I’m reading: It’s OK Not to Look for the Meaning of Life by Zen monk Jikisai Minami. As with the process of living life itself, I am learning to practice personal responsibility—an eternally aspirational objective. Each failure, some painful in the moment, has proven to be an indispensable learning opportunity, pushing me to challenge my limits and expand my horizons.

With time and reflection, I've come to understand the importance of not feeling bad about the self-evident realities of my life. This shift has helped me move away from a mindset that shames me for merely existing. A friend once aptly said, "I like to exist." This affirmation has become a cornerstone in my journey, reminding me of the joy and legitimacy of just being.

I haven't truly accomplished anything yet; I am just beginning to realize how much more I have to learn and do. While it's okay to discuss past suffering, I prefer to keep the focus general and avoid sounding too much like a martyr. Instead, I acknowledge that my past self suffered mainly from feeling bad about myself, which was the real "problem."

Sharing these insights is not about claiming to have all the answers but about fostering a dialogue and encouraging others to reflect on their paths. It's about building a community where we can learn from each other's experiences and support one another in our collective pursuit of living more consciously and responsibly.

This exploration of personal responsibility is ongoing, a continuous cycle of learning, adapting, and evolving. By sharing my story, I aim to connect with others on similar paths, inspire and be inspired, and continue learning not only from my experiences but also from the experiences of others. Let us navigate these challenging but enriching paths together, with openness, honesty, and a readiness to transform.

As Taylor Swift wisely observes, "Hi, it’s me. I’m the problem." But recognizing this is a crucial step in the journey. In the puzzle of our existence, we each hold a piece, not fully knowing what it is, yet understanding that others can help complete not only our personal puzzles but also contribute to the puzzle of universal truth.