Without further ado…
Without further ado…
Congratulations! You’ve just unlocked Songs of the Week.
Hope you enjoy these three tracks. The third one is unfindable on YouTube. The vide for You! Me! Dancing! is awesome. Highly recommend watching it.
Earlier today, Roger Ebert, died at 70. I can not express how upset I was to hear this. Few critics, in my mind, have put out sold, consistant work. Few critics opinions have been worth a damn. Most reviewers are too preoccupied with coming up with pithy lines, that they let their article suffer. Ebert had a fantastic ability to not only provide a solid review, but they were also eloquent and entertaining without being distracting. He was cultured without being snobbish, and he treated movies as ridiculous as The Fast and the Furious with as much respect as Citizen Kane. He was the best in the business, and will truly be missed.
A very close friend of mine, for the sake of this post, I’ll call him Kaptain Carbon, visited me this past weekend. This gentleman has always been my nemesis. We have always held a cutthroat competition with each other. He’ll do something, and I’ll figure out a way to do it better. Afterward, he’ll come back and top me. This has been occurring for over 15 years. It is entirely fulled by spite, and contrary to disagreements, and often shouting matches, it is nothing negative. We are merely polar opposites in strategy. We share a common goal, and very much just want to see each other operating to our fullest potential, even though we frequently verbally express that we hate each other. It’s odd. We rarely see eye to eye, but it pushes both of us to strive to be better at what we do.
The couple hours last week we talked about our business ventures and aspirations — which include this blog, and how he thinks I shouldn’t just use it as a “meaningless link-farm” (liberties were taken with the vernacular) — I began to question, as I constantly do, why I keep doing what I do. Why I challenge myself with creating projects that ultimately lead to impending doom.
Truthfully, I have failed more than anyone else I know. Not by measures of life, career, friendship, or family, but as an entrepreneur. Nothing I have ever ventured has seen success:
These are only a few of the projects over the past decade I’ve been envolved with. I’ve carried enormous guilt, or shame, for never turning these into a success. They hang over me, making every moment harder and harder to breathe. Sometimes I get so caught up in it, I have to stop what I’m doing, close my eyes, and take a deep breath, and push myself to carry on.
Those closest to me know that I won’t be happy until I’m working for myself. I love what I’m doing now. I’m privileged to be where I am, and fortunate that I was able to build the career I have. But I know I’ll never find peace until I can get everything out of my head, and build it.
I’ve been planning a business with a friend for nearly a year now. Seeing as all my past failures now make quite an unimpressive list, I don’t want to add the name of another project to the end of it. I feel that my past mistake was that I’ve always tried to rush into something before I had a clear idea exactly what it was. This time around, I’m trying to plan it out to the nth degree. This time around, I meticulously run through every detail in my head all-day-every-single-day. It is exhausting. I often feel like I need a break from myself. I often wish I didn’t have this ambition, this sickness, pushing me, nagging me. It used to be something that was buried in the back of my mind, but it’s been creeping forward, metastasizing, filling me with self-doubt. My drive has turned against me. I am eating myself away from the inside-out.
My every instinct has been screaming at me for the past 10 years to stop. My every impulse has been to focus on my career, and I just can’t do it. I know that if I give up on this, I’ll just be (as I’ve been called publicly before) a “husk of a human being.” I know if I quit, I’ll be just like a chocolate bunny on Easter, surprisingly hollow on the inside. An unexpected disappointment. But how long do I let this madness go on? It is insane that I continue to focus energy into something that I’ve been so awesomely terrible at.
In truth, as much as my failures have worn me down, they empower me. Every mistake I’ve made, I’ve learned something. When I look back at businesses I wanted to create, I know that I was too arrogant and ignorant to have made the proper decisions. I would have been incapable of running something I created. That’s what getting older is all about. Letting life come up and kick the shit out of you. Letting the world teach you humility. Becoming comfortable enough that you can learn from your mistakes. The older I get, the more I realize just how fragile life is. It makes me want to succede. Knowing that every day I wake up — despite how morbid — I am one day closer to death, makes me push myself harder.
I don’t know where I’m going with all this. The project I’m working on now has the best chance of success out of anything I’ve ever done. I think I wanted to see what all my emotion looked like written out, a sort of self-therapy, a way to release some stress so I don’t get overcome by fear. This next project is a big deal, we’re seeking investors. I’m betting my retirement on it.
I keep thinking back to the movie The Replacements (yeah, the shitty Keanu Reeves one). There’s the spot where the night before a big football game, Gene Hackman says, “You look like a duck on a pond. On the surface everything looks calm, but, beneath the water, those little feet are churning a mile a minute.” That’s the way I’ve felt for years now. “Just another duck on a pond.”