Lessons From A Shrimp Boat Captain

I am twenty-three years old and every year it seems like I constantly reinvent myself. I was not this person five years ago. I was not the same person a few months ago. I feel like I am constantly breaking myself down.


I do not watch a lot of television, but one my favorite movies was playing earlier this week. I just had to sit down and watch the masterpiece that is Forrest Gump.

-Insert Spoilers Here-

He went from not being crippled to serving in the army, being a Ping-Pong champion, and eventually, a shrimping boat captain. Needless to say, this fictional character had an interesting life.

Even though I am ‘young’ by society’s standards, I often wonder if I am able to start over. Pick up and start somewhere else, somewhere fresh. Or even stay in my current location and just do something drastically different.

I feel like I am stuck in school for another year. I feel like I am wasting time. I feel very sedentary. Everyday is the same and everyday I am just marginally happy. I wish I could just start over.

“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the live I’m not living” – Jonathan Foer

I don’t ever plan on being a shrimping boat captain, but sometimes I wonder if it is too late for me. Is it ever too late to start over?

Colonel Saunders was a firefighter and insurance salesmen before he started KFC when he was sixty-two. Samuel Mother-Effing Jackson was a militant in the Black Power movement before he got his big break in Pulp Fiction when he was forty-five. And, the exception, there is Walt Disney who founded Disney at twenty-two.


I am twenty-three and I haven’t done anything nearly as significant. But the Colonel Saunders, Samuel Jacksons, and Forrest Gumps of the world keep me going. I feel like there is still hope for me.

With the exception of Walt Disney, these people were well ‘over their hill’ when they started these mega-business and achieved success. It is never too late to drop something and start anew. In fact, it is necessary to break old routines and patterns, so you can achieve something great.

We often get wrapped up in age and personal troubles/past-thinking. The thoughts hinder us from reaching our full potential. It is a barrier designed to prevent you from achieving great things. The past prevents you from moving forward. I hold on to certain aspects of the past, which prevents me from progressing.


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on” – Robert Frost

But for most people, starting over is a daunting thought. There is always the looming possibility of failure. This thought breeds and fear is produced. But, the fear is your body telling you, that a change is needed. Use the fear to push you. I don’t like the phrase ‘the sky’s the limit.’ That has been disproven.

I find it incredibly baffling when people decide to roll over and succumb to the pressures of the world. Try to look at those pressures as another wall to smash through. Coupled with your fears and pressures, the sky is truly not the limit.

I know I want to live my life like Forrest Gump and Colonel Saunders. I need to live an interesting life. Something inside me craves it. One day, I plan to write an autobiography and there has to be something half as interesting as a Shrimp Boat Captain.