40 Over 500: Milestones Of Growth, Struggle, Kindness, & Passion

Well, happy Monday greetings all! I hope everyone had a great week and is ready to start another great week together! I also hope that everyone was able to enjoy some type of sunshine (whether it was literal sunshine or figurative sunshine) in some way, shape, or form!

It’s hard to believe that we are already into the second week of June. Can someone please tell me where the time is going? I think in the upcoming weeks I might need to write a letter to Father Time asking him to slow down the sand through the hour glass just a tad…these are the days of our lives…such a good soap opera drama that I used to love watching back in the day. Just a little fun side note for you before we delve into this week’s post!

Well, enough about the days of our lives and soap operas…let’s get down to the real nitty gritty…this week’s post! May I have a drum roll please?!

:DRUM ROLL: (Please imagine one playing in your head or make the sound effect yourself as you continue reading).

This week’s post is all about milestones in my life and what I’ve learned thus far.

This post marks my 40th official one since starting this endeavor back in August! That is literally CRAY CRAY CRAY. And that’s not the only milestone we are celebrating! Well, technically the second milestone is something that we are celebrating a bit pre-maturely; however, it is not too far off from happening in the near future…and that is reaching the 500th mile with the 1K For 10K year-long challenge.

For those of you who may or may not know, I launched a year-long challenge on January 2nd to run 1000 miles and raise $10,000 for pediatric cancer research throughout the entire year of 2019. And in just about 10 days, I will officially hit the halfway point with the mileage that has been clocked thus far in the journey. Talk about more CRAY CRAY CRAY. I feel like this journey just started yesterday.

So, what I have learned throughout these milestones that I write about today?

Well, read on to find out!

~Three Things That I’ve Learned From Writing 40 Blog Posts~

1. I’ve come to realize that I’m much better at blog post writing when it is last minute.

-Everyone knows that I’m someone who has my life planned out quite heavily. I mean, I wrote a blog post about the art of joyful planning and how I keep my planner organized through color coding. And if you were to pick up my planner, you will see activities written from now until December. But, believe it or not, blog post writing is not something that I’m good at planning out. I’ve found through these past 40 posts that it is something I usually have the most success with on Sunday nights right before the official deadline posting of Monday at 6:30am. I often try to find inspiration on the daily whether it be through events happening in the world or my personal life. Of course, topics are always something that I’m open to suggestions for, so if you have something you would like to see me write about, just give me a shout! Feel free to message me with a short email message, Facebook message, or DM me on Instagram! So many options, so no excuses are allowed! If you have ideas in your head about what Mr. Sunshine should write about, send them on over!

2. I’ve come to realize that people in this world really need positive energy and vibes.

-When I decided that I wanted to start blogging, my main goal was to provide a format that focused on positive energy, love, and kindness–the core values that I was brought up on and that I believe in with my whole heart and try to live out on the daily. And just when I think that I’m not making a difference with my weekly writings and feel like no one is paying attention to the posts, I get a message or comment about how something I said has helped someone or that they have really appreciated the words they read. Just last week, I got a text message from my former roommate of junior and senior year of college, Jolie saying the below:

“While I love your blog post every week, I especially loved this week’s post. I can distinctly remember you telling me our freshman year how your parents along with others close to you initially had so much trouble accepting your sexuality and I remember how it felt seeing you hurt from that. I am so glad our society is making slow progress in acceptance but it saddens me to think of how far we have yet to come. Love you always, JP! Keep being you and keep spreading sunshine because God knows this world needs it.”

It is feedback and messages like this that overflow my soul and heart with warmth and why I find it so important to continue spreading sunshine in all the ways whether big or small.

3. I’ve come to realize that social media still makes me have reactive emotions.

-One of my greatest struggles that I still find myself continuing to wrestle with on the daily is allowing social media to get the best of me. On the flip side, one of the entities that I’m most proud of in my life is that I work very hard to be authentic through all outlets of social media. In essence, what you see is exactly what you get. No filters. No gimmicks…just me, Mr. Sunshine. Or your money back guaranteed. I don’t try to bullshit anything and I write with an open and vulnerable heart. And while I may look at other’s social media and see what looks to be like perfection and become reactive and jealous, I must realize that a lot of times, what we are seeing is “filtered” images of how these people wish us to see their lives.

~Three Things That I’ve Learned From Running 500 Miles~

1. I’ve come to realize that my passion for finding a cure for pediatric cancer has become even stronger since graduating from Penn State.

-I graduated 9 years ago from Penn State and THON was a huge part of my college life. It changed me forever. However, that passion has grown even more in my adult life since graduation day a mere 9 years ago. And that passion is something that I continue to work on sharing with the world through my endeavors of running to find a cure–most recently with the current 1K For 10K challenge.  My flame of passion inside my soul stays strongly lit for those who have passed and those who are still fighting–specifically Kristin, Ellen, Sally, Carlene, Wendy, Lexi, and Pat.

2. I’ve come to realize that the pain I might feel in my legs/feet from running almost everyday is nothing compared to the pain of what these families, kids, and all those fighting this disease are going through.

-Running 3 miles a day can begin to take it’s toll, especially after 6 months of doing it on the daily. Believe me…there are days where I’ve wanted to make the excuse to not run any miles at all. But, then I remember that I’m responsible to keep fighting for hope to stay alive and that I will not rest until a cure is found. And I must always remember that any pain that my body might be feeling is nothing compared to what these families, kids, and other individuals fighting this disease are battling on the daily. Running 3 miles a day is the least that I can do. But, in my heart, I believe with 110% confidence that a cure–a light at the end of the tunnel–is ahead and we will charge forward together to find that light.

3. I’ve come to realize that no matter what you try to undertake in life, that there will always be the nay-sayers who try to bring you down with their negative attitude an energy.

-While I know that we are living in the 21st century, I’m still the 31 year-old eternal optimist who likes to believe that everyone in the world has some type of good within themselves. Of course, people will call me naive because that just isn’t the reality, which is incredibly sad. And as I sit here writing this, I say to those who have found it necessary to make vocal that I won’t reach my goals in my 1K For 10K challenge, shame on you. Shame on you for thinking that it is necessary to bring about a negative attitude on a cause that is so close to my heart. Little do you know that I will have the last laugh. Because of your piss poor attitude, the flame of hope that I keep lit inside me only burns brighter. And with that brightness, I plan to CRUSH my goals and then some, so just you wait. Mr. Sunshine will prevail and WILL HAVE the last laugh. Amen.

Well, there you have it, folks. Just a few things that I’ve learned from the milestones that I’ve accomplished with both my blogging and my running journeys.

I don’t hide behind filters. I don’t hide behind a mask. I am open, honest, vulnerable and wear my heart on my sleeve.

And I will continue to live out my life as a single gay man in the 21st century fulfilling my calling of spreading sunshine through the facets of love and kindness.

Here’s to the nay-sayers and the many more milestones that are to come.

Sprinkle sunshine always,