“Two roads diverged in the woods and I took the road less traveled…
AND IT HURT, MAN! Really bad! ROCKS, THORNS! GLASS!
My parts broke. Not cool Robert Frost.
But what if there really were two paths? I want to be on the one that leads to awesome.”
- Kid President
I took a brief hiatus from my blog recently. I went AWOL from social media too (gasp!). I gave myself a time-out or did a Howard Hughes, as I like to call it. But my gig as a recluse did not include a penthouse or dropping $13 million to buy the casino housing the penthouse, to indulge this whim. 2012 was complicated. Actually, it was a year unlike any year I have ever experienced. There was disrupting activity happening around me. A counter-productive energy that I could not seem to affect no matter how hard I focused or diligently I worked. It was like I was caught in a high speed game of chicken with 2012, and my high performance vehicle was sputtering. I was perplexed.
So I retreated from my familiar pattern to spend time in reflection. I focused on people and things that mattered. I fed my creative soul. I stalked my kids on Facebook. I reconnected with friends I had neglected. I talked to strangers. I pondered running for President of the United States. I spent more time trying to be the person my dog wanted me to be. I hammered out business, marketing, and investment plans. I contemplated change.
When I resurfaced on Facebook recently, some people noticed that I had been away. One person, an old high school friend, wondered why I had stopped posting to my blog (thank you for noticing Sue, I love you man). I stopped because I lost something. I did not just misplace it like you do your car keys or your wallet. It was not like losing the television remote in a sea of couch cushions, wiener dogs and throw pillows, or your car in the IKEA parking lot. In a strange twist of fate I lost something very personal – my spirit of optimism. I liken losing it to discovering there is no Santa Claus, or that unicorns and fairies do not exist, or that Milli Vanilli lip synced all their songs. Losing it was traumatic because it is an innate and complex part of who I am. It is like rocket fuel for my life and work power thrusters. Optimism helps me see the world, my life, my work, and the people around me through candid and meaningful eyes. I do not want to imply that optimism is like some sort of magical power…but with it, all things are possible.
Everyone’s journey is like a fingerprint, it is uniquely our own. We influence or we are influenced – directly and indirectly by everyone we encounter and everything we experience. Over time we become the curators of our own remarkable expedition. So it is in this capacity, somewhere along the way, I adopted optimism as part of my personal brand. It has been a welcome companion. Basking in the greatest achievement or facing the most insurmountable challenge, it has been like an old friend compelling me on.
Not long ago I received a letter from someone very dear to me. In fact, if doppelgangers exist; assuming they can be the opposite sex and look nothing like you, I suspect that he is mine. In a rare moment of contemplation he explained being at a crossroads in life and asking himself, “What do you want to be when you grow up” all over again? As I read his words a smile slowly spread across my face…optimism. Interrupted, yes, but not lost. I think what my friend is seeking, in this incidental do-over, is his absolute authentic self, his Space Jam.
To my friend I say, the second act is going to be so much better because it will not involve puberty, acne, planking or teenage angst. I also offer this pep talk. No, really “A Pep Talk”, by Kid President. Watch it above and please stay tuned for his closing tribute. This kid says it better than I ever could: “We were made to be awesome. It’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance. Create something that will make the world awesome.”
As for 2012, well breaking up is hard to do. But in the words of the colorful Cee Lo Green, ‘Forget You’. I would really like to print the title of the version available on iTunes. But this is after all, a respectable blog.
Now, get out into the world. Dance and be filled with optimism. Find your Space Jam.