Yea, they’re made to be broken
My inner demons come out when I don’t get enough sleep.
I read old posts and get the same feels I had when I wrote them. Tears stream down my face. I miss the people who are gone and the pieces of my life they took with them.
But the freight train that is time continues to accelerate down the track. New adventures await. More importantly, new insights into who occupies this tortured soul are revealed.
Ann Litts wrote this excellent piece yesterday morning:
My sister left a few days ago after a really great visit. We went out, we visited with my kids and grand kids. We saw a…
It sent me off on my own little mental exploration of artificial limits.
Our childhood experience or more prominently, our environment, shapes who we become. To an astonishing degree. But it doesn’t have to.
I have five sisters. Four of them are older. And every one of them was a superb student. They all graduated high school at or very near the top of their class. Needless to say, I didn’t. Not even close (yea, I know big surprise, eh?).
It would be a gross understatement to say that my parents knew all my teachers. In most cases, my mother grew up with them. And likely knew exactly what their beverage of choice was too. So there was a strong undercurrent of “why doesn’t Dickie perform up to the standards of his sisters?” running through my high school career.
I grew up thinking I was lazy and not particularly bright.
But the truth is, I was bored out of my mind.
I always wondered why people worked so hard for good grades. School was monumentally dull. Pumping knowledge into people. I always figured that anyone could learn facts. That didn’t really require any mental effort. It was all rote memorization. It was the abstract stuff that held my interest. Concepts and questions for which we haven’t found answers. Even better, philosophical questions for which there are no authoritative answers.
Needless to say, philosophy, cosmology and creative writing weren’t exactly part of the core curriculum in my high school. I just thought I was weird and lazy. And so did everyone else. There aren’t too many philosophers on a high school ballfield.
When people you respect tell you that you’re weird, lazy and won’t amount to much, you tend to believe it. Especially when you’re young and have a very limited set of role models to look up to.
It wasn’t until much later in life that I met people who thought like I did. People like my wife. And my closest friends in college.
I’ve spent almost thirty years working in a corporate environment that never really fit who I had always been. I had some good bosses who gave me some pretty free reign. And I did some pretty cool shit. But I’m a creative and you just can’t measure that kind of productivity with a spreadsheet. I topped out in my career several years ago. I hope to retire in a year.
Now, I write. And it’s a passion. One that I wish I had been able to see as a possible career way back before I started a soul sucking corporate job. But where I came from? Yea, that really isn’t something you can do for a living.
This is changing. And the limits are being exposed for the bullshit they’ve been all along. In the economic model we’re currently living in, we don’t have a reliable road map for financial success. Almost two hundred years of standardized education is churning out a product well developed for a lifetime of working in a world that started disappearing forty years ago.
Guys, that world is not coming back.
If you have a passion, follow it. If that means you wait tables or drive a bus to pay the rent, so be it. The way to turn your passion into a livelihood is either here or just around the corner. You may have to spend some time looking for it. Or just maybe, you are the catalyst who will make it happen.
Just don’t give up on it. Even a poor person living their passion is a bigger success than a miserable rich person.
We need every wild idea out there to be acted on as if it’ll change the world, because it just might.
Thanks for reading.