News and Hearsay
Happy New Year!!!. Aren't you glad to see this year? I sure am. Is been a while folks. Been on a long hiatus. A number of reasons including procrastination has made it impossible for me to write anything.
Well for starters I finally had that surgery for my torn ACL (Never playing football again... I am a soccer person... What the heck was I thinking?). And the surgery though it was necessary was far more incapacitating than the injury itself. For a week I was in pretty impressive pain and my knee was so swollen you could hear the fluid move around in it. Ok that was kinda gross... but I was trying to make a point. Then there was the new site. Yea we re-designed our site again. I had this crazy idea that google likes websites with content (SEO optimization 101). So I decided that we should probably go with a site that allows for the publishing of content such as new artwork. That project took up a bit of my time since I had to conjure up old coding skills I abandoned a while back. After maybe 3 weeks of my whole life invested, voila the new site!
Anyway, there was also the part I hated. For instance the bureaucracy involved in trying to get your business running legitimately. Had to acquire a business license. This turned out to be far more depressing and unnecessary than I had imagined it would be. That experience actually drained me mentally. I came out of that experience feeling cynical about certain things. In between this, there were bouts of lethargy that I couldn't account for.
Long story short, is a new year! Renewed vigor and all that good stuff. Time to get back on the horse and continue riding this uncharted desert. This year is certainly going to be better than last year... I mean it has to be. Oh btw expect an announcement for a new shirt soon :D
Imagine you are at the gym, working up a sweat at the ellipticals, and you happen to catch a glance of a really attractive lady. Basically, at that moment, you are 100% certain this is the most attractive human being you've ever seen. Naturally, your instincts take over. You are busy scheming how to approach her and strike up a conversation that would lead to the proverbial exchange of phone numbers. Unfortunately, in the midst of all this scheming, doubt starts to creep in. Doubt in the form of reason. You tell yourself it is probably inappropriate to approach someone working out at the gym. You also remind yourself of the painful cost of rejection. You strengthen this negative feeling with the promise of public humiliation should you venture to talk to this person. Slowly, you find your workout is completely disrupted because your mind is completely fragmented with thoughts on the current situation. Your rhythm on the elliptical is completely screwed up while you deliberate on making a move or saving face. Eventually, as in most cases, the pretty woman finishes her workout and leaves the gym, leaving you rationalizing your cowardly resolve.
The situation I just described is one that occurs every day for most of us in different ways. But the common theme is always fear overcoming ambition. The fear of failure. Fear being one of our most primal instincts protects us from danger. But sometimes, it tends to get in the way of what could be great progress. For example, in the gym scene, had you gone up to the girl, chances are you could have gotten her contact information, and who knows where that may have led. But since you didn't even bother to find out if that's possible, you will never know. And that's worse than trying and getting rejected in public. Sure, you got to save face, but in the grand scheme of things, that is really irrelevant.
The fear of failure has tamed a lot of wild, ambitious minds I know. The fear that taking up a venture might paralyze them financially. While a valid reason to fear risk, it is also important to point out that these friends of mine are in their late twenties and have very little responsibility tethering them. Let's say they were in their forties and with family; then it is easy to understand avoiding the risk. As I sit in my bedroom and write this, I confess that I am not completely immune to fear. Every once in a while, doubt creeps in, and I wonder if I am doing the right thing. However, I counter the doubt by imagining what the positive outcome would be. I don't know about most people, but it always helps to daydream about success. It keeps my mind limber and optimistic in the face of jarring obstacles. For two people with low-paying jobs, it is even more challenging to start a clothing line; however, we let our passion be our guide and strength.
My brother and I are very aware of the risk and chances of failure in starting a clothing line. However, what we know intrinsically is the resulting sorrow from giving up and wondering what would have been.
Is been almost 4 years since I last kicked a soccer ball. And before that, it's been off and on with soccer. I started loosing interest in soccer about 10 years ago. Not really sure why and I kinda regret it. Aside from enjoying the competitive nature of soccer, the fitness benefits of soccer were undeniable. I was in pretty good shape during my soccer days. Ever since the loss of interest , I've felt sluggish . Sure would be nice to resuscitate my interest in the game.
If it isn't middle school it's high school , if it isn't high school it's college, if it isn't college it's a job and if it isn't a job, it's another job. For most of us , it is hard to escape this cookie cutter pipeline. Doing things the safe but boring way has become a reality for a lot of us. In middle school , I remember thinking adults were really lucky. I assumed that older people were luckier. That they were privileged, therefore they had more freedom. Get to high school and the envy of older folks continues. Always thinking it will only get better as I pass each stage in life.
Highschool was a trip. However I always hated the home works. I didn't enjoy doing them, yet I had to do them. They were necessary for my development as a responsible person. I understand that... and I will do it again if I went back in time. But I digress. College, was even worse. You had the projects, the labs , the home works and not to mention the soul crushing tests and exams you had to study for. The tests and the exams reminded you of your obligation as a college student . Those things sucked . Even while writing this , I can't help but remember bad memories of always falling below the average class grade on the tests. What a depressing experience that was. I am really happy I can look back on those days and shudder. While in college spending unhealthy hours in the computer labs , I consoled myself by thinking of the high paying engineering job I will most likely secure by the end of the torture. Well, I graduated and I am fortunate to say amidst all the economic woes , I secured a job.
Less than a year into the job , while struggling to meet a deadline, it dawned on me that, the underlining struggles of my life hasn't really changed that much. I was richer, I had more freedom, but the apprehensive feeling from responsibility was even stronger. The excitement and passion I assured myself while spending the long nights in the labs hasn't begun. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Nothing has really changed. Sitting in my cubicle and punching away at the keyboard to churn out code for a product I am clearly not endeared to, I realized that my dream of truly enjoying life is still fantasy. Absolutely nothing has changed, your deadline at work is similar to your deadline for projects. Miss the deadlines often enough and your punishment will be a lot more potent than getting a C- on a project. In fact the work environment is a lot more stressful due to politics and the non linear approach to dealing with certain problems such as other employees and promotions.
Heck I felt so jaded that the idea of a promotion didn't comfort me one bit. I had no interest in moving up a ladder I didn't want to climb in the first place. Would like to mention that my job is great as far as jobs go. My boss is the coolest guy in my department. And folks at work don't patronize either, which is great. However in the grand scheme of things , I am really not happy to know that this is what I have to show for my earlier struggles; More struggle.
I would love to one day get up and travel to Sweden and Japan within the span of one month and not have to worry about how my bills will be paid. Obviously the only way I can make this happen is to find a way to make money off what I really enjoy doing. Once I start enjoying my "job" I will never work a day in my life ever again.
The cookie cutter pipeline most of us are bound to be part of, will not go away unless we make a bold stand to find something we are passionate about. Is hard and scary to consider branching off a proven path, but you have only one life to live and we all owe it to ourselves to enjoy it before the inevitable.