That's me in my warehouse. Bad lighting. Nerdy frames because my eyes hurt lately. Not a beautiful outdoor landscape shot like you'd normally find in this nice little curated collection of my weekend adventures. The truth is that a vast majority of my life is spent indoors and most of my days are mundane and difficult and I'm hustling in this warehouse or in front of my computer screen, and I don't know how that's supposed to look on social media.
I've been feeling the weight of entrepreneurship and the romantic misconceptions around what success is supposed to look like, so to be vulnerable and open about these things feels like brand suicide in some moments. I’ve struggled through bouts of near-debilitating anxiety and despair over the last few months. It doesn’t help that there are a sea of memes and marketing imploring us to not give up and live our passion and somehow turn failures into a ripe dung pile of fuel for the next great mission. Mae West said she was "dying of encouragement" at one point in her career. That feels about right.
So how do any of us keep churning out art, build resilient businesses, write compelling novels, or start underground resistance movements when failure seems so imminent?
I think the real wonder that lies within all humans, in our very DNA, is the propensity to mess up slightly. To blunder. To mutate. And then, to adapt. Without these attributes we would still be anaerobic bacteria, so it's imperative that we confront and face head on the messiness, brokenness, and stuckness required of us in order to really grow. The most effective rebels and changemakers seem to be both creative solutionaries AND skilled mud sloggers. Without grit, there is no pearl, without mud, there is no lotus, and when we suffer more honestly with each other, perhaps we’ll all suffer a little less.