Skip to Content

Three Things I’ve Learned in 33 Years

As you can tell by my twitter handle of vMiss33, 33 is my favorite number, and once I turned 33 I wanted to mark it with something special.  

Coincidentally, this is also my 200th blog post here on I have gone back and forth on what to make this post, but since it coincides with the the birthday I always said would be my biggest one, I figured I would make it something I hope others will find useful.

I debated between something sappy like my 100th blog post, or something super technical, but decided on this as the in-between. So without further ado, here are three things I have learned in my 33 years.

Everything Is Possible

I am not a fan of the word impossible. I truly believe if you really want to accomplish something it is in your power. It may take longer than you expect, but it can be done. Remember, goals are not finite. They can change and evolve in many ways.

For example, a goal that was once a very high priority may drop in priority for a few years, but this does not mean it will never be accomplished. For me, this was the story of me earning my VCDX. It was first on my radar in 2010, and I met this goal in 2016. This does not make my achievement any less, and it does not make me upset that it took “such a long time” to accomplish it.

This goes for both our professional lives and personal lives, whether it be a goal like VCDX, a new job, moving to a new home, or a goal you set with your family.

There will be people who tell you things are impossible. Do not listen to them, and take a long hard look at why they are saying what they are.  There is usually a reason for negativity.

Be Happy

This is a big one, but is often confusing to many. First we need to decide what our idea of happiness is, and this may be different for everyone. We all need to decide what happy means for us right now, and how it evolves over time. When I almost died in 2014, one of the predominant thoughts in my mind was “I’m not happy, and I can’t believe my life is going to end with this feeling.”.

This moment has changed my life in many ways. It made me reflect on my life and determine what it would take to be happy, and how I was going to get there. It was a long road in both recovering from that experience and figuring out how could life my life in a way where I would never feel that way again. At this point I can say in my life I am truly happy, and I hope to remain this way for years to come.

Are there moments when things do not go the way I want them to? Of course, and this is something we all face, but when this happens it is important to remember it is just a moment. When it comes down to it, as long as the good moments outweigh the bad ones, I can say I am happy.

If something is constantly dragging on happiness, it is important to realize Everything is Possible, from learning something new to finding a new job to changing something in your life (see above). First and foremost it takes some self reflection to figure out exactly what makes YOU happy.

On a lighter note, being happy also makes it hard to answer the question “What do you want for your birthday?”, but I’m sure I can come up with something.

Everyday Is a Bonus

Everyday is a bonus, which reminds me of a quote I have seen floating around.

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

We have bad days, but that does not mean we have a bad life. Every day I try to think of three good things that happened, and three things I am grateful for. Sure, it can be a stretch sometimes, and I notice myself re-using things, but it is good practice to get into for a nice level set.

Choose to see the good in each and every day, and do not get wrapped up in negativity and drama. When you wake up each and every morning it is a new chance at life.

Believe it or not, I incorporated lessons like these into my book IT Architect Series: The Journey. Writing this book falls into the Everything is Possible category, it is something I had on my bucket list for a long time, for as long as I can remember.  

Beyond teaching the fundamentals of what it is to become an IT architect, I really wanted to sprinkle in these lessons I have learned, many of which I have only realized in the last few years.

As I enter my 33rd year, I keep asking myself how I can make it a BIG year. How I can do something HUGE, since this number means so much to me.  Something I realized is I think I may be doing myself a disservice by focusing on The Next Big Thing as I reflect.

While I figure this out, I am going to make sure I focus on the small things, like helping out those around me in ways I can, whether it be helping by physical or virtual means (had to get a virtualization joke in here someplace!).

With that, I am off to enjoy my birthday breakfast and the rest of my day!