Don’t Swim Against the Current of Who You Truly Are and Want to Be

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Don’t Swim Against the Current of Who You Truly Are and Want to Be

From a career standpoint, I’ve essentially been banging my head against the same proverbial brick wall for fifteen plus years — expecting different results.

However, I now acknowledge all it ever really resulted in was head pain.

Though it was once manageable, it’s gotten to a point where I can’t seem to stop the bleeding. It’s time to put an end to the headbanging and slowly but surely walk away from the brick wall — while I still can.

I write this in hopes someone learns from it. Learn from my mistakes rather than your own. It’s less painful that way, I assure you.

Human beings are complicated and Machiavellian like creatures. Our reasoning and motives behind why we do what we do are not always obvious. In fact, it’s possible even we aren’t completely consciously aware of why we do what we do. Deep-rooted fears which we developed as children can have extremely detrimental effects on our adult lives if we never learn how to face them in a healthy and constructive manner.

With that being said, the things we’re attracted to and seem to come naturally to us at a young age are the ones we should try to find applicable and relative careers in as adults. Even if some practicality has to be added, now that you’re properly potty trained and all.

What I mean is, if you wanted to be a superhero — maybe think about becoming a cop instead of the next Daredevil or Blank-Man.

If you liked to draw and spent a fair amount of time doing so as a kid, maybe try becoming an artist. If you get tired of hearing your parents tell you artists don’t make money, perhaps graphic design? Either that or just stop showing up to their house for the holidays until they get the hint. The choice is yours.

From the time I was a kid, it was painfully obvious to everyone including me, I naturally excelled at most creative outlets I put effort into — as well as anything reading or writing related. I knew it but was never cocky or arrogant about it.

I essentially did my best to keep it low key but the secret leaked out through different papers and projects I was assigned in school.

Then in fifth grade, our entire graduating class was asked to write the elementary version of a commencement speech . I recall finishing mine in a half hour flat, barely trying if I’m just being honest.

Yet, I was one of three students who was asked to read theirs at our graduation ceremony. The secret was out, writing came somewhat naturally to me.

From this point on, when friends and family needed something written they tended to look my way for help or advice. If words needed to be written and read at a funeral, family function or elsewhere — it was left to me. I didn’t so much as embrace the role as I did assume the responsibility of it.

It felt like what I was supposed to do, what I needed to — and maybe even what I was meant to, on some deeper level.

I wasn’t very receptive to compliments on my writing. I typically brushed right over them and switched topics of conversation, and kind of still do today actually.

I don’t know why. It’s not a matter of confidence — writing and the ability to creatively express myself have always been two things I was certain I did well. I’ve just never been great as talking about it or taking compliments in general.

Why I never stopped to seriously consider pursuing a creative career, whether in writing or otherwise — I simply have no explanation for.

Instead, what I did was the exact thing I’m pleading with you not to. I insisted on swimming against the current of my very own soul. Despite how many times it was so blatantly clear I was getting nowhere fast, often unable to get my head above water — I refused to just turn around and stop going up against it.

Whether because subconsciously I didn’t think I had what it takes to be a writer, was afraid of what others would think or say — or was just flat out young and lazy, I can’t say for certain. It’s something I’ve only recently begun to take a good hard look at and try to decipher. All I know is it’s only made the last fifteen years far tougher than they’ve had to be.

I have a habit of making things way more difficult for myself than they have to be. I’ve mastered the art of complicating the uncomplicated. It’s what I do best, outside of writing. It’s kind of my thing.

Common sense should tell a kid who’s five and a half feet tall and weighs in at a healthy 125 pounds — who was never exactly the handy or mechanical type — laboring for construction companies is probably not the ideal career choice.

I was no good with a hammer, never wanted to learn to fix a car, and didn’t particularly enjoy lifting heavy shit up and down flights of steps all day long.

But yet, I kept on swimming the wrong way — if only to prove I could.

Though it was obvious before I so much as dipped my feet in, I just kept swimming against the organic flow of even my own internal voice telling me I could put an end to the struggle by simply turning around and swimming the other way. In fact, I wouldn’t even have to swim — I could finally breathe deep and float downstream.

The current I insisted on trying to resist, would finally be working in my favor.

I’m no longer swimming against the current of who and what I am. I’m a writer, first and foremost. I’m not aspiring to be one, I am one. I don’t want to work for you — I have a book to finish, no less than four Medium posts to publish a week and a publication with a bright future ahead of itself to run in Journal of Journeys. I finally figured out which way to swim.

Don’t Swim Against the Current of Who You Truly Are and Want to Be

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