Living The Dream

This very well could be my one shot, my one opportunity — to seize everything I’ve ever wanted

Remember this? I highly doubt it. Almost two and a half years ago this month, I published my first piece on this here Medium. Wait…Did I really just say two and a half years ago? Yep, unfortunately I did. I wish it was a typo but it’s not. I had grand plans and so many ideas. I had made my official entry into the world of writing and thought I was ready to unload fifteen to twenty articles before the year’s end. That was 2014; this is 2016.

So what happened exactly? I had a couple swings and misses and allowed self-doubt to creep in. Life happened as well and I chose to place my writing pursuits on the shelf. Let’s not forget laziness, fear, time mismanagement, self-deprecation, and a whole slew of other excuses I managed to let dictate the last two and a half years of my life.

So where do I go from here? Even those sitting in the cheap seats can see there’s only two choices: the blue pill or the red pill. Take the blue pill and I wake up tomorrow the same as I am today. Most people take the blue pill because it’s the life we’re taught to want, but it’s not the life I want.

“I wholeheartedly believe that if you (or me or anyone for that matter) could look at your life thirty years from now and wish you had done or started something you’ve always wanted to do, and feel horrible regret at having never tried, then you owe it to yourself to at least try.” — Chris Johnson

Take the red pill and I wake up tomorrow with a lot more uncertainty, but at least I’m pursuing my dreams. Hardly any people take the red pill because it’s scary and practically no one teaches us to want that life, but bring me my glass of water. This may finally be the turning point in my life.

I look at the last 10+ years of my life and it’s filled with so many what-if’s. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my family and my life and am grateful this path led to my wife and son, but I could have been going after my dreams and passions all this time. Here I am, over twelve years into the dream of being a writer and I’ve done nothing. Now is the time to pick up the pen or five years from now it will be the same story and just more talk of what could have been.

The only thing happening right now is time passing me by, but do I truly care enough? Do I want it badly enough? Will I actually make time and put in the effort and hard work? I’m tired of being mediocre. I firmly believe God blessed me with a creative mind and certain abilities and skill sets, but I’m not using them. I could be primed for greatness (or at least above average) but I continually stand in my own way.

Maybe I’m not the next BIG THING, but I do believe I could be something. Even if I’m dead wrong, I’d rather sink trying and prove myself to be a failure rather than failing simply by doing absolutely nothing. I need to know if I have what it takes and if I’m more than just an “idea man.” The American Dream is alive and well (regardless of what anyone tells you), and it can be a reality for those who make it happen.

At times, our parents, teachers, and friends impress upon us the so called “normal” life and detract from pursuing our dreams. I’m not convinced it’s intentional as I believe their desire is to protect us. I also think they want a good life for us and they view “normal” as providing us with the best opportunity. I really believe they’re doing everything they can to keep us from failing. And I’m grateful for that. I am so thankful I’ve been blessed with two parents, a few awesome teachers, and a handful of lifelong friends who look out for my best interest at all times, but it’s time to kiss “normal” goodbye. It’s honestly now or never.

The last eighteen months have provided some of the most Are You Kidding Me moments and proven anything is possible. A Triple Crown was won. The Chicago Cubs ended the 108-year championship drought and shattered any mention of curse. Donald J. Trump is the new President of the United States. And these are just the first three unbelievable — cannot fathom — what just occurred — moments I could come up with off the top of my head. If Wrigley Field is enacting a welcome back with arms wide open policy for Bartman, and if the Celebrity Apprentice host will now be sitting in the oval office, then why can’t I do something seemingly less improbable and become a writer?!?

A Medium publication is coming soon. A podcast is launching December 2016/January 2017. My goal and my dream is to create content.

I’m publicly putting this out there because if I don’t follow through on these promises, I want to be lambasted. If the disappointment I cause my wife’s heart and the harsh criticism I receive from close friends isn’t enough, I am just asking for social media to run wild on me. I may very well indeed experience my own version of Jimmy Kimmel’s mean tweets.

I am going to tell stories with my writing. I want to tell stories that inspire you, stories that perhaps make you shed a tear, stories that make you laugh so hard you might pee yourself a little, stories that cause you to think and consider a viewpoint you’ve never pondered before, stories that evoke a smirk you can’t help but have, and stories that force us to reflect on the life we’ve lived up until this point regardless of the paths we’ve taken.

I love to talk and ask questions. I’m fascinated by it. The podcast will predominantly be long-form interviews. I want to have conversations with people and share them with anyone who is interested. The plan is to have some friends join me and some folks who may not be on your radar (yet), but I also will not shy away from pursuing some bigger-name, celebrity guests. The worst they can do is say “no” but can you imagine how cool it will be if they say “yes” to me. I have a rather extensive dream guest list and I greatly look forward to sitting down and talking with these people. It will be fun!

I really hope you’re going to enjoy what’s coming. There are some phenomenal people whose stories I am elated to tell. I will be shining the spotlight on them because what they’re pursuing or have accomplished is an inspiration to me, and it’s an honor for me to have the opportunity to write about them or sit down and talk with them. In telling their stories, these awesome men and women are enabling me to live out my dream of becoming a storyteller. I know what a privilege it is to tell stories and I’m ever so grateful for this medium (you like what I just did there?) and the opportunity I have right now.

I’ve been inspired by so many writers and podcasters lately and briefly want to thank them, even if they’ll likely never know it unless they happen to read this article (and don’t stop after the first few paragraphs). Bill Simmons was one of the architects behind this, he followed that up with this, and he hosts the podcast that inspired me to want to be a podcaster. Bryan Curtis is someone I just heard of not even six months ago and thoroughly enjoyed these two pieces he wrote. Jonah Keri has actually given me the time of day on Twitter and his podcast is a breath of fresh air. Malcolm Gladwell caused me to think differently with season one and here I am eagerly anticipating season two.

Mean Gene

My Medium profile here used to say “a little late to the party — working on that curveball of mine” and it’s resoundingly accurate when describing my pursuit of writing. Podcasting is really taking off right now and the space is beyond crowded. I am most likely 4–7 years late on beginning this endeavor but I have to give it a go as well. There is a great likelihood I will not accomplish my boyhood dream of being the accomplished interviewer Gene Okerlund was, but who knows. Maybe I will be a natural when it comes to podcasting and people will actually want to subscribe to mine just as I do with those I regard as “can’t miss podcasts.” Maybe mine will be so putrid it gets banned from iTunes in record fashion because no one can stomach it. Time will tell.

My wife is my biggest fan and I wrote about her in that first piece I did two and a half years ago. It’s incredible to have her continued support despite the unfulfilled promises I’ve made her regarding my writing. This may not be the piece she was envisioning as my official reentry into the world of writing, but nonetheless, this is what I needed to write. She has faith in me, she somehow views me as so much better than I actually am (I keep telling myself it has to be those rose-colored glasses she wears), and she believes I can do this. I mean it. She really believes I can make writing and podcasting work for me. There’s not much more a husband can ask for than to be unconditionally loved and ultimately believed in, and she gives me both every single day of my life.

My son loves his Papa. By the grace of God, I’ve been blessed to have that role in this boy’s life and more than anything else, I want to love him with everything I have and provide for him to the very best of my abilities. Perhaps writing and podcasting will enable me to do that, but even if I cannot make these pursuits a career success, I want to set an example and pave the way for him to be a dreamer. Establish a goal, work tirelessly for it, grind day in and day out, and see what outcomes you make a reality.

Thank you in advance to anyone who is willing to take this ride with me and consume the content I plan to release. If you enjoyed this, please recommend or leave comments below.

Here I am two and a half years later and many nights my wife still asks me to tell her of my hopes and dreams. The dream is now two-fold: writing and podcasting. The hope is that we can do this sweetheart. I love you. Let’s do this…

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