Wait! Don’t hit play. Read, then hit play.
One of the most fascinating things in life to do, I think, is to document. Document what? Everything.
My grandmother always reminds me to, “Keep a journal. You’ll want to look back at it when you’re in your 90′s like me. I wish I did that. I wish I kept one.” Social media and blogging have since become my journal. Granted, less-so over the past few years while I’ve built Carbon, but little by little I’m finding time to do the non work-related things I love: write, take photos, document. And if one day social media goes away and the internet goes black, well, then I’m screwed. Lesson for all: Backup your shit (and have multiple career paths).
“Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever you want to do, do not give up. Do not count yourself out. You have just as much right to live out your goals and dreams as anyone else. And if you don’t know what they are yet? Don’t worry. They will find you.”
Well, if that’s not powerful I don’t know what is.
How cliché of me to say but we only get one chance to live life. I’ll rephrase. You only get one chance to live your life.
Does that mean the mistakes we’ve made thus far have been a waste of time? Absolutely not. And when you get down to it mistakes aren’t mistakes at all but rather turning points. They each teach us something about who we are, what we want and more importantly — what we deserve — and that’s nothing to be sorry for. It’s something we need.
By staying too comfortable there’s only one thing you do: Cheat yourself out of life.
Have you ever been so overwhelmed with a feeling of nervousness that it stretched itself from your mind all the way to your stomach? Sure, we all have. The knots become unbearable. Your palms begin to sweat. You feel as though the room is spinning. You’d be so inclined to just run out had the people who arrived late not blocked the door. Damn them. But you fight your way through it and do your thing and accomplish your goal with flying colors. And that is so very important to growing as an individual.
There will without a doubt be a time when the path you’re on seems to be leading you away from your goals and that can be an insanely frustrating thing. If you find yourself there — and really I should say when you find yourself there because we’ll all pay it a visit or two — don’t give up. Be as patient and as positive as you can even when you find it remarkably hard to do. This journey we’re on doesn’t come with a guidebook so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to read what isn’t written. At the end of the day we’re all expected to get lost or pissed or sad or question everything there is to possibly question and that’s normal.
But there is one piece of the puzzle we could all do a better job with: The questioning part. Do we spend too much time questioning and not enough time enjoying?
Do you ever feel as though you’ve missed your calling? Maybe it hits you each time you read a certain type of book and wish your name was on it. Or maybe it’s when you catch a glimpse of a painting and wonder why the brushes you bought are still sitting in the bag from the store. You were once passionate about your craft, but somewhere along the way you drifted. On the flip side, maybe you did write the book or did paint the picture, but feel the world somehow failed to direct you down Success St. Or did it? How do you define success? One million sales? One hundred sales? No sales as long as you have friends and family around to share it with?
I love that I had a mother tweeting me all day long on the Providence College account as she and her daughter, who’s an incoming student, made the road trip from NJ to RI for move-in day tomorrow. Here’s one of the photos she sent me — their first sign that Providence was ahead. This is the kind of thing that makes social media so incredible, powerful and most of all — human.
I went to my Grandma’s the other night to help her type up an article she wrote for her monthly apartment newsletter. After going through three small yellow sheets of paper she had her thoughts jotted down on, we came up with what you see below. I brought it back to her the next day and she was beyond excited to see it in print — and now you can tell her you’ve seen her work on the web.
The last line is one of my favorites — it goes to show you what a grateful woman she is.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m on my Mac or iPhone for a good chunk of the day. I read, write, photograph, code, develop, design, research, upload, watch and listen all by the stroke of a key. I rarely purchase newspapers anymore and only recently picked up my first printed book in over six months.
In the process of thinking about why I don’t buy newspapers more often and why I fell off the book wagon, I thought about how very nostalgic it is to flip through a newspaper, and how very relaxing it is to spend a few hours in a bookstore. Coffee in-hand, you can walk up and down the towering aisles of books looking for that perfect story to get lost in. Just you, the characters and your imagination.
When my grandparents’ toaster would break they’d bring it to a shop to be repaired. What do we do today? We buy a piece of plastic junk for $40 and when it breaks we go out and buy an even crappier piece of plastic junk that will last half as long and cost twice as much. Not cool.
How great would it be to have higher-quality products more readily accessible in terms of cost (I’d rather not go to Williams-Sonoma every time I need something new for the kitchen) and how great would it be if little shops were reborn in every city and town to fix those products? I know — crazy idea for 2012. Or is it?
Pain is a very troublesome emotion to feel. It can kick you when you’re down and leave you begging to be let back up. But as awful as it can be, pain is an emotion that a specific group of people in this world can appreciate when it becomes tangled up in their work. It pushes their limits and triggers their passion.
Those people are artists.
Day after day I come in contact with some amazing freelancers — typically via Twitter — who are masters of their craft like Brandon Rike, Tim Boelaars, Ross Moody and Orman Clark. And in the same breath I come in contact with just as many if not more who have absolutely no clue what they’re doing. And some aren’t even freelancers — some are full-blown agencies. By some act of God the lesser of the two get paid to do things I know I could do ten times better for half the cost. So why haven’t I yet? For fear of being a full-time freelancer?