Life is a journey.
Although, a lot of times it feels more like a roller coaster with the speed at which it can go from awesome to tragic to above average and anything in-between.
For most of us, our life is pinnacled by major achievements or landmarks we hit. Making it out of high school alive, getting into college, graduating college, getting your first real job, getting married, moving on to a less shitty job, having kids, and so forth through the years. During the good times, these events tend to stay distant memories unless brought up by random circumstances or while reminiscing on past times with friends that shared in the moments. We don’t really need them when we’re happy because we’re busy being stoked about what’s going on in the moment. Unfortunately, far too often when we’re faced with tougher seasons, instead of finding solace in these achievements/life-wins, we typically see it as us falling off or failing in some way. We blame ourselves for mistakes we’ve made and dwell on the idea that had we not done X/Y/Z, we could be living whatever lavish dream we’ve made up in our mind.
But probably not.
Living in an era so driven by social media certainly doesn’t help the problem. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly thankful for the resources it provides, but when everyone only posts the super dope shit that they experience, we forget that everybody still has to deal with shit on the reg too. We tell ourselves we’ve somehow failed because we aren’t posting pictures on the same beaches, or getting Instagram endorsements for tea that will magically make you skinny, or getting tagged in photos from whoever’s whatever whoopty-fucking-do of a party. Some of those things are fucking dumb (I’m looking at you fit tea), and some of it takes a lot of time. I’ve got friends that get to travel to different countries every month of the year, but guess what? It didn’t happen overnight. They worked their asses off for years to get the job they wanted that now allows them to live that kind of life.
Millennials (I’ll remind you that I am one), tend to struggle with the amount of time it takes to achieve the things we want. Personally, I’m super thankful to have grown up in a home where my parents told me I could do anything I wanted in life as long as I worked my ass off. Some of the folks in my generation got the pep talk without the ass working section. Then they see the houses, cars, and random other nice shit their parents have, and when it occurs to them that they don’t have the same things at 25, they feel as if they’re failing. Reality check: neither did our parents at 25. They have 20-30 years on us invested into blood, sweat, and tears to have the amenities we’ve had the privilege to enjoy.
I have to constantly have to remind myself of this. Not so much with my parents, but with the fact that when I left Nashville, all of my friends:
Got record deals.
Or publishing deals.
Or on arena tours.
Or a slew of other equally, aggravatingly dope shit
Damn near every single one of them. And if I’m honest, at first, it bothered me, and frustrated me, and I had the why them over me battle in my head. Then it occurred to me to stop being a fucking asshole. It made me ashamed of myself when I thought about it. The reality is that my friends had worked their asses off for their goals, most of them for over a decade. If I’m anything other than stoked beyond belief for their success’, then fuck me. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it really comes down to: putting in the time.
However, as with most things I write about, I’m not just talking about professionally, but relationally as well. I was having a conversation with a dear friend of mine the other day who recently went through a breakup. I’m operating under the assumption that every single person reading this blog has either gone through a breakup or watched your friends go through them and therefore, I’m going to spare you the story. All you need to know is that it was your typical breakup. What’s far more relevant is how my friend was feeling through the whole situation. Obviously, he was hurt. Breaking things off is never an exciting thing to do. But what’s worse was that the more we talked, the more I realized he didn’t believe he deserved/could do better based on some choices he’s made in the past. We had a long chat, aired out the feels and all that jazz, but it was that conversation that inspired the moral of this story:
Life is a journey.
You are not defined by the mistakes you make. You become defined by how you grow from those mistakes. What you learn from those mistakes. You’re defined by the resilience in your pursuit of your goals even when times are hard and you feel like giving up. Just remind yourself you’re in good company:
~ Walt Disney: Was fired by a newspaper editor because “He lacked imagination and had no good ideas."
~ Theodor Seuss Giesel: Dr. Seuss’ first book was turned down by over 20 publishers
~ Michael Jordan: Was cut from his high school basketball team
~ Hugh Jackman: Got fired from 7-fucking-11
I’ll sign off with a quote from Chris Pratt:
"It's 3:20am. I got picked up for work at 6:45am yesterday. I'm not good with math, especially after being up for approximately 61 hours but I think I've been up for over 77 hours. I did a table read for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this morning and then shot all day on Passengers and just now wrapped some 144 hours later. Weirdly both films, which I'll be shooting back to back, are being shot in Atlanta at Pinewood Studios. We have the best crew. Total rock stars busting their asses. And the stuff we're shooting. My God. I can't wait for you to see it. I go back in in about 8 hours to do more. I am doing what I love. It doesn't feel like work. Even though it is. I'm having fun. I'm overcome with joy and gratitude. I felt like posting this to say to anyone out there chasing your dream... Fifteen years ago I felt the same passion I feel today, but I had very little opportunity. I had to hustle hard and go hungry. I had to eat sardines and figure out how to get gas money. And I never had a plan B. I never stopped believing. Ever. Don't give up. Apply constant pressure for as long as it takes. It will break before you do. Go get it."
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