Each pursuit is different, but each follows the story arch of dream defined the struggle and completion. Not every dream story has a happy ending of a record IPO and the founders raising a toast on a faraway beach. The glossy pictures in the magazines make the idea of success a sure thing. After all, the rack is full of new stories each month. As the artist recounts their story; the ten years of anguished uncertainty, living in obscurity, and the families push for a 9 to 5 is all captured in a paragraph or two.
The memes tout the benefits of the failures, setbacks and grind during the pursuit. The reality is, the trials suck. The dark days of the world not understanding what you are creating can be very dark. The creditors are calling, too much cheap pizza, the boot of responsibility to produce firmly pressed on your neck, the stress keeping the gut in a permanent knot, wreaks havoc on the mental state.
I am pursuing a vision and struggle with demands and responsibility of husband, father, and employee. At 46, have the possibilities passed me by, and I should expect to be a dust farmer, dancing on the razor's edge, for the rest of my days until the reaper comes? The unfulfilled and unexplored dreams buried with me. The resistance continues to fire the cortisol to ensure there is no relief and the dark clouds coalesce.
I can do one more rep. I can write one more song. I can code one more string. I can submit to one more publisher. I can practice the fundamentals one more time. The injustices against the dark fingers typing the poetry will not stop the rhymes from changing the world. The slurs hurled because of my caste steel my resolve to upend the corrupt system. I must halt the cycle of drugs and poverty ingrained in the family tree, so I study another page of engineering.
What are the lessons this pursuit is teaching you and crafting your unique story of the one you greet each morning in the mirror?
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt