The past year has been the best year of my life so far. It has definitely not been the easiest. But in terms of overall adventure and experiences — I’m pleased.

For me, life is all about gaining different perspectives. The more experiences and challenges I face and immerse myself in, the better. I’ve always believed as a human being, the only way to successfully navigate the world is by trying to understand things through the eyes of other people. And then derive your own personal philosophy, distinct and true to yourself.

I was talking to someone very close to me this past week about the negativity of people around us. I cannot think of a more common theme in this world. It is a sad but true fact about life and the world we live in — many people are negative. It is unfortunate. But it reminded me about a principle/example I picked up some place along the line about crabs. Yes, the sea creatures with googly eyes and long legs that many of us love to eat. If you put a bunch of crabs into a large bucket with each other, you’ll quickly see that as one tries to crawl upward and out of the bucket, the others will try to pull it down. Often times there is no escape to freedom for the crab that is trying so hard to get out.

Life seems to hold true to this idea, that as you try to emerge from the proverbial bucket, often times others will try to pull you down. Whether its through negativity in thought, action or words — many times the people we surround ourselves with don’t really want to see us get out and find our own freedom. I’m not sure why misery begets misery. But once you poison the well, you cannot separate the clean water from the contaminated.

So that is my continued goal for 2013 — to charge hard and keep myself out of the bucket.

My first new project for the upcoming year is one that I’ve been working on for quite some time now. It’s called 52 Cities – 52 Poems.

During my travels in 2011-2012 I traveled over 60,000 miles in my van. Often times this doesn’t leave much time to write, blog, or do anything but keep running. As per usual I kept a notebook by my side at all times, so I could make sure and capture my thoughts as I visited new places, met new people and experienced new places in the world.

The idea to create a poem in every city I visited reflects how I sometimes see things when I’m in a new place. In one word — quick. These poems are quick snapshots of a time and place. They have no traditional structure per se, and they range in style, size and feel. My goal was to capture what I was thinking about right at the particular moment I was writing.

I will be releasing one poem every week for the next 52 weeks here on my blog.

2012 was great. 2013 will be even better.

I wish you all well. Thanks for checking in.

— JM



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