*Beginning in 2010, I started writing a bi-weekly column, “From Richard’s Oft Cluttered Desk” which appears every other Wednesday.
My journey as a freelancer is about to reach it’s three-year anniversary. And what an amazing journey it has been. The day will probably come and pass just like any other; but then again, it can’t really. I know it is a special day. It is the day when I said, “Enough is enough.” In fact, if you’ve read my book, Anything is Possible, you know how I got started on this journey.
I was on the phone with Nathanael. We were just friends back then. We were just talking and catching up. Then he asked me a question.
“What have you done today to achieve your dreams?”
That was it. Simple. Benign. Nothing too deep. But it hit me. It hit me like the baseball did when I was 12. It hit me like Henry Wang’s forehand did when I was a tennis coach and the ball hit me square on the nose. I had no answer. Well, I had an answer but not one I was okay with.
I started to question my life. Keep in mind, I was nine months out of college and I was questioning my life. A little early for a mid-life crisis, but I was in mine. I was in deep. I started thinking about what I wanted my life to look like. I started to ask questions. In fact, I asked a lot of questions. I still ask a lot of questions.
From the moment Nathanael asked me that question, my path, my vision for my life changed. Forever. I am no where near where I want to be in this life, but I am certainly closer than I was three years ago. I’m closer than I was a year ago. Sure, there have been ups and downs – there is in any great journey. I am sure to have more. I have three speeches scheduled for this month, all within ten days of each other. One of the speeches is a full-day event. My first ever. What a crazy three years it has been.
But it hasn’t always been pretty. I have struggled. I have given poor presentations. I have been off my mark. It happens. It will always happen. But I take pride in the fact I am still learning. I like to know that I still have room to grow. It’s scary to think and a little disheartening to know that I still have room to fall and mistakes to make. I’d like to think those days are over. But so long as I am striving for something, I am going to slip. I’m going to fall. But here is the cool thing: I get to. I choose to. When I was asked that question, I chose to do something about it, instead of wallowing in my discontent.
I had a great conversation a few months ago with a friend I met last year. I had intended for it to be just a quick “Hey, how are you?” kind of a conversation. But it turned into an hour-long conversation about life and dreams. We both opened up about our past struggles and the battles we have wagged. But what he said that night has stuck with me. He said that no matter what has happened in our lives, its about your journey. He said you have to know yourself enough to go on your personal journey.
That’s what I’m doing. I’m going on my personal journey. And only I can do it. It’s mine. All mine. And I intend to live it. Success and failure. It is amazing.