It’s The End of the Decade and You Think You Didn’t Do Enough.

A thing you have to always remember is that nothing really matters. Nobody really cares about you.

And even if they do care, it is only momentarily.

Unless you are famous, and I mean legitimately famous, famous beyond all measure, and even then it is still a fleeting thing, but unless you are famous, nobody is thinking about you. People are only thinking about themselves, or some other person, or something they need to do.

People lead busy, complicated lives, lives that are just as busy and complex as yours, if not more so. That anyone should care about you, for even a second, is a terrific victory.

You have to tell yourself this in order to get to move forward, because too often you get bogged down in what people think about you, what will happen if this happens, what will happen if that happens. But most things in life are beyond your control. They have no bearing on reality.

As far as work goes, the only thing you can control is your effort. This, this is the difference between those that do and those that do not.

The alternative is that you get stuck sitting around wondering what if and how come, questions that arise when you stop doing and start thinking. Now you’ve stopped, but the world hasn’t. It keeps right on moving, with or without you.

So you’re here now, at the end of the decade, thinking about how you spent your time, all the things you did or did not do. How did the decade start, how is it ending, and was your ten years spent wisely, or did you waste them, as you often think you did.

But can you, in all reality, measure time in any real kind of way other than the breaths you take each moment, each second, that you are alive.

This is what you can take away from this decade, only this. That when it began ten years ago, you were breathing. And now it is ending, ten years later, and you are still breathing.

The moment that you are in, the moment I am writing this, and you are reading this, these are the only moments that have really mattered. Everything else, in the end, is all a great illusion, a fabrication of thoughts, ideas and experiences shaped by a reality that is made up of so many different things, none of which you control.

The color of your skin, how much money was in your parent’s account when you were born, where you live, the crazy thoughts that exist inside your head — all this shit determines the rest of your life, and it will frame the ten years as you are living them, and yet, nothing you do, really, can impact what those things are.

You can try, of course. You can work hard. And if you’re lucky, you can maybe overcome all that mess. Or, you can let yourself decline, as so many people do. But in truth, so long as you are breathing, still kicking, still moving ever forward in this great big adventure called life, then you are alright.

Life can be painful, that much is true, but it can also be very joyful and easy provided you let it be. And while it is true that many of us are trapped inside a prison of circumstances, be it the job we’ve got, the family relying on us, the religion that asks of us certain things — all of this, in the end, is surmountable.

By simply focusing on the moment, you can understand that nothing else really matters except the here and now, and measuring your worth is an arbitrary thing.

We are all worthy, because we are all here, right now.

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Wrote for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vice, Fader, Vibe, XXL, MTV News, many other places.

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