for a little narration..click play[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://josephwashere.com/music/blogpost-bestof2014.mp3″]
“There is no such thing as a “self made” man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the makeup of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.” ~George Adams
The first time I read this striking quote from George Adams was early this year, after finally deciding, “I got this” and leaving my full time job as an IT Director, and moving on the world of creatively hustling. It floored me. 2014 was a year of eye opening experiences with relationships, accomplishments, and failures. To step outside of myself, and realize how they all play a small role in growing me to the artist I am today..is..well..kind of crazy if you think about it. We move through this world changed by everything we see, touch, hear, and feel. FEEL. That’s the word. That’s what last year was for me. Lot’s of FEELS!
2014, was well, incredibly challenging. To be completely transparent there were points throughout the year I contemplated my direction in this industry. Can I keep going? Am I good enough to do this on my own? In early 2014, in my other job there arose an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up; I had to try. I was asking myself the same questions though; and so was everyone else around me. Waking up every morning, going to work, and being doubted due to my age, my credentials, my personality, my marital status, the strength of my faith (yes, it still happens in the workplace guys), my ability to lead, and about 92 other mind numbing topics. It was the first time in my life that I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster and I was dumb enough to choose to ride. It played out like a movie that I had never experienced before. Coming home every day, and unwind by telling Melissa about the dramatic events of the day, and dependent on if they were positive or negative; it swayed my emotions. It affected my relationships, my mind, and more than anything my body. I struggled with fatigue, clarity, and my hairline even started to recede..which is my worst nightmare :). Through this time, it felt as though I was being pulled in 25 different directions; but rarely did I want to be there once I arrived. But every weekend, coming back to a wedding, and photography; I felt at home again. For those 10 hours or so, my mind was off; I wasn’t thinking about the next self-development book to read to assist me in my body language while in a 2 hour meeting with an executive. I wasn’t judging my posture, or my ability to lead with my tonal voice. I was home. In my wheelhouse. What I knew, and instinctively felt love for. Throughout those days, the energy from my clients, the love that they shared, the words that they spoke to each other settled, and calmed me to make it through another week of uncertaintity.
Then the turnout occurred. In August, while in a park in San Francisco waiting on a conference to start, I turned on my usual mix of classical music (which I finally became a fan of to help unwind); and laid down. My mind began to wonder on all of the recent events. On how I wasn’t leaving room for my relationship with Melissa to blossom. On how creatively I felt as though I was taking a step back.
Then two simple words were muttered in my mind. “Fuck it.” I’m done. I’m not happy. I’m not thrilled. I’m not excited. I decided at that very moment that no longer could allow someone else control my vehicle of life. It would be controlled by me, and the grace of God alone. Success would be mine, but only under my parameters.
In that moment, my emotional train tracks were switched. Over the next few months, I laid out a plan to leave my full time job of 10 years by mid-December. I also laid out a plan to propose to Melissa shortly after ;).
Here we are in 2015. Those plans that I laid out? Executed perfectly. In the same week of proposing, I also officially left my day job. Melissa’s dad probably wasn’t too keen on that time line, but I think it was fitting. An end to a hell of a year of struggle, and growth. Through it all, I learned one important thing about myself. When I am at the bottom, I have the strength to get up, wipe myself off, and move forward. Always. It just takes a little me time, some classical music, and probably a few cuss words. But I’ll get there.
To all that helped me in my struggles, to my clients who helped with their love, and allowed me to document their story, to Melissa who was the most supportive human possible, to all of my friends who didn’t see my face much in 2014, but still love me, to my gramps for giving me the strength to know “I got this”, to all of my creative friends who kept pushing me to leave every time you saw me; I thank you. I owe you this new life I’ve earned, but also that I was granted.
There is no such thing as a self-made man.