Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Down Payment

I’ve been having some financial trouble as of late.  It’s no secret I accrued some debt in my youth.

Over the past year I’ve changed more than I ever have before.  Finding a passion in life, realizing I’m good at something, and having the courage to follow it really brought out who I’ve always felt I was.  When I think of the aimless bum I used to be, overwhelmed with restlessness and ennui, it makes me so thankful to be out here.

But it’s frustrating that while I’ve finally gotten my shit together, pursuing a well-paying career I love, making new friends and building a life I can call my own, I still live in the shadow of the stupid decisions I made in my past.  There was a time when my life was just a void I tried to fill any way possible.  From one destructive thing to another I looked for distractions and ways to keep myself from having to focus on the fact that my life really had no purpose or goal.  Now that I’ve found a goal, ironically, life has become looking for ways to keep the repercussions of those days from becoming distractions themselves, from the future I’m trying to build.

That said, I don’t let myself feel too bad for too long.  An amazingly intricate series of events, coincidences and mistakes led me here, and I am incredibly lucky they did.  If it weren’t for my mistakes as a teen I never would have fallen off the beaten path, I never would have searched for more out of life, I wouldn't have gone on a roadtrip I couldn’t afford looking for it.  Without that roadtrip I never would have had the courage (or debt) to consider coming out here in search of something more lucrative and rewarding, and never would have stumbled into the life I had been looking for all along.  I’ve never seen the potential for the kind of happiness this path offers, ever before in my life.  I don’t know anyone who loves their job like I do (except the other people I work with).  I love going into the office, I’m good at the work I do, I love the people I work with, I can take pride in the work I do and the products that will have my name on them.  It’s work I can get excited about. 

And it’s a company that treats their employees fantastically.  Where else offers things like Cake Day, Beer Day, Board Game Day, Free Sundae Day, free breakfasts and snacks?  Where else can a Nerf war break out at any moment?  Where else can you swing by a buddies office and take a 15 minute Soul Caliber break?  It’s not just fun and games though, I work hard, meet deadlines, take on responsibilities, etc, and I love it.  I’ve never felt productive or useful the way I do here.  Even if I don’t get a permanent position this year, next year or even the year after that…  I can’t feel anything but humble and grateful that I have this kind of opportunity at all, and I won’t squander it.

I’ll just have to look at these tougher times as a test.  And I promise you I will pass.  I’ve never before had such a burning passion, such narrow tunnel vision, such determination.  I’ve never wanted something more.  And more importantly, I’ve never been good at something like this before.  I will put in as much time as it takes, I will rough out the storm no matter how hard it pours, and I will EARN the future that will make it all worth it.

There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there's only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.

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