life

7.

It was the last quarter of the game and I was finally benched. With a burning foot, I realized tripping into my first high school basketball game didn’t just sprain my pride, but also my ankle. I’m not sure whether it was the somersault I did or, getting my foot caught in my pants while running full speed that did me in. All I knew was my foot had grown to “elephantiasis” status and turned purple. To make matters worse, we lost 39-0. You read that right. We didn’t score one point. How do you recover a loss like that and then explain you are on crutches because you tripped before the game? I think it was clear basketball wasn’t my sport.

Living in New York was the dream. I was enthusiastic about the new world I was about to enter. I graduated excitingly and  ran around applying for what seemed like countless job opportunities. After a few months I was over 80 applications deep and dozens of interviews in with a losing score of 80-0. That’s right, I didnt score one job. It felt like I had fallen and everyone who believed in me was watching. I didn’t know how to handle a sprained dream. They don’t sell crutches for those.

It took time for me to mourn the loss of my expectations. Once I did, the truth settled in – The dream may not be an accomplishment, but a confidence in the journey. I wasn’t unworthy of the dream, but maybe the dream looked different than I expected. I have had really incredible adventures that I couldn’t have even dreamed up even if I tried.

Over time the look of my dreams have changed, but so have I.  Now I leave space for the dreams to be free to form how they wish. I carve out space for growth and process so they stay alive. Every once in a while I look up and see I am living a dream; but even more, I see am winning because I stopped keeping score.

 

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life

6.

You could not convince me that I was not a child prodigy growing up. By the time I was ten years old I had at least 3 full cassette tapes worth of songs I wrote on my own (quoted from my 6th grade school report). By twelve I had a designer line drawn out with accessories included. (Doc martins and clear plastic coats may have been in the line.) I was also a proficient speaker to thousands. Just ask all 12 of my stuffed animals and the other 988 imaginary friends. I knew I was bound for greatness at a young age. It was only a matter of time before this greatness was discovered. And by time, I meant any day.

Fast forward to my young twenties and I was not quite changing the world. In fact, I was barely experiencing the world I lived in. Reality looked more like I was dying a slow death at desk job I would have rather napped at than answer one more email. I thought I was destined for greatness, yet it felt like I was shortchanged to the 4 walls I lived in.

At twenty-five, it was time to finally change the world and find my souls destiny in New York City. I got accepted and excelled at my dream school – Parsons School of Design. Yet, after school, no one in the universe seemed to be privy that I was a prodigy waiting to happen. I entered the fashion world working in retail to make ends meat while being overworked in an unpaid internship from hell. With my dreams deflated by an industry I no longer loved; once again, I found myself at the crossroads of wanting to change the world and feeling shortchanged.

There were so many moments where I felt like the life I bought into was a lemon. I thought, if I was meant to be average, why did I have a desire to make a big difference in the world? There was a constant tension between trying to be satisfied where I was while still desiring to do great things. I have felt lost on many occasions in my life (mainly while driving), but never more lost than in that tension of in-between. You know, those moments that feel seemingly aimless, small or mundane.

Here’s the truth, we aren’t shortchanged from greatness, we are just seeds comparing ourselves to the oak trees we will becomeA seeds entire potential is packed in the smallest of forms. In fact, it cracks, breaks, and reforms constantly to become its destiny. You can never say what day or time a seedling became a tree. It wasn’t one sudden moment; it was a million small moments. Is a tree less in purpose when it’s small, or when its in winter with no leaves versus the days it’s in full bloom? I’d venture to say, no. Just the same, approaching the seed spaces; the moments that feel small, undefined, or broken are not short-changing us, but are purpose-filled, growing us into the greatness we were born to become. 

 

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