Today, I turned twenty-five years old.

With this blog being basically brand new, I want to preface this post with a promise to typically resist the urge to get all introspective and thoughtful. I'll mostly just stick to pretty images and videos and stuff. That said, with a quarter century under my belt, I think I've earned an old man moment.

I just want to be honest for a minute.

Growing up as a middle-class kid in a middle-sized town in the middle of America, the middle wasn't just something to aim for, it was something ingrained. The idolization of all things conservative is a dominant culture — and, for whatever reason, I have always absolutely hated that ideal.

Don't get me wrong, I'm proud to be a Midwesterner. Today, I'll even go so far as to say I'm proud to be a Nebraskan. But it hasn't always been that way.

I've always been fascinated with luxury, fame, excess, material items. And, to a degree, I think my desire to acquire things has probably helped me to push for success. My borderline obsession with the concept of celebrity and all things to come with it has also been a downfall — a brutal and equally selfish and self-deprecating set of mindsets and actions.

Things like hating the "simple" Midwest. You can't truly understand fashion, culture, art. Things like sacrificing obligations for possessions. Things like sacrificing human relationships for self glorification. You are not as good as me because you don't like the things I like.

But through the lens of often unspoken, arrogant brooding, I never truly grew as an individual — merely collected more things. Really, all I ever wanted was for people to like me and accept me and think I'm cool — but, through the years, that desire has played itself out in painful, destructive ways.

Today, I look back on twenty-five years of ups and downs — an ebb and flow of intrapersonal security. And today, I want to recommit to living. I want to recommit to the human experience. I want to recommit to building and maintaining honest relationships. I want to recommit to figuring out my Maker. And I want to recommit to myself.

I'm a middle class kid from the middle of the middle. And I'm ready to be okay with that. The conservative ideals that built my upbringing just might be the exact ideals worth building a life around. A life shaped around love, laughter and living to the fullest. Not to be remembered by, but to be celebrated in the present.

Twenty-five. Wow, that sounds old.