the 42 project - Blaine Hummel
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the 42 project

I think we all have at least one dream that sits on our shoulder and whispers continuously in our ear.  You know, the voice we try to ignore, but it is omnipresent and pulls at us incessantly.  We hear it even when we are not listening.  As I write this, I am sitting on the Frio River, drenched in natural beauty.  But, I am awash with emotion from the pull of the call to do something greater, to be someone greater.    

A few years ago, I mustered up the courage to quit a well-paying job as a full-time litigation attorney to attend graduate school and become a therapist.  I have always been fascinated by the human mind and condition.  But, for whatever reason, I was conditioned from a young age to become a doctor, a lawyer or an orthodontist.  Why were those three careers the Holy Trinity?  I have no idea except they all generally pay well. 

Anywho, once I took the leap to becoming a therapist, I knew there was no turning back.  For the first time in my life, I felt like I was in control of me.  I had stepped outside of the imprint and began to forge my true path.  I don’t want to give you the impression life has become an endless bed of roses sprinkled with fairy dust, but there is something money cannot buy – a sense of purpose and meaning.

I did not create this post to rehash my decision to change careers at midlife, that story has already been written a million times over.  But, what I am hoping to impart here is that this newfound sense of purpose and meaning has snowballed. I started a nonprofit to increase community and service.  And, while COVID-19 has slowed that project down, the pandemic has given me ample time to think about where my life is heading.

A few months back, I wrote a blog post about what it is like to be fat which was read more than twice as much as anything I had ever written.  And, then, a weird thing happened.  Even though the article resonated with others, I experienced s fear about continuing to write from such a vulnerable perspective.  I had envisioned writing a blog post once every week of this year.  But, that “goal” quickly fell by the wayside as I retreated.  But, the whispering in my ear did not go away.  In fact, it only increased.

There’s a photograph which sits on my parents’ windowsill in their kitchen.  I am seven or eight years old, standing in my flag football uniform, grinning from ear to ear.  The picture is one of pure innocence and wonder.  At that moment in time, I could be anything or anyone.  I look at the photo each and every time I visit my folks.  I am always drawn to the number 42 emblazoned on my chest - the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.  And, the number is the inspiration for my next venture. 

So, here’s the rub.  I need community.  I need connection.  I need to serve others.  And, I need accountability to myself and others.  The whispering voice has grown too loud to ignore and is compelling me to share my journey.  I intend to do so through a platform I am creating - The 42 Project.  Honestly, I have no idea what I am doing or what it will look like, but I think that is half the fun.  There are no rules as of yet.  I do intend to meet these three goals over the course of the next twelve months: (1) lose 42 pounds; (2) have 42 virtual cups of coffee in 42 days; and (3) most ambitiously, earn $42,000 from my side hustle on the internet. If you are at all interested in personal growth, community/connect, or entrepreneurship, I hope you will tag along.  Who knows where we will end up…

 

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