This article is a modified version of a post I made in my journal a while back. If you enjoy it, please share it with a friend who might need to hear the same words.
It’s how I make my living, and it’s the best compliment you could ever pay me.
The last six years have been the most difficult years of my life.
At 35 I am acutely aware of life’s finite nature, and I often find myself questioning the purpose of my entire existence.
I’ve always been a deep thinker, but sometimes you need time to pass in order to clearly see the points on your path towards purpose. To be able to look back and realize how many of those little moments ended up becoming the beginning of something much bigger.
Exploring those thoughts is what prompted me to start this blog, and has allowed me to learn more about myself than I ever wanted to know. It has been the best therapy anyone could ever ask for and recently, it allowed me to understand how much certain events have changed the entire trajectory of my life. A picture that only became clear to me ten years after its full effect had been felt.
Long after the decision to drop out of college or the nights I wasted drinking and gambling the pain away in a pool hall as opposed to dealing with the pain directly.
A path that was riddled with impulsive behavior, squandered success, missed opportunities, marriage, divorce, financial hardships, and five cross-state moves.
I’ve worked as a lifeguard, spent almost 10 years as a “sales-slave”, almost subjected myself to a career as an empty suit, and even spent some time as a kitchen bitch. Add in some questionable character decision, and well, let’s just say that the university of life has taught me some pretty interesting lessons.
A lost soul searching for purpose.
Most people look at this set of “experiences” and use it to define who they think I am, or what they think I am capable of.
They don’t see the tenacity it takes for a 20 year old to move 1,000 miles from home, with nothing more than $100 bucks in his pocket and a desire to change the world. They do not see the unending desire to do, to be, someone… something… special.
They don’t take the time to get to know the guy who failed in life at 27 and had to move back home to mommy’s basement for 2 years while getting back on his feet.
They don’t appreciate the humility and desperation I felt after learning about my ex-wife’s affair, the struggles with addiction, and the lack of communication which ultimately led to our divorce.
Which is why I share these personal posts publicly
Because I feel like not enough of us walk around willing to be weak. Willing to show off the pain in order to allow others an opportunity to find strength in that weakness.
As if we were not allowed to share these parts of ourselves with the world. As if we might become too powerful if we all realized that we are all fractured in one way or another.
If we could relinquish the fear of what others think of us, or how we might be judged, and then came together as a powerful Frankenstein of individuality. A collective of miscellaneous parts, all with the same purpose.
But the popular world we live in forces us to hide these parts of ourselves, from everyone. As if the world saw them only as ugly scars instead of looking at them as a beautiful part of what defines each of us as individuals.
For me, these experiences are what give me the strength to stand here in front of you, naked, but not afraid!
Which leads me to the purpose of this post
If I could have picked my superpower, it would have been the ability to fly, or control time. Instead I was given the ability to leverage my art and my words in a way that allows me to instantly share my unique thoughts and ideas with millions of people all around the world.
Which in its own way, is kind of like traveling through time…
It’s a power which leaves me feeling inexplicably driven to produce. To create and devour information.
Like a human version of Google, I aim to ingest as many thoughts and ideas as I can, in order to more clearly form my own opinions. Because the more I test my so called “crazy thoughts”, the more I realize that they might not be that crazy after all.
As if the more I share, the more I realize that we are all the same. And in that quest, I have found my purpose.
In the idea that I might be able to openly explore the struggles in my life in an attempt to help you find direction in yours. In the idea that I might inspire even one other person towards their path, and that they might in-turn, do the same for someone else.
So I’m not sure where this path will lead me over the next few years, but I’ll keep pushing forward in order to see it through to the end. If only for the fear of turning around, only to find that I was closer to completion than I am in retreat.