Vegetables before dessert, saying no, and a three letter word.

It was somewhere around exit 124 of the Garden State Parkway, with my windshield wipers attempting to do their duty however having lived long past their wear markers, was when I realized one major flaw of mine: I’d focused so much on dessert this whole time, that I’m out of shape from not touching my vegetables.

Of course, this is an analogy in itself considering that my “transformation” process has been on a pretty solid run consisting of resisting temptations at a food show, birthday cakes at the office, and the offers of veteran’d nonna’s who know where my heart and sweet tooth lie: rainbow cookies and brownies. No, the vegetables and desserts that I reference are the two lives that I’ve been living simultaneously for quite some time. The full time, territory managing, food show performing, spreadsheet attempting life of a sales man and the paralleled existence of a budding and aspiring social media curator / innovator / dictator / digitalist.

So here we are, exit 124, coming up to the PNC arts center and reality is hitting me: I’ve lost the grip. My territory, my numbers, my coordination, all of it. Lost somewhere in the fray of additional responsibility, a remote director, and a passion that’s been slowly building itself within me. The more specific the questions are asked, the more the veil is raised and the act is up. I, Marco Auriti, am dropping the ball. It’s not an easy pill to swallow. I have an entry itself ready for the explanation of my challenges and short comings, but to reference a phrase that’s been recurring very often in my life I find myself looking inward and stating: “Well, we’re here now. What are we going to do about ?”. Thankfully, I have the answer. Work.

You see, I don’t sit well often. Coupled on top of that, once something is assumed (by me of course) to be figured out, that part of my brain simply classifies it as “cruise control” and seeks another avenue of attention or challenge. The problem here is that I’ve lost the motivation of accountability — through a lot of factors in the work environment and myself, that leash simply continued to lengthen and lengthen to the point that it no longer existed. So what happens? A stable job with predictable swings gets put onto the back burner of attention and effort while a major amount of my effort and attention is focused elsewhere. What’s the problem with all of this? The speed in my mind vs. the speed of my life. Always has been, always will be. It frustrates me to sit here right now and physically type because my fingers cannot move quick enough to put the words down on paper.

Normally a introspective process of the sorts would normally take me weeks to really piece together. Call it a cocktail of awareness and maturity, call it the identifying of a huge source of frustration for me. All too frequently my mind turns into a set of headphones packed incorrectly. A bundle and mess of wires and knots leaving you feeling as if you have no idea where it starts or ends, just wanting to cut it or toss it and start from scratch. This is a common destination for many of my thought processes- imagine hitting a pot hole and every time you did, pulling over and over analyzing whether or not your tires might start losing air and in the mean time, completely abandoning the trip and its destination. It’s the noise in my mind that becomes deafening. Like mixing a song- instead of starting a beat, sometimes I have an entire album playing and the challenge is to sort it track by track until it makes sense.

So, filtering all of these thoughts and analogies down to a simplified Marcolino list, how do we get over the fact that the pot holes aren’t making us lose air, get back on the road and driving again? Simple.

  1. Eat your vegetables. The professional opportunity that I’ve been given has been an incredibly rewarding one, and literally built to cater my personality and habits (be in the fact that it’s the industry of passionate food, full of Italian personalities, or simply a “you need it done then you do it” atmosphere). So, get back to the basics — there’s no heart surgery or rocket science involved. Hit your marks, be consistent, feel the weight of that brand on your business card, and be the man people assume you are on linked in.
  2. Let the story write itself. Jumping back to my issue with letting time dictate itself, I have an absolute inability to accept and let things develop in their own time. If I see a spark, my reaction isn’t to gently blow at it, give it some dry leaves so it can smoke eventually catching a fire. The second I see a spark, I immediately drown it in pure alcohol. This is a lesson I’m not yet mature enough to have learned, but have had enough experience to acknowledge. If its meant to be, it will be meant to be. Stop basing todays decisions on what your potential reality might be in a year, 2 year, or even 3. You are where you are because its where you’re supposed to be.
  3. FUN. Probably the most embarrassing fact to admit in all of this. Through my personal challenge of work schedule, social schedule, and whatever was left of personal schedule, I have found myself in something that scares the absolute shit out of me: a routine. With which there’s nothing wrong with, but knowing myself and how I prefer to operate it needs to be a delicate balance of soft dates and hard ideas. Above all? If it isn’t, or I’m not excited, hit the fucking brakes. For the time that I’m continuously limiting myself of, that’s one sacrifice I can’t afford. Smiles up, vision clear, head down, and get some.
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