Have you ever had one of those weeks?
When every single thing you touch bursts into flames?
When each teeny, tiny struggle morphs into a colossal, roaring behemoth that brings all forward movement to an absolute, screeching halt?
When you start to entertain the idea that an actual, honest to goodness, Old Testament, bush burning, frog flinging, wrath wreaking divinity may be out to get you (and your little dogs too)?
Yes, I have had one of those weeks.
I will spare you the dastardly details. Wine may have been drunk. LOTS of wine.
But, the only way to keep moving forward and not be completely defeated is to remember just why on earth I am doing this in the first place.
As my 25th college reunion this past weekend reminded me: we are all COMPLETELY unique. (FYI: send your kids to Brown-best thing that could ever happen to anybody) No, really. We all have completely different paths we are meant to follow.
For many, many of my classmates, it was the more traditional, linear path of law firm partner, investment banker, even neurosurgeon, for god’s sakes. Hard won, impressive as hell, and hopefully ensuring stability, security, and sterling for all.
And I was good at following that path-the grades, the titles, the achievements, the money.
But it was never what I really wanted. It just didn’t seem enough for me.
To be defined by a job didn’t make me feel bigger, more important, like I had something to live up to.
It made me feel smaller, held back, restricted.
So I kept shoving myself off the beaten path. Over and over.
In search of something different, scratch that, better.
So what did I want? Why on earth am I doing this to myself?
It’s not because being an entrepreneur is the easiest way to earn a living.
And it’s certainly not because of some ridiculous promise of obscene, overnight riches.
It’s choosing a lifetime of adventure. In my work, in my life, and out in the wide world.
It’s living my own life, not the one my parents or teachers thought I should have. It’s listening to my own joy, instead of other people’s fears.
It’s working hard at something because I love it, no matter how many, many mistakes I make, until one day, people start tell me I do it perfectly (even when I really don’t).
It’s deciding that it’s never too late to live the life I was meant for.
It’s realizing that all those bosses who underestimated, unappreciated, and undermined me aren’t actually necessary at all.
It’s betting everything on myself, and working and working until it all works out.
It’s going where no woman has gone before, and marveling at what I am able to pull off all on my own.
It’s knowing that I am here on the planet because I have something to do. And that I won’t go to my grave with my music still in me.
It’s having a lifetime of magnificent and singular experiences, instead of a lifetime of nothing special.
It’s knowing that all these rewards require risk. Weeks like this and worse. But it’s worth it because, in the end…
It’s saying: I didn’t just follow the path. I created it.
So tell me exactly why are YOU doing this? Staying connected to this is the only way to keep your head above water when your feet are swept out from under you. And they will be, trust me. If you don’t know, we should talk.