Saturday, April 29, 2006

Every day can change your life...

...if you let it. Last week I was running out of money, no job in sight, and got passed over getting several jobs for reasons unknown. I thought I was a shoe-in for one of them, and I know the people liked me, so what went wrong? I dunno.

Things could have been bleak, life could have become grim. But only if I let them be.

Many people can't accept that their state of mind is entirely their own making. They see the "find the silver lining" outlook as foolish and nonsensical, that life is just repeatedly dealing them a shitty hand and there's nothing they or anyone else can do about it. I know several people exactly like this, and frankly, I'm getting tired of their shit. You get a lot more done by broadening your mind and being open to new and unlikely possibilities than by shutting yourself in, determined to bitch and moan and do nothing else.

I know. I used to be one of the bitchy moany types. What happened? I went nuts.

I moved from smalltown Ohio (population, 20k) to New York Fuckin' City (I think that's its official name now). I'm not saying you Debbie Downers of the world have to move to The Big Apple to fix your life. God knows I lost money living in that city. But I was willing to make a change, no matter how big or small, to refuse to accept that the meager and unsatisfying living I was eeking out before was the best there could be. This is in no way directed at my friends or my hometown. They're the best, and it's all about finding what suits you. Kosovo Mike is completely enamored with Sandusky, and in a way, I admire that. I wish I could have been content there and earned a living doing something compelling that I loved doing every day.

The gesture that changed my mind was simply breaking out and doing something completely unlike what I was used to. I'd never seen a subway and never ridden public transit before going to NYC. I'd never walked so many places and felt like that really was the best means of transportation. I've also never been confronted by such a daunting array of possibilities for work and play. There is so much to do there, it's hard to even comprehend it, let alone get out and actually DO it.

Alas, I eventually had to leave the city, but the experience and contacts I made there (and continue to make as a result) are invaluable. People have noticed that I mysteriously went from a glass-half-empty kind of person to gulping down what's in the glass and asking for more.

I said last week I was borderline destitute. What's changed? The horizon has been broadened yet again. In the last few days:

1. I've been offered a Web site editor position with a company I've been freelancing for for about a year now.

2. Then, I found out that I go in Monday for initial screenings to become a sperm donor.

3. On Tuesday I have to have ready some samples and a proposal for how I'm going to reinvent the videogames section of ShopWiki.com.

4. On top of that, I've started writing regularly for BlogCritics.org and getting great feedback,

5. had an opportunity (too little, too late, tho) to go to E3 this year in Los Angeles,

6. found out most of my family is planning to head to Seattle this year to see my far-off uncle, which also affords me...

7. taking my cousin with me to the Penny Arcade Expo and get to share that whole experience with many of the people who mean the most to me.

8. My old roommates in Brooklyn are probably moving elsewhere in the borough this summer, and if I take the site editor job, that would make moving back to NYC a breeze.

What the heck? When did things start such an upswing? They didn't. This stuff's gradual but omnipresent, and it comes from being positive in your heart and to those around you. It comes from having and exuding the confidence that, no matter what life throws at you, it'll be all right in the end. You can handle it. You're a big kid now. You wear big kid pants. And dammit, you go pee in the potty.

On the other hand, I have constant deadlines rushing at me, a sore back and wrists from sitting in front of the computer for too long every day working, and more outgoing cashflow than incoming. I could bitch and moan, but what good would it do anyone? Forget the negativity and it's amazing what you can accomplish, and what opportunities might find their way to your doorstep or inbox. Also, it's amazing how recuperative it is to tickle the eight-year-old in the next room. :)

Above all, DON'T GIVE UP. Nothing ever came to anyone who quit or said "I can't." Did Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, Einstein, or the Wright Brothers say "I can't"? They're only geniuses compared to their contemporaries who stayed home and didn't try. Get out there. Be something. You'll be surprised what you can do if you just will it into being. And don't worry about pissing off Yoda. Sure, there are "do" and "do not," but to me, there is also a "try." Go give something new a try.

1 comment:

elvira black said...

Hey you! Had no idea things had changed so much in such a short period of time. This all sounds terrific, and you're right--the forces that change one's life are often cumulative and almost imperceptible in and of themselves. But the culmination can be like a nuclear reaction--in a good way! Mazel tov!