My website is here to tell my story. 

I have had some amazing opportunities to work with and for some great individuals and businesses and this is how I will tell my story of the work I have done!

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Chris Degenaars

By Christopher Degenaars 08 May, 2017

It isn’t a secret. There is no doubt in anyones mind that death will come, but the question I always have is what happens after?

Not so much spiritually, because I’ve learned that it isn’t worth questioning, because we will never truly know outside of what we believe.

I question what is said after, what is talked about, who says what about me, who shows up to my funeral that I hadn’t talked to in years, or who shows up that used to talk down to me. That is what I question, that is what I work for.

My biggest drive in life is my legacy, it is what I leave behind, what I leave for my friends and family to talk about. Not the money, but the actions.

There is SO much negativity in this world, and so many people spend their entire lives being negative, rude, hurtful, and are more focused on themselves than they are on helping someone else. So many people would rather talk about all the bad in the world than they would the good, and that is devastating to me.

One day, maybe soon, maybe a long time away, you are going to die. You may not know when, you may not have the heads up, and if you don’t, how will the world remember you?

You don’t get to come back and fix the relationships, or rebuild the bridges, or apologize for the comment that made that person stay up late crying. It is done with, you made your bed, and now you have to sleep in it.

The comments you leave on someones status, the messages you send to someone, the things you say in person or behind their back all matter. You don’t want to admit it, you don’t want to think it matters, but it does.

No body wants to think about the consequences to their actions because they know it wouldn’t be good, no one wants to listen to WHY it matters, because we are all too busy. We are all too tired. We are all too tired.

We are all too good.

But one day, you will die, and one day, people will be telling stories about the impact you left on their life, the time you made them laugh. Or the time you made them cry. Or the time you made them hopeful, or faithful, or thankful. Or, suicidal.

If I could challenge everyone to do one thing, one thing every day moving forward, it is to be aware. Be self-aware of what you say and do, and be aware of those who you engage with, what they say, do, or imply.

Every day we make our beds, and one day we will need to be able to sleep in them — will you be able to?

By Christopher Degenaars 21 Apr, 2017

Like seriously…it does…I promise…

Many don’t know this, but I was raised in a household with an alcoholic who was emotionally and mentally abusive to a women who he   loved , who was stuck in a hole of not knowing if she could raiser her only son on her own.

For many years now I have suffered from depression, suicidal thoughts, and constant unknowing of why I am even here.

It was an uphill battle. It still is. For a long time I never believed anyone who told me it would get better. I figured it was a joke, it has to be one, how could life get any better when I was in this downward spiral. Even when my mom got out of the marriage, it then was “what bill should I pay first? Which can we go a few weeks without if it gets shut off?” It was not knowing if the bills would get paid, if the lights would be shut off, it was not seeing my mom much because she was working 60, 70, 80 hours a week so I could live a better life.

Yet, people still told me it will get   better , even my mom told me that.

And honestly, till about 6 months ago, I didn’t believe them. How could I?

Sure, the therapist who is getting paid $200/hour will continue to   get better . Or a relative who lives 500 miles away and can walk away from the problem I have to live with can say it. But really, how would it?

I don’t blame them for telling me it. They wanted to help. They tried to, but at the end of the day it is hard to believe them knowing that they aren’t living through it.

And what does “better” even mean? Like one less hour of being yelled at? One minute of an actual smile out of 23 hours and 59 minutes of thinking of ending my life?

Better means different. I don’t want different. I want happiness.

Life does get   better   though. Honestly, it truly does.

When you are young you are living by someone else’s rules, you are living someone else’s life basically, I had a lot of freedom, but I wasn’t free, I wasn’t an individual yet.

When I graduated high school, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. When I got a job I loved, it was like life was happier, the world was better in my eyes. I saw more good than bad, and when I saw bad I forced myself to see the good in it.

Does it really get   better ? Can you really be happy?

Yes. If you want it to be better, whatever your definition of   better   is, yes. You have to want it though. It doesn’t come easily. It doesn’t come overnight. But it does come with the right mindset.

Life does get   better .

By Christopher Degenaars 03 Apr, 2017
More and more I have found comfort in talking about what I have gone through mentally for a long time. It has become a big part in who I am now and also in how I have been able to talk with friends who suffer from similar situations. 

It hasn't been an easy path to this genuine happiness, but I don't think anything worth while is "easy" and it shouldn't be. I have had my setbacks and struggles, but the fact I don't fear waking up to the reality I am living is well worth the trip. 

There were two main things that allowed me to open up and let myself actually be happy. 

Self-Awareness and practicing Mindfulness

It started with being aware of who I am, what I can do, and what I can't. Something like a self-audit almost, realizing what I was good at and what I wasn't, and being able to accept that. I always loved writing and always loved helping others, combining these 2 things have allowed me to connect better with people and grow a better relationship with them. 

I also had to realize in this process of being more self-aware that I cannot rely on other people to make me happy nor can I worry about making them happy. The only way for me to be happy and to make other people happy, was to focus on making myself genuinely happy. Which is a process that was and is scary, because it means focusing on yourself and not spending so much time on everyone else. For me, that was hard, because I was used to always helping other people. 

When I was able to truly understand my self, I was able to be mindful of my situations. 

I do a lot of meditating to help practice mindfulness, sometimes up to 3 times per day when stress and anxiety are overtaking me. This has allowed me to better connect to myself and also to better understand my circumstances. I was no longer letting little things bother me, because I understood that there was a bigger meaning behind it all. 

All things are connected. When we realize that we are not just a person, but the physical being of something much larger that connects with all things in life, we think very differently. 

When you realize and truly believe that your thoughts today will directly impact the circumstances in your life forever, you are willing to make a point to be a better person. 

I was very lucky to have the mindset to adapt to these things easily, I know how hard it can be feeling like there is no hope. That is just an endless dark hole that you are just trying not to open your eyes in, and wishing you would just hit the bottom. I was able to take these mindset shifts into my life easily and make a full 360 to how I thought which allowed me to actually go out and live my life. 

Until you are willing to find the thing in your life that is holding you back from actually living - then acting to change it, you will never be happy. 

You have two options in life: to run your life or let your life run you. The choice is yours. 
By Christopher Degenaars 24 Mar, 2017
The other night I was on my way to meet with a family-friend about building a website for the charity she is the president of. Before that though I was up at 5am to get in some time on the trainer, then was at the office at 7:30am till about 5pm, and then went straight to the bike shop to finalize the April marketing strategy for them. Before I had even met with this family-friend I had already been working for about 12 hours, that got followed up by a phone call with someone I am doing some ghost-writing (they pay me to write like I am them for something they don't have the desire/time to do themselves). By the time I was finished with everything, I looked at my phone to see it was a very productive 17 hour work day. 

Most people...almost everyone really would complain about that. Would have opted out of the 10pm phone call so they could go party. Or skipped the morning bike ride because they were tired. At the very least, most people would complain about something during that day.

I couldn't though. I tried to find something that was wrong, something I wish wasn't happening, or just something to make me just wasn't possible. I was doing something I absolutely love to do for every single hour in that 17 hour work day, and not many people get to say that. 

Things have been crazy busy lately, and that makes me so freaking happy. Like I am getting pulled in every direction, trying to help a bike shop be a leader in the industry for marketing, trying to ride my bike, trying to tell our clients stories and help them do it, and I love every second of it. I really can't think of anything else Id rather be doing with my life than EXACTLY what I am doing. 

It did make me think about how much has changed in a short time. 

Since October (when I started with Long Drive Agency ) - I have become a full-time employee in an industry I was told I never could be in. I have lost a lot of "friends" but have formed some amazing relationships with new people. I don't go out, instead I learn more about what I am doing and what I can do better. I don't dread Mondays...and boy did I used to! The best part though...I am genuinely happy.

For so long I was faking a smile and pretending to be happy with everything, because it is what I thought I HAD to do. It wasn't though. What I really needed to do was find what makes me happy, what I loved to do and loved to talk about, what I could see myself doing every single day for the rest of my life, and I needed to chase it and follow that thing. 

It is absolutely mind boggling to think that I am still just 18-years-old. One of the things I am always fought on is my age, and I never really thought about it, but when I see my friends Snapchat videos of them at a party on a Thursday night, it kinda makes me realize I am doing things differently than most. I still have upwards of 80 more years of this, of living my actual dream. 

Which is why I wanted to start The Journey to 30 series, so that one day my kids, or grandkids, or even great-grandkids can see my life - see the process. 

The craziest thing is - I am just getting started.
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