Sometimes, I think my hopes and dreams are so far beyond me that I want to scream. I can see them, but either my lack of focus or work ethic seems to keep them unattainable. Swimming upstream against a tide of daily hardships seems to keep them at bay. That being said, before you abandon this page mid sentence hold on. I know you can’t take another one of those late-twenties, who am I and what do I want to do with my life types of articles. That territory is well trod by Buzzfeed and Salon. Lord knows there are plenty of shitty indie bands shitting out their shitty post grad blues feelings all over perfectly innocent listeners right now.I’m not trying to add to their ranks but instead highlight a particular area in which I routinely fail. In reality, this is meant as a way for you to learn from my mistake.
I take on more than I ever hope to accomplish,I’ll admit it. I dream way too big, procrastinate a bit too much and then burn myself out with overzealous intentions and piss poor time management. I want so badly to be successful in a realm that doesn’t involve my day job, yet I will give the aforementioned day job the bulk of my effort. I just need to make a living, I could probably scrape by at work and actually pursue my side projects to a finish line. I have a difficult time balancing my priorities and I fear when I’m in my golden years I’ll realize that I didn’t do anything on my own terms.
Don’t get me wrong, sacrifice is a part of life and concessions must be made. Sometimes you have to work overtime instead of record a podcast episode. Sometimes, you have to be there at 5 AM to pull the lever instead of outlining a novella you promised your wife you’d write. Sometimes, there isn’t time to just make the final draft of your second poetry e-book. Sometimes only sometimes. More often than not though I find myself agreeing to this things, these distractions when I could just as easily not do them. The Earth will continue to spin and life will go on if I invested in my own efforts as opposed to laboring for someone else’s. They didn’t really need me as bad as I needed them to be my excuse.
This isn’t meant to be a statement of arrogance or legacy. I don’t expect world renown receptions nor am I’m ever going to be a Saul Williams or a Voltaire. I don’t intend to revolutionize the world, but goddamn it I should be using the few things I enjoy and have some ability at more often. I should be doing more with the talent I have instead of trying to not upset the daily humdrum. I should dedicate time to improving my abilities for me. I should have so much content for those who visit our small hovel of content distribution on the big bad Internet. I should be doing so much more.
I wrote a list of goals for the first time in my life. I have a three year plan. I have self imposed deadlines and projects. I’m going to make this work in spite of the same flaws that have haunted me my entire existence. I’ve told my wife about long term goals and am now accountable to someone for them. I’ve set meeting dates for creative collaborations. For the first time in a long time, I’m not feigning effort. For the first time in a long time I’m honestly trying.
Trite as it may sound, I implore you to do better than me. Embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. Bare your soul. Get that promotion at work, talk to that handsome fella, start or update that blog, get that certification or weave that blanket. Just go forth and grab whatever has been hanging over your head. Do the work. Trudge and struggle along with me. Don’t you dare make me fucking do this alone.
Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans pod cast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his work here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here or download his e-book here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.