Backing up what you have said in the past is critical. Anyone can write about becoming a better person, making a list of goals, saying that they will do all these things and thats who they are…but when it comes down to it…are they really doing it? This whole thing for me is a really big struggle. It is not an easy process to sit down every day and think about how I can improve upon myself. I think people get really caught up in thinking that they are alright, and I know for a fact that I dislike criticism, so criticizing myself is double the work. Plus, my heartbeat condition really isn’t helping with anything, but its the cards I have been dealt. Right now, I am proud of myself, because I am doing the things I said I would. It doesn’t mean that this is easy.

I look at my goals and my dreams, and sometimes I don’t even know how to achieve them. But sometimes the best way to get to your goal is to set a really big one, and then figure out how your going to get there on your way. I put it in my status the other week…Sometimes faith is about jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down. If you want to know which point I am at right now in that journey, it is just after the part where your scared shitless of actually having jumped off a cliff, and right before your calm and ready to go to work. So I guess that puts me at the place where I am trying to find my goggles to stop my eyes from watering from the wind.

My dreams are the same every night. Filled with memories, emotions, and what almost feels like touch. My mind works in funny ways. I know though that you have to be at peace with something before it will slowly drift away. So today is my effort to let those things flow downstream through the winding river and focus on this moment, right here, right now, on catching the trout in the pool before me. I had a half an hour conversation with one of my best friends this morning after waking up feeling like almost every other morning. We talk a few times a week, and although I wish she was here instead of in Boulder, I know that she is always here. We always tell each other ”I can always read you like a book.”

Unfortunately its true, and we do read each other like the shortest book ever written. Its funny to think how similar we are. And, whats even more funny is that the same things happen to us in our lives consistently. Thats why we can give each other such good advice. We talked about a few things this morning. Without going into too much detail, we came to the conclusion. 1: limbo stinks, and 2: change is inevitable. Limbo isn’t so bad, but there are some very challenging parts to it. I know for me, when I have my mind set on something you can be assured that it is almost as good as done. But, in our journey through the desert, there are always these things pulling us from what we want. I don’t have to say them, because they are obvious. Most men are accused of being single-minded and have one goal in the world if they are single (lets be honest, if you don’t know what I’m talking about theres a problem there). Amongst other things, the previous statement is one of the biggest temptations that anyone can face. I also know people that are in relationships and face those temptations.

Who am I to say that I haven’t been faced with them. Like I said before, walk the talk. Am I? You can bet your damn money on it. Why are we faced with those temptations? Well, I speak for guys, and we are very often guilty of rebounding like Dwight Howard after a breakup. I mean, holy crap I have seen some guys try to set the record for rebounds in a game (BTW that is held by Wilt Chamberlin who had 55 in a NBA game in the 60’s). I think you get my point. I know my heart is true (despite its current added beat). I would be lying to myself, hurting other people, and acting, excuse my language, like a complete A-hole if I told myself that that was okay. Everyone has their own reasons for doing things, being young, wanted to be stupid, not caring, but all of that is self-destructive. And if I am going to be making myself into a better man, there is no room for that. Furthermore, considering all of the promises I have made to myself, and my creed is to never break a promise to anyone, I would be destroying the one thing I really believe in.

The men in this world have an accountability problem. Everywhere you hear stories of rape, slipping girls drugs, anything and everything. And, a majority of the time, they get away with it. I think I am a dying breed, and there are a few among me I know that feel the same way, but we would do anything to protect the women in our life. Part of that though is also being a source of dependability and virtue. I know I won’t be straying because my heart is still dedicated. Still locked, and I really don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future. And thats okay. I am fighting “man’s nature” for my own greater good. I am being accountable for myself, for the things I believe in, and for others. People do stupid things, and really screw up their chances….I am not going to be one of those people for a short term fix. I don’t even speculate on the future anymore, because I know that the only thing I can do is keep my head down running hard. If I keep my nose to the grindstone, I will come back up a better man. Its all I can ask for.

We also talked about change today. While it is very scary to think about, change is completely out of our hands and inevitable. Whenever someone gives you a guarantee about anything, be slightly skeptical. The only guarantee in life is that things will change. To be honest, I am actually starting to get excited about this next quarter coming up. Despite the impending doom of allergies headed my way, I am ready for something new and different.

One of the things Cait told my to do, which worked for her and was passed down to her from a family friend, was to create a list of all the things all the things I would like to do in the next few months, and go down the list one by one and when they are all crossed off…see how happy you are. I promised to make this list. These are not just goals, but it could be anything. I think this will be a really good way to spend some time. So I thank you for that one :). I also can’t spend my time thinking about what other people are doing. You know what…it really doesn’t matter. People will make decisions on their own whether you like them or not, and you can’t really do anything about them. So why not, in this time, focus on just me. Focus on getting my heartbeat fixed by the docs, my school, my health, and on my life. It sounds like a very attractive idea, lets make it happen. I am going to hold protect the things that I love and the things that define me. Just as He takes, He also gives back. One day He will give back, and because I am doing this the right way and the true way, I will have the ability to say yes again.  But, until that time, its going to be just me in my own arms right now. And thats just the way it should be.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project