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Twenty-Nine

birthday cake / a thousand threads
There aren’t nearly enough candles on that cake, but it’s possible that we’ve reached the age where a simple dessert might begin to resemble something far less sweet — forest fires come to mind — so I think I’m cool with just one.

Last year, on my birthday, I listed nine things I’ve learned.  And since here we are, another year around the bend, I thought I’d take this opportunity to add just one more.  Considering it took me 28 whole years to learn those others, I think that should do.

This year, more than any other, I’ve learned that sometimes, in order to be creative and, more importantly, in order to be true to yourself, you have to be okay with the fact that you might repel as many folks as you attract. 

It’s appropriate that I would repeat this little piece of advice as I sit on the train on my way to Alt NYC, since I’m pretty sure I heard it put that way first in a tweet from someone in attendance at the last Alt SLC.

Repel as many as you attract.  Or maybe, repel some and you’ll attract twice as many.  This isn’t to say that you should ruffle feathers, or be rude or inflammatory — a bad reputation that gets you recognized isn’t any reputation to be proud of.  Rather, it’s to say you shouldn’t be afraid.  Don’t stop short of something amazing because you worry it might not go over well.  Never hesitate because you’re scared that someone might laugh, or snicker, or wrinkle their nose.  It is only by taking risks that we achieve anything at all, and the bigger the risk (it’s a cliche for a reason) the bigger the reward.

So at 29, here I am on a train to New York… taking a risk.  I’ve invested a lot of time and money into a venture that brings me joy, and I hope one day it will pay off — but the reality is that it might not.  And that’s okay.  I’m taking my risk, day after day and week after week, I’m giving it my all and trying to be as true as possible to who I am along the way.  It’s not always easy… the success of others can pull you in, make you think that the only way to succeed is by creating your own tiny clone of their brilliance… but nobody wants a carbon copy of something they already love.  They want you.  And it is only by being true to yourself that you gain a real chance at success.

Coconut Dream Cake via Roost

10 Comments


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