“Actions speak louder than words.”- overused, but accurate, expression
Well, it’s the end of the year. Hell, it’s the end of the decade. I don’t really know what that means to me except that next week, I will share my annual favorite quotes, learnings, and experiences. But first…
I lived a dream this year. And I’ve got great news…it ain’t ending just yet. Actually, in some ways, it is just beginning.
I’ve been on this journey for just over 2.5 years now (8 months 100% all in), and year 1 laid the groundwork for year 2, year 2 for year 3, and year 3 for what I am anticipating to be a tittilating year 4.
And do you want to know what one of my biggest secrets is that I really, really want to share? At the very beginning, I had no idea what the hell I was doing!!!! At all!!! Whatsoever!!! I was scared just like everyone else!
Okay, back to our golf voices. Seriously, you can call it leaving the comfort zone or faith or whatever. All I knew is that I wanted something different, like really different, and I was hellbent on making it happen.
I had no training in fashion or writing or photography or golf, but I wanted to learn. What did I want to be in this life? How did I want to go about being it?
Did I want to actually travel extensively or just say I was an avid traveler and talk bullshit? Was traveling a skill? Could I get better? Could I enjoy it more?
This was going to be a totally different world from the cushy, luxurious banking world where I wore beautiful suits and Italian shoes and took in a large guaranteed paycheck with excellent benefits.
This was 100 degree Mississippi days with an aching back, hips, and feet, bouncing around in tiny temporary living quarters, paying my own exorbitantly priced health insurance, and working daily for no pay to begin inching towards the world in which I one day wanted to live.
Though not for the faint of heart in 2019, experiencing certain things can be much more enjoyable when the prospect of monetary gain is not involved, even if only for a short period of time. It was beautiful to stop, reset, and become fully intentional.
On the style front, I wore whatever I wanted. On the writing front, I wrote whatever I felt needed to be said. On the photography front, I captured real beauty. On the travel front, I immersed myself in as many new, real places as humanly possible.
But the real focus somehow evolved into golf. I honestly didn’t see that coming. And while golf travel, buddy trips, golf architecture, and meeting new golf friends were all awesome, my focus was to get good. Pretending anything else would be misleading.
So I spent varying degrees of every day since April 17, 2019 focusing on getting better. And 10 days ago, I took that next step. I hired a PGA Pro to work with, and soon after, I shot my best round ever, a 75 from the tips that culminated with a knee-knocking birdie on 18. That’s getting close to real golf, homies. Now, after posting 11 rounds in the 70s in the past two months, it’s time to rinse and repeat exclusively.
As I reflect on the end of a year, a decade, an era (if we want to sound romantic), one thing stands out to me.
That I was once an inexperienced dreamer with grand, untested ideas. That because I liked style and clothes so much, people would take me seriously on a variety of subjects just because of the way I was dressed. (That’s the genius of fashion and sometimes the curse to its wearers.)
I wasn’t inexperienced at everything. I was genuinely good at soccer, forging real relationships, and finance, to name a few. But there were others, like golf, that I received some kind of credibility simply because my stylish clothes perfectly hugged my (now not so) slender frame. (Shout out Cajun cooking.)
No more. Everything I write, unless stated otherwise, is from actual experience. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. I’ve lived it. I’m now an experienced doer, though still green on so many things.
I love doing the work. I love writing, photographing, traveling, and documenting my golf journey extensively. Daily. Though I may take a brief personal hiatus to start the year, the focus is not going to change. I keep telling myself that with continued work, there may be something out there that even I couldn’t dream, which is mind blowing.
Bluntly, I think New Year’s resolutions are goofy. They are a great excuse to put something off until next year or to start something because it’s popular in the mainstream, and then quit when it’s not.
So how about this. On May 15, 2017 (random date), I published an article about fashion and first impressions, and this article launched my fashion, writing, photography, travel, and golf journey.
What, you may ask, does that article have to do with getting good at golf? Not a damn thing. Not one damn thing.
And that’s how journeys work. You take that scary first step. You leap. You bob. You weave. You keep at it. And then one day, you shoot 75 from the tips in Mississippi, of all places. Then, miraculously, it all turns into something way more meaningful than golf.
Final 2019 thoughts next week.
Have a great week.-Benj
Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and @abkgolf.
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