up and sleeping late. I associated early rising with convention. Getting up at 8 AM, driving to a cubicle, sitting there all day, and then driving home exhausted and horrified at having to do it all over again tomorrow — it seemed like no way I’d ever want to live. If it works for you great, but I knew it wasn’t for me.

It still isn’t, at least when it comes to the sitting-in-a-cubicle-all day part. But fortunately, I’ve avoided — by both choice and design — that sort of existence.

Instead, I get up with the sun, practice yoga, make tea, read, and then write and make things. It’s a routine with which I’ve quickly become obsessed.

What’s given me pause, though, is the fact that I was so wrong about night owlism. Actually, no; I wasn’t wrong about night owlism so much as I was wrong about being an early riser.

I still think being a night owl is great, and people who prefer that lifestyle should continue to live it as long as it helps them grow and do what they want to do.

Unfortunately, staying up late and sleeping in every morning was paralyzing me. My creativity and productivity stagnated. I was stuck in an incredibly depressing rut, and the only way out was to make a drastic life change: to start getting up early.

I see now just how wonderful being an early riser can be. It’s not painful at all — provided you’re getting your required amount of sleep — and it opens up a whole new world you may have forgotten existed. I certainly did. It truly is life-changing.

Of course, one could easily reverse my story and get the same benefits. Someone who is forced to rise early every morning and go to a job they hate and come home exhausted could, in theory, quit, start their own business, and sleep until mid-morning before doing the work they love all day and late into the night.

It works both ways, and I make no claims that one is better than the other. The best one is the one that works for you.

But, back to my splinter.

What Do I Know?

The feeling I’m experiencing now is that I was wrong.

Wrong in the sense of thinking one way was better than the other, and wrong in thinking I could never become an early riser. Ever. I never wanted to, never thought it would be good for me, never even entertained the idea.

I was a proud night owl. Stubbornly proud.

And yet, here I am.

And so I find myself thinking, “If I was wrong about that, I might be wrong about other things too. Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.”

Maybe minimalism isn’t healthy?

Maybe politics are important?

Maybe sports do have value?

Maybe being an introvert isn’t better?

These are scary thoughts, because my identity is ingrained in these possibly incorrect notions. If I’m wrong about them, then part of my identity is lost and/or needs to be rebuilt.

Being wrong is scary.

But, like anything, the solution lies in perspective.

First off, people grow and change. This is for the better. I might be telling my kids someday, when they’re groaning and hiding under the covers at 10 o’clock in the morning, how I used to love to sleep in when I was younger, until it stopped working for me. And that’s the thing:

If it’s working for you, keep doing it. If it’s not, change it.

Minimalism works for me. Being apathetic about sports works for me. These things, at the very least, do me no harm.

I thought being a night owl was working for me, and for a long time, it was. But, then it stopped. When my life changed — when theses and job hunts and apartments and writing and responsibilities became the focus — I needed to change too. Staying up late was not helping me write my thesis or become any more of an adult. I was stuck. I wasn’t growing.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the concept of staying up late. But, I was wrong to think I could keep doing it and still get to where I wanted to be. I couldn’t. So, I had to reevaluate and change my habits.

Not a Thing

There’s a deeper aspect to being wrong as well, one that I wrote about long ago. It’s the know-nothing principle.

The know-nothing principle is a solution to the fear of being wrong. The fear of being wrong grows out of being so attached to your ideas that you become unreceptive to new information, which might contradict or disprove your ideas.

“I am a night owl, and it works for me” was my idea. I knew night owlism was better. I shunned the notion of early rising out of fear that it might in fact be superior to my idea. I did not assume the know-nothing principle when it came to sleep schedules. As such, I was unable to see the benefits of an idea different from my own, and in turn it took me a long time to realize that my stubborn adherence to my own idea was causing me to stagnate.

It was only when I stopped being closed off, when I became open to the idea of early rising that I was able to adopt it and change for the better.

By being open to alternative ideas, by thinking of them not as wrong, but merely as different, and by being willing to try them, we free ourselves from being prisoners of our own ways of thinking.

And so, this experience of being “wrong” does not fill me with the fear that I might be wrong about everything. Rather, being wrong is humbling. It’s a reminder that I know nothing. I had forgotten that, and so I had become attached to my ideas. And of course, I was hurt when life reminded me that my idea wasn’t the only way.

The past two weeks have reminded me of the importance of an open mind. An open mind frees you from the fear of being wrong. You don’t have to cling to one idea or another, and you don’t have to jump to defend it from anyone who thinks differently than you.

As Socrates said:

As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.

I thought I knew something about sleep schedules. But, it turns out I don’t know the first thing about them. And that makes me smile.

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That Week I Changed My Life

On the evening of March 31, I took the long way home — as I do — and decided that it was time to make a drastic, life-changing decision.

What lead me to this point?

Thesis Bound

Lately, I’ve been struggling with remembering who I am, which in large part has been a side effect of my inability to finish my thesis.

Not having my thesis done was paralyzing me. I felt guilty about not having it done, and I also felt unable to concentrate on anything else, like job hunts, apartment searches, important work, etc.

I could not move forward until my thesis was finished.

A thesis is like an anchor, weighing you down and serving as your one final — but incredibly strong — tie to academia. It’s the last remaining bond between student life and the real world.

In some ways, it’s comforting. You’re still a student. The full pressures of adulthood do not yet apply to you. But, it’s debilitating for the same reasons. You’re still a student. All you have to show for it is a couple of degrees, a lack of direction, and no career.

My Fault

My inability to finish my thesis had been due to a lack of discipline. I work in the evenings, and I’m a night owl. I love to stay up late and sleep in.

When it comes to getting out of bed in the morning, a thesis is perhaps the least effective motivator of all time.

I’d stay up until the wee hours of the morning and sleep until lunchtime, only to spend another hour in bed catching up on the day’s news on my iPhone. If I was lucky I’d find the strength to exercise in some fashion before having lunch and going to work in the afternoon.

Sounds luxurious, but it sucked.

I was in a rut, paralyzed by a routine of ignorance and complacency, ignoring who I wanted to be and just waiting for things to get better. I would fantasize about how awesome my life was going to be, and then I’d wait for it to happen.

Until I realized waiting doesn’t work.

Survey Says

Several stars aligned that last weekend in March, which helped me to reverse my downward spiral.

The first was that my yoga studio was about to start a 30-day challenge for the month of April. Hot yoga, Monday–Friday, 7–8 AM; your choice of weekend classes.

I had no intention of doing the challenge. I wanted to, but I told myself I couldn’t do it.

I work too late. I don’t know how to go to bed early. I’m literally miserable in the morning. I’m a stubbornly proud night owl. Let the cheery morning people do it.

However, that weekend I had to work my monthly Saturday shift, which consisted of teaching eight three- and four-year old boys how to do karate at 8:30 in the morning. So, I was up early. Not by choice, but I was up early.

On Sunday, I decided to go to yoga at 9 AM because my schedule had changed, and I was no longer able to attend my Thursday night class. I like to practice yoga at least twice a week, so I went to bed at a decent hour Saturday night, and made it to yoga the next morning. Up early again, this time by choice.

I’d risen early two days in a row, which is a rare thing.

Which brings us back to my Sunday night drive.


As I cruised along my familiar route, I listened to no music, no podcasts. I thought long and hard about the challenge, my thesis, and my life. And then I realized…

This is the only way you’re going to get your thesis done.

This is the only way to free yourself.

This is the only way to move forward.

That was nine days ago.

Since that night, I’ve woken up at 6:25 AM. Every morning.

I’ve done yoga from 7–8 AM. Every morning.

I’ve come home, enjoyed a cold shower, gotten dressed, made tea, and read. Every morning.

I’ve been at the library when it opens, worked on my thesis, and written for three hours. Every morning.

This routine has turned my life upside for the better.

When I say it was a life-changing week, I don’t mean to be hyperbolic. My productivity, mood, and sense of self-worth have increased ten-fold. I’ve been a proud night owl for as long as I can remember, and here I am getting up with the sun every day. I never thought it could happen, and I never thought it would matter.

It did, and it does.

I love it.

Freedom Found at Dawn

When my alarm goes off in the morning, it’s cool, calm, and quiet. There’s a sense of solitude, which is what I crave and thrive on.

When I practice yoga at 7 AM, I take care of my body. I get my exercise out of the way, first thing, and I feel energized for the rest of the day. If I want to do more exercise later, great. If not, it’s no big deal.

I get home, and it’s still only 8 AM. The whole day still lies ahead, and I feel like I’ve already gotten so much done. The library doesn’t open until 10 AM, so I take my time. I relax. I enjoy the shower. I shave mindfully instead of in a rush. I have time to make green tea. I sit by the window with my iPad, reading my favorite sites or equally amazing things in Instapaper.

I drive to the library at 10 AM. It’s about a ten-minute drive; just enough to enjoy some music or listen to one of my favorite podcasts. It’s beautiful outside. Springtime. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and infinite, and the clouds are fluffy. The roads are mostly quiet, as the morning rush has ended. It’s been an amazing day, and it’s only 10 AM.

I take my usual cubicle in the library, in the corner by the window. I’m surrounded by books and people in pursuit of knowledge. I power up my Mac and work on my thesis, fifty minutes at a time. I take breaks, stand up, and stretch. It feels good to put my head down and power through the work. I keep adding words and pages. I feel like I’m making it better, and I feel like I’m getting better in the process.

I feel like I’m working toward where I want to be.

Around 1 PM, I stop working on my thesis — even if I want to keep going. I make a note of where to start tomorrow. I preserve the momentum. Then, I write something for this website, which I love to do. I take an idea I’ve been formulating, and allow it to become manifest. It’s a reward for typing about Middle English lyrics for the last three hours. The words seem to come easier, writing about things I love. I finish the draft. It’ll be reread and revised later on before being queued for publication. I feel accomplished.

And it’s only 2 PM.

I go home for lunch, feeling exceptional. Guilt-free. Productive. Healthy. Confident. I can eat mindfully, without rushing. After, I leave for work on time, or work out, or relax, depending on the day. So much has already gotten done; everything else that happens today is just gravy.

Life feels remarkable.

The biggest challenge is going to bed early, because I do work until 9 PM some nights. But, I manage to be in bed around 10 PM. I either read, or treat myself to some Netflix on my iPhone. And I’m excited to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

The first night, I couldn’t fall asleep until 1 AM because I was still so energized from the day, starting with yoga that morning. I thought I would be exhausted all the time, but I’m not. It’s bizarre to say, but sleep feels like such a small part of my day. I used to stay up until three, four, five in the morning, messing around on the computer, playing on my iPad in bed. I can’t work on my thesis at home because it’s too comfortable. Too many distractions. Even writing for QLE was a challenge, especially if starting something from scratch. Then I’d sleep until I woke up, and lie in bed until I had to get up. And somehow, I’d still be tired.

Now, I just sleep to rest. To recharge for the next day. Sleep is a way of fast-forwarding to tomorrow and all the joys it’s sure to hold.

I can’t stress enough how important this change has been for me. I know it’s only been a short time since I’ve made the transition, and I’m still mindful of it every day. I don’t want to lose this routine or take it for granted. It will take many more of these days before it becomes habit.

I never thought I’d say it, but becoming an early riser is the best change I’ve made for myself this year. While I love being a night owl, it wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t helping me grow or move forward. But now, it’s the exact opposite. Everything’s changed. I was stuck, and now I’m moving forward.

I was paralyzed, and now I’m free.

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How to Guarantee a Future You Love

A line from Seth Godin’s post yesterday resonated with me:

“Everything will be alright” is not the same as “everything will stay the same.”

The distinction here is that, for things to be alright, things often need to change. As Einstein reminded us, you can’t keep doing what you’re doing and expect a different result. That’s insanity.

I often say some variation of “Everything will be alright”, which is a statement I believe. But, it’s also important to recognize that it’s not a passive sentiment.

For everything to be alright, you have to choose to be alright. To some degree, yes, time heals wounds, but much of that healing has to come from within. Other people might help, but most of the responsibility is on you. You have to choose to be OK.

Sometimes we forget who we are and who we want to be. Sometimes we have a goal for so long that we become complacent and numb to it. We forget that achieving that goal isn’t simply a matter of waiting around long enough for life to hand it to you. That’s helping things stay the same.

You can’t just sit around and wait for someone to hand you your dream job. People — employers — don’t care about you. They don’t care that their job would be a lifesaver for you. They don’t care that you’d be able to get your own place, and pay off your student loans, and start your own career and your own life. They don’t care because they don’t know. They don’t know who you are.

You’re just a résumé — and they don’t care about your typography skills.

The longer I try to fit into a neat, socially acceptable box, trying to find something that will allow me to both pay rent and not sell my soul, the greater my suspicion that perhaps it would be better to create my own something. Perhaps it would be better to not try and live someone else’s life.

The more I put my future at the mercy of others, the more things stay the same. And, everything staying the same is not the same as everything turning out alright.

The only way to guarantee a future you love is to build it for yourself.

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If I Were a Pie Chart...

I'm pretty sure I have multiple personality disorder.

Not in a clinical way, but in a "Who the hell am I?" sort of way.

If you were to graphically represent Andrew Marvin in a pie chart, it might look something like this:

Obviously there's more to me than those seven labels, but those are the major identities that come to mind. All of them contribute to and define my larger identity: Andrew Marvin, the Person.

I love all of my sub-identities, and I want to get better and be great at all of them. The problem is that, generally speaking, I can't be all of them at once. Regrettably, I can't play my bass while I'm teaching a karate class. I can't write while I'm fiddling with TextExpander snippets. I can't work on omitting needless things while I'm doing research about Middle English lyric poetry. Alas.

I feel like I could conceivably dedicate my entire being to just one of those identities. For example, I could decide that I'm going to dedicate my entire life to being a martial artist. I could drive to the dojo and work out for three hours every morning, and then I could teach classes every night. That could be Andrew Marvin in his entirety. And I would probably get really great at being a martial artist.

But, if I did choose to do that, then all of my other identities would atrophy. I wouldn't get to write. I wouldn't get to play music. I wouldn't get to read about Apple and download new text editors. All of these are things I love to do. How can I willingly give them up?

Do I want to be great at one thing, or do I want to be pretty good at seven things?

Perhaps being able to say, "I am a [blank]" is largely dependent on your job. "I am a construction worker." "I am a lawyer." "I am a student."

Of course, I don't mean to suggest that having a job means you have no other hobbies or skills. An accountant might be an accountant from 9–5, but she undoubtedly has other interests beyond that. Still, an accountant can confidently say, "I am an accountant" because, at the very least, that's what she gets paid to do for eight hours a day. She might also be a mom, cyclist, and underwater basket weaver. But, accounting pays the bills, so maybe that's how she identifies herself.

But what about when you don't have income attached to any of your identities? Then how do you decide which one gets your time and attention? I guess the one that you like the most? The one that has the greatest likelihood of eventually leading to income? Some balance of the two?

The reason for this nonsensical article is that I sometimes have trouble deciding what to do with myself. That is, who I want to be today. Take yesterday, for instance. A beautiful 75 degree day.

It's gorgeous out; I should do sprints.

It's my day off; I should work on my thesis.

I need an apartment; I should look for a big boy job.

I don't want a big boy job; I should work on QLE.

So many shoulds, so little time.

What am I doing? Who the hell am I?

Which version of me do I want to be today?

Some days, I don't know.

More tomorrow.

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25 Things I've Learned in 25 Years

I turn 25 today.

Since this is only going to happen once, I decided to compile a list of things I’ve learned in the past quarter of a century.

So, without further ado…

  1. There are only three rules: self-discipline, self-control, and respect.

  2. I tend to be least interested in things that (and people who) lack depth.

  3. I feel better having written.

  4. “If you sit on, sleep on, stare at, or touch something for more than an hour a day, spend whatever it takes to get the best.”

  5. Manage your expectations. Seriously.

  6. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

  7. Eliminate unnecessary things. This includes people and thoughts.

  8. Be free of attachments. Do not allow your happiness to be dependent on anything other than love for yourself.

  9. “Everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you.”

  10. Patience. Breathe.

  11. The Universe is incomprehensibly big. We are tiny infinitesimal specks on a minuscule little planet in a solar system that’s just a small part of one of thousands of galaxies and stars and space. This is liberating. We are wonderfully irrelevant.

  12. Be mindful. Self-awareness is invaluable.

  13. You can’t help someone until they want to be helped.

  14. Always ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Chances are it’s not that bad, and chances are the damage won’t be permanent. Don’t worry; they can’t eat you. You’re not going to die.

  15. Introverts do it better.

  16. “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

  17. The amount of drama in your life is inversely proportional to your ability to handle that drama.

  18. In any situation, you can either be the water, or you can be the rock.

  19. “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

  20. Pain heals with time, and time never stops moving. Take comfort in knowing the worst is right now. Every second, minute, hour, and day that goes by brings you a tiny bit closer to being OK. It’s literally only a matter of time.

  21. This planet is run by human beings. We are responsible for everything that goes on here. Subsequently, everything that disturbs our happiness is a manmade construction. Money is a made-up thing, as is working from 9–5, or getting a college degree. We cannot allow ourselves to be troubled by things that are only important because the human race decided they were important. The Universe probably thinks we’re silly.

  22. Negative emotions do not exist unless we create them. Hatred exists because we allow it to exist. Do not be a source for negativity by projecting negative energy out into the universe. Let go.

  23. You cannot control 95% of the things that happen to you. The only thing you can control is your mind and how it deals with those things. Perspective is everything.

  24. “You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.”

  25. All is one, and all is well.

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Even More Almost Done

I am so tired of not having my thesis done.

Do I have anybody to blame but myself? No.

Should I be working on it now instead of writing for you kind-hearted, good-looking folks? Probably.

Is it going to get done very soon? Of course.

Am I going to nonetheless turn this situation into some semblance of thoughtful reflection for the benefit of you, the reader? You bet.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how my thesis was almost done and how the brink of achievement is a precarious place. My thesis is still almost done, and it’s even closer to being done than it was two weeks ago. It’s just not as done as I’d like it to be.

“So, stop whining and go finish it!”

You are absolutely right, sir or madam. In fact, the more my thesis remains in a perpetual state of “almost done”, the more I realize a very important point:

Everything depends on my finishing this thesis.

I’m not just talking about the obvious here. My degree and GPA and academic career hang in the balance, of course. But even more critical is the fact that my life cannot move forward until this thing is done.

A human being only has so much time and attention. Time, with which to do things, and attention, with which to choose what those things are. A human being’s mind only has so much room with which to think about these things.

As I’ve written before, my time and attention is divided between writing my thesis, writing QLE, teaching karate classes, eating, and — occasionally, as of late — exercising. This arrangement frustrates me because the presence of the thesis as one piece of my life’s pie makes it difficult to pay attention to the other pieces without feeling guilty about how I’m not paying attention to the priority piece.

Every couple of weeks, I get inspired about fitness and decide to completely rethink my workout routine. I just had one of these episodes the other day and proceeded to plan out an entire schedule of what kind of exercise I would do each week, including karate, lifting, sprints, and yoga. I even wrote it all down. But, as I marveled over the schematics of my new regimen, I realized that none of it is going to happen…

Until I finish my freaking thesis.

As long as this academic beast is prowling back and forth in the cage behind my cerebellum, I will never be free. I will not have the available time or attention necessary to implement a new workout regimen, or read a new novel, or start a new project, or do anything of consequence, until my thesis is done.

And so, done it shall be. And once it has been done, once that large, imposing piece of mental pie has been consumed, it will release its grasp on my time and attention, and open up a new world of sweet freedom and endless possibilities. And, at long last, my life will go on.

If only I liked pie…

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The QLE Informational Brochure & FAQ

Note: This is a long post. However, I think it's worth your time because it will help you decide whether you should stay or leave and never come back. You can't lose.

The other day, I had dinner with my mom, and we got to talking about my website. (This one.) She loves me, as moms do, so she was interested in what I had been up to, how the site was going, and what it all sort of... meant. So, I talked my way through my vision for the site, what I'm trying to do, who it's for, and several other questions that felt good to answer out loud.

During this conversation, it occurred to me that I haven't really provided you, dear reader, with an in-depth explanation of what's actually going on here. I wrote a post called What Is Inner Peace?, which sheds a little light on things, but I treat the site as an organic endeavor. It might not mean the same thing in three years as it does now. The focus will most likely grow and change as I do.

The Story So Far

I'm pretty proud of what the site has become in its first seven months. It feels like a real thing now. The first six months saw me testing the waters. Would I like blogging every day? Is this worth my time? Can I actually do this? I'm thrilled to answer "yes" to all of the above. It's been a challenge, but I want and am trying to kick things into high gear around here. I'm writing more stuff, pushing the site more than I used to, and starting to introduce myself to other writers, all of whom I admire and respect a great deal. It's slow, but steady, and also really exciting.

2012 is barely a month old, but QLE is already occupying much of my time and attention. I'm writing more than I ever have before — probably even more than I did in college — and it's all stuff I want to write and share with people. The site is taking up more space in my brain. Thinking about QLE is starting to become a habit. I'm thinking of what I want to write next, and even when I'm doing other things, I can feel it in the back of my head somewhere. It feels really good. The site is still young, but I'm beginning to get the sense that I can do this. It's been seven months; why stop now? As long as you don't give up, you can do anything, right? So they say.

I think I'm also starting to look outward a bit more. I'm starting to think about my readers: what you might want to read, and what might help you get through your day. I'm getting a better idea of what I want QLE to mean and do for people — at least, in its current incarnation. When someone visits the site for the first time, they're going to see an article on who knows what, so I want to take a few minute to really dig into what I want this site to be. And what better question to start with than:

What is "Quarter-Life Enlightenment"?

Quarter-Life Enlightenment is the answer to the quarter-life crisis.

What's a "quarter-life crisis"?

A quarter-life crisis is just like a midlife crisis, except it happens in your twenties instead of on your fiftieth birthday. Upon turning fifty, some people — and I mean this is the most compassionate possible way — freak out a little bit. When you turn fifty, your life is probably at least half over! When you realize this, you start second guessing your entire life.

What have I accomplished so far? What do I have to show for myself? There are still so many things I want to do. I'm running out of time. Who am I?! AHHHHH!

To put it bluntly, the ultimate source of the mid-life crisis is (the fear of) death. We realize we've already used up half of our allotted time on Earth, and that's terrifying. No doubt about it.

Now, if you're paying close attention, you may be asking, "But twenty-somethings don't really think about death like that, so how is a quarter-life crisis 'just like a mid-life crisis?'" A fine question befitting an attractive reader like yourself.

The quarter-life crisis is not caused by a fear of death so much as it is driven by a fear of adulthood and The Real World (not the reality television show).

In my experience, the quarter-life crisis tends to come crashing down right after graduating from college. College, of course, is often — and accurately — described as "the best years of your life". Whomever said that about high school should get checked out.

When the blissful bubble of college bursts (two English degrees at work right there), we find ourselves on the doorstep of cold, hard reality facing real world pressures. And there are a lot of them.

"What do you want to do?"

"When are you going to get a job?"

"When are you going to get your own place?"

"When are you going to start paying off the thousands and thousands of dollars you spent on a degree (or two) that so far has only rendered you unemployed and in egregious debt?"

"When are you going to meet the love of your life?"

"When are you going to hurry up and be the adult the world expects you to be?"

I don't know.

The only thing worse than being bombarded with huge life questions is being unable to answer them. And what's more, now you start asking yourself questions:

What have I accomplished so far? A degree like everyone else. What do I have to show for myself? Thousands of dollars in debt. There are so many things I want to do, but I don't know how to do them or where to start. What am I going to do for the rest of my life? Who the hell am I?! AHHHH!

It's rough. Your friends aren't down the hall anymore. Your responsibilities don't fit in a backpack. The job market is as terrifying as everyone said it would be. It's a drastic departure from the best years of your life.

Now, I'm not trying to paint an inescapably bleak picture here. Plenty of people (I'm told) get great jobs right after college and go on to lead perfectly normal existences. But even these twenty-somethings are not without fears and doubts about their future. And, there's an even bigger issue.

You're better than that.

What if you're not content with normal?

What if you don't want to work in a cubicle, or wear a tie, or do the same damn thing in the same damn building for eight hours every single day?

What if you want to find fulfillment elsewhere?

What if you want to be exceptional and lead a life befitting your awesomeness?

Well, then I applaud you, sir or madam. You've probably made things even more challenging for yourself, but I applaud you all the same.

So, what do we do?

We stick together!

No, but seriously. I'm not in a position to help you become an entrepreneur, or travel the globe, or invent something better than Facebook (it's called Twitter, AMIRIGHT) because frankly, I need just as much help as you do. That's why I've repeatedly said that my writing here is advice to myself just as much as it is advise to you. I do not claim to be an expert in your happiness. I am merely here to share what works for me in the hopes that maybe it will work for you too, and vice-versa. We think, we learn, and we work through it.

Now, about that tagline...

"Finding inner peace through simplicity, technology, and other means."

Right. Inner peace is the solution to any crisis. Mine happens to be of the quarter-life variety. To quote my own personal definition of inner peace:

It’s the goal. The ideal state of being. It’s what everyone wants. Inner peace means being perfectly content, mentally, physically, emotionally. You have no fears. No worries. You have no wants, needs, or desires. No stress. No anxiety. No troubles. No fear. You just are. It can perhaps be considered an enlightened state.

I write about how I achieve inner peace so that you can too.

The ways I reach a state of inner peace are numerous and varied:

  • Simplicity, because "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." Confucious said that.
  • Technology, because it's a wonderful and amazing thing, and it's better to embrace it than try to avoid it.
  • Perspective, because the only thing we can truly control is our minds and how they deal with what life throws at us.
  • Writing, because I love it, and it's how I learn about myself. It's introspective, therapeutic, and really freaking hard.
  • Other means, because there's always more than one right way.

I could write another thousand words about each of those things, but it's late, and you probably have things to do.

So, what IS Quarter-Life Enlightenment?

It's a way of beating the quarter-life crisis through inner peace and self-discovery. It's about introspection, figuring out who you are, and learning how to deal with life through trial and error. It's about being mindful. It's about making sure you know the answers to those questions on your fiftieth birthday. It's about tweaking your brain so that life isn't so damn stressful and hard all the time. It's about having a healthy outlook on life during good times and crappy times. It's about this quote:

You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.

Quarter-Life Enlightenment is about being who you really are.

If you want to beat the quarter-life crisis; if you want to beat any crisis; if you want to have inner peace; if you want to be calmer, more productive, and happier; if you want to learn how to not be miserable all the time; if you just want some company; I invite you to read Quarter-Life Enlightenment. I would love to have you.

Some final questions:

So, is this site only for quarter-aged people?

Most certainly not. That's the perspective I'm writing from, of course, but anyone who deals with stress and worry is more than welcome to read QLE. That is, any and all members of the human race.

Are you going to change the name of the site when you're not in your twenties anymore?

I do not know.

This whole "enlightenment" thing creeps me out. Is that some weird hippy thing?

No, it's whatever you want it to be. Here's a quick dictionary definition of "enlightened": "having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook". Sounds good to me.

I have feedback or a question.

Awesome! Ping me on Twitter, or send an email to

This has only made me more confused. Can you explain more about ___?

I am so sorry. Yes, absolutely. Get in touch with me, and we'll sort things out.

How'd you come up with this?

That's a story best told in person, but the short version is: I gave a presentation at Southern Connecticut State University about simplicity, and people really seemed to like it. I have two English degrees, and I love to write, so I thought I'd start writing about things I care about and that also seem to help other people.

I'm floored by your writing/website/message/boyish good looks. Are you available to come speak at my school/organization/place of work?

Yes; it would be a genuine honor. I'll be working out more details about this sort of thing later in the year, so in the meantime, get in touch.

Where can I learn more about Andrew Marvin? What's he all about?

I'd start with the About page. If that doesn't completely stultify you, feel free to send me an email.

You're obsessed with The Long Winters. Can you please stop talking about them?

I can't promise anything. Sorry to lose you as a reader. Also, shame on you.

Apple sucks!

That's not a question, but alright.

Has anyone ever actually read all of these?

I can't imagine, no.

What do I get for reading the entire thing?

My sincerest thanks.

On Being Almost Done

I had a meeting with my advisor (Hi, Dr. McBrine.) to discuss my thesis, which you may or may not know is on Middle English lyric poetry. At the time, I had sent him about 35 pages of solid criticism — the bulk of a fifty-page master’s thesis. The consensus was that the work I had done so far was very good. After months of reading, researching, and writing, such positive feedback was music to my ears. The hard part, my advisor declared, was over. All that was left to do was write my introduction and conclusion and tie it all together. I was almost done.

That was a month ago.

One month later, I’m still almost done, but I’m not any closer to actually being done than I was before the holidays.

I am paralyzed on the brink of achievement.

In some ways, it doesn’t make any sense. Just finish the damn thing! But, unfortunately, procrastination is persistent. There are a couple of reasons why I’ve failed to make any progress as of late. The first is that those initial 35 pages were hard work, and I clearly interpreted advisor’s generous feedback as, “Great job. You deserve a break.” Wrong, of course, but I’m only human.

The second and bigger reason is the concept of “almost done” itself.

Being almost done is exciting, but it also makes it much easier to come up with excuses for not finishing. “I’m almost done!” becomes “Eh, it’s almost done… I can finish it anytime.” Any time that’s not now, of course.

The brink of achievement is a precarious place. On one hand, most of the stress is gone. The hard part’s over. What once was an intimidating behemoth is now just a handful of leftover pages that need to be written. But on the other hand, less stress also means less motivation. In my case, having an entire thesis hanging over my head was excruciating. It drove me to power through in hopes of removing that pressure. Being almost done, however, means that my thesis is no longer a big deal. I’m not worried about it. Because it’s almost done.


That “almost” is a killer. It’s a splinter in the back of my mind. A much smaller splinter than it once was, but a splinter all the same. My thesis is still there, waiting to be finished off. And so it shall.

The only way out is through.

Obviously, I have no intention of going through life with an almost done thesis on Middle English lyric poetry in my back pocket. The time has come to finish the job.


Discipline and perspective.

I’m writing this Wednesday night, so my Thursday is reserved free and clear. Time to dig in. Fifty minutes on, ten minutes off. Repeat until lunchtime. Then hit it again until yoga. I recommend the BreakTime app.

What’s even more important is to think of the thesis — or any horrifying task — not as a To-Do, but as what Merlin Mann calls a To-Have-Done. That is, think not about how much it’s going to hurt to do the thing, but rather about how good it’s going to feel when it’s done. That shift in thinking makes it much easier to get started. Or get finished, as it were.

I’m not looking forward to working on my thesis for six or eight hours, but I am looking forward to being six or eight hours closer to done at the end of the day.

It’s time to own this thing. Soon it’ll be just a memory, and I can’t think of anything sweeter.

Why I Don't Have Comments

The Internet has been in a tizzy today about comments, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain why they don’t exist here.

Comments have long been a topic of debate on the web, and there are valid arguments for and against. Yesterday, Matt Gemmell wrote that his month without them was the right decision. M.G. Siegler expressed his agreement and later expanded his position. M.G. also shared this old post from Daring Fireball in which John Gruber defends his site’s no comments policy. Shortly thereafter, Cody Fink announced that MacStories is also turning off comments.

Do read those pieces; I agree with their collective position and reasoning.

I made the deliberate decision not to have comments on my site because, as Merlin Mann quoted John Gruber at their SxSW talk, “I want to own every single pixel on my site.” To do that, I can’t give everyone on the Internet the ability to anonymously post whatever they want on it.

I want to write. I don’t want to spend time moderating comments and deleting spam. The more writing I get to do, the more reading you get to do. That doesn’t mean I don’t love you and your feedback, dear reader, because I madly and passionately do. But what would be better for all involved is if you responded via Twitter, email, or writing a response on your own site.

QLE, however, is my site. It’s the online equivalent of my living room, and I am responsible for every word that appears here. By eschewing public comments in favor of the above methods, you and I can enjoy a more civil and personal interaction. In addition, you will be directly responsible for your comments, as I will be for the site’s content.

Six Months of QLE

The end of December marked the six-month anniversary for Quarter-Life Enlightenment.

Six months is not a long time, but I’m proud of what the site has become. When I first started writing back in July, I wasn’t sure how I would take to it. I liked the idea of writing a web column, and I was inspired by the many individuals who make some or all of their living writing on the web, but I wasn’t sure if my enthusiasm would last beyond the first week or two. I’m happy to say it has.

Even though the site is still in its infancy, I hope to make 2012 a big year for QLE. One of my goals is to write more original articles. I greatly admire writers like Randy Murray and Seth Godin, who publish something every day without fail. It’s something to aspire to. I find original pieces more challenging and fulfilling to write, and I hope you feel the same in reading them. Look forward to more this year.

I don’t plan to stop the shorter link posts. I think they’re beneficial, and I enjoy spreading the word about the writers who inspire me. I wouldn’t share them if I didn’t think they were worth your time. My goal continues to be to post something useful to the site Monday through Friday, whether that’s an article by me or a link to someone else.

For those of you who have been reading all along, thank you. Your support is tremendously appreciated. I hope you’ll continue to stick around and give me feedback about what you like, don’t like, and would like to see more or less of. And if something I write benefits you, please do share it with others. It’s the best way for the site to grow.

As a reminder, there are several ways to subscribe to the site so you don’t have to remember to check back every day. You could bookmark it, but you probably have a thousand bookmarks.

  1. RSS. Whenever you see this icon on a website, it means “Subscribe via RSS”. RSS is very simple, but many people don’t know what it means or how it works. RSS stands for “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”. Basically, it’s a way of consolidating new content from many websites into a single feed. To start using RSS, you first need a feed reader. Google Reader is one of the most popular, and it’s what I use to keep track of over 100 websites I read daily. If you have a Gmail account, you already have access to Google Reader. Just click my subscription link, hit the Google button, and choose Add to Google Reader. You can do this with any site that supports RSS. Now, instead of typing in 100 different URLs and visiting each site directly, you can just check your Google Reader as you would your email account. New posts will be there waiting for you. You can also use an RSS reader app on your computer or mobile device. NewNewsWire and Reeder are two of the best. (I use Reeder on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Here’s what the Mac version looks like.) For further explanation about RSS, please see What Is RSS?

  2. Email. You can have the previous day’s posts emailed to you each morning. I’m working on redesigning the email template, so please stand by.

  3. Twitter. Quarter-Life Enlightenment has its own Twitter account, which automatically tweets links to the latest posts. You can — and obviously should — also follow my personal account.

  4. Facebook. I don’t love Facebook, but if you use it regularly, it’s a good way to get the latest QLE posts in your News Feed. If you’re on Facebook, please do Like Quarter-Life Enlightenment.

  5. Google+. Occasionally, I will post an article to Google+. When there is a good solution for auto-posting to Google+, I will use it and let you know.

The choice is yours! Collect all five.

As an addendum, there’s also a Tumblr where I collect videos, links, quotes, and other things that aren’t specifically QLE-related. Please reblog liberally. Wink wink.

Thank you, again, for visiting my little corner of the Internet these past six months. I’m going to continue to show up every day, so I hope you continue reading.

I wish you all a peaceful 2012.

— Andrew

This Year, 2012

So here we are, mere hours into 2012! Feels good, doesn’t it? We’ve overeaten, come up with some last minute resolutions, and expressed pity for Dick Clark. Bring on the new year.

Like the rest of the internet, I feel compelled to write some sort of obligatory New Year’s post, even though today is virtually the same as yesterday, save for a quick turn of the calendar. Still, there’s something comforting about our annual tabula rasa, and while we shouldn’t rely on a specific date to decide it’s time to improve ourselves, it does help to have a little Gregorian push.

I’m excited for the new year. I know for a fact it’s going to be a big one, apocalypse not withstanding. This year, I’m going to get a new iPhone. This year, I’m going to finish my thesis and officially earn my master’s degree. This year, I’m going to turn 25. Quarter-life, indeed.

Yet despite the few things I do know about 2012, there is so much more I don’t and can’t possibly know. I might find a new job. I might find a new place to live. I might meet a new girl. I might meet the girl. The Dave Matthews Band might break up. People I know might get married. Someone I love might die. I might die.

And since we have no idea about any of that, I think it’s best we work to make this year a great one. On the eve of 2012, I am reminding myself that this year, I will have control over nothing. I will be given things, and I will have things taken from me. The universe will continue to expand, and I’ll continue to be an infinitesimal speck along for the ride. I am reminding myself that the only thing I do have control over is my mind, and all I can do is prepare it to accept all the wonderful and terrible things 2012 has in store.

The comforting thing is that in 365 days, I will know myself better than I do now. So will you. Each day will teach us something new, and each day we’ll grow a little more and get a little better. Each day will bring us a little closer to who we truly are. It’s going to be great, and I’m excited.

I wish you an exceptional 2012, and thank you for reading. It means the world to me.

— Andrew

Hey, there's a Tumblr!

Greetings from the wee hours of Sunday morning.

After much fiddling, I’m pleased to announce that my Tumblr is up and running once again.

I try to keep QLE semi-focused on a (large) handful of topics, so I’ll be using the Tumblr to collect various bits of internet minutia that fall outside the QLE realm. These may include, but are not limited to: links, quotes, pictures, videos, music, and anything else I think you need to be aware of. Plus, it’ll give me a place to curse, should I ever feel compelled to do so.

So, there you go.