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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dream Chasing and Fleabag Dogs...

My friend made a smiley face with a straw wrapper and my keychain.  She does things like that.

"So, what do you do?"
Outside of the most common question in America of "How are you?" (which most people really don't care about) this is probably the most prevalent icebreaker for people who have just met.  Over the years, I have sort of tried to stay away from asking that question right off the bat, because I don't want someone's career choice or predicament to cast a shadow on them before I figure out their personality.  I try really hard to not let someone's business be a factor of how I perceive them, but I am human and the type who doesn't like corporate environments. It's one of those things where if you know a dog has fleas, dandruff, and pisses on everything, you probably won't want it in your house.  On the other side, if you don't know about those things right off the bat, you might end up loving the dog, despite those small things, even if your house temporarily smells like urine and flea powder while Fido gets his personal drama situation under control...
That was a bad example, but stick with me here.

Life is pretty weird and random.  Over the course of my own life, I have seen so many people from every age demographic be very successful in whatever it was they were doing as a career and then have it all ripped out from under them in an instant.  This was a process I saw over and over again, sometimes for reasons which could have been prevented by those same people, sometimes as a result of mismanagement by others, and sometimes for reasons beyond the control of anyone at all.  I watched all of this happen time and time again and in each of those instances told myself 
"Why weren't they more prepared?"
"They should have done that way differently.  I wouldn't have let that happen."
Then, one day, out of absolutely nowhere, it happened to me, my world fell completely apart, and it felt like I was standing in the middle of a desolate highway with absolutely nothing.

The funny thing about life is how it has a tendency to jump up and slap you in the face sometimes, just as a quirky little reminder that you are never in complete control of anything.  It always seems to happen when you least expect as well.  Being prepared doesn't hold much ground in some situations, but when all is said and done, it really comes down to what happens after that point - in other words, it all leverages from your actions after the initial shock subsides.  Some people manage to triumph over their severed ties and some settle into the next thing they happen to find.  I'd say to focus on the former.

When people use the term "recovery", they're usually talking about addiction or some football player ripping out a groin muscle.  Have you ever thought that sometimes you just need to make a recovery from life itself (with groin muscles intact, preferably)?  Both of the examples I gave creep up on you without notice and then hit you like a ton of bricks. The key is to not settle for the second best or easiest following scenario but to keep pushing right along instead.  I see too many people settling for less than they deserve and less than their intelligence could be used for.  

It's no secret that I am pretty big on self-education and that I think you can learn more practical knowledge through the experiences of life than you ever could in a classroom.  But you have to pay attention and be willing to work through whatever situation you are in while keeping your goals intact.  Unfortunately, it took me two whole years to figure out that the only way I was going to find fulfillment in life would be through self investment.  Trudging through the murky crap that you really don't want to for a while until you can get the ball rolling with your goals and set those plans in motion is not the most fun thing to do, but it beats getting stuck, certainly.  With that said, I'm still figuring everything out and still don't consider myself successful in what I'm doing just yet, whether it be with the 20,000 or so of you who read this blog, my design and fabrication business, my Kinja articles, or whatever else.  I still consider myself "in recovery" because once you think you have beaten the demons, and think you have recovered is when you tend to go stagnant.
When you go stagnant, your world begins to fall apart a little.
When you stay in recovery, you're always trying to make improvements.

I'm not a motivator by any stretch of the word, but I do believe if you have no struggle in life, you should find one and always seek out a new challenge.
Stay out of the routines and do something crazy while chasing down the things you love.
Nobody is ever remembered for a routine life.
We remember the risk-takers, not those who talked about taking risks.
When someone asks:
"What do you do?"
I hope you can say:
"I'm in pursuit of what I love."

Leave a legacy.
Be you.

Grace and Peace



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