Blog Posted March 21, 2022

This is fine.

This post will never go viral.

In fact, I don't expect it to garner any likes or comments on social media. I reckon that maybe two people will notice this before it gets buried in a plethora of Minions memes and clickbait news articles. And I'm okay with that. Because for the better part of two decades, I have been a loudly ambitious fellow. I'm talking Billy Corgan levels of transcendence; shooting for the moon if only to give everyone the stars.

I once drew a comic strip about my high school band, and it ended up being in the school newspaper for nearly three years. That alone would make anyone jealous, and it might have even influenced the outcome of a school levy or two. But at the time I was bitter for not getting more exposure. If I wasn't as successful as say, Penny Arcade or VGCats, could I really pass myself off as a cartoonist?

The same thing happened when the Newgrounds website was arguably at its peak (late 00's). I wanted so bad for my animations to crack the Daily Top Five, if not Top 50 of All Time, and became ultra-prickly when they didn't. Sure, I gained a few fans and a few thousand views, but if I couldn't be the next Egoraptor or HotDiggetyDemon, could I ever call myself a real animator?

Fast forward to today when I have a massive digital content portfolio and my own piece of internet real estate. Every job I have applied for thus far has said something to the effect of "We have decided to pursue another candidate more closely matched with what we are needing." And if you hear something enough times, you start to believe it... my case being that I'm just not good enough. I may have been able to uplift my church and touch countless lives at various venues; but if it wasn't paying the bills, was it ever worth anything? Once things became tight financially, I was convinced that I truly was a nobody and I openly begged for my wife to leave me.

That's why I haven't written anything in a while. Sometimes you need an elongated dark period to see things in a whole new light. I have come to accept how all that ambition can make you feel crestfallen if those goals are never accomplished. I have come to accept that it's okay to scale back those dreams. So what if I can't drive a Ferrari down to some remote part of Mexico? I'm just glad I can finally go maskless outdoors without fear of becoming public enemy number one. So what if I'm not as rich as Caesar, or as famous as Spielberg, or as well-traveled as Bourdain? So what if I never break out of that wonderful world of retail? Some things in our lives can simply be serviceable. Life itself doesn't have to be feast or famine.

If I'm able to stick with a caffeine wave and plow through some chores, and I see that my wife is having a good day too, then that is a good-good day in my book. Some days my biggest fantasy is to indulge in some wings and take a nap, and then I proceed to do just that. I don’t really need more than that to be happy. By keeping the scope of my dreams much smaller, I have found a lot more things to be happy about. That's not to say you should give up on your dreams completely, but it's far too easy to keep looking at what you'll do next instead of what you've already done.

I can see that I have a life of my own, and I have been growing quite pleased with it.

Make no mistake; I am still very much in the valley. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially... it's been a grueling final semester through the C&MA LEAD program. I can see where many people – so many, MANY, MANY people – have given up on their ministry. There comes a point where it no longer makes sense to keep walking with Christ, and you begin to question what's really wrong with compromising and succumbing to your own desires.

That could've been me. Easily. But my heart knows better. When it seemed impossible for me to graduate from Akron or helm a mission trip, it was God who carried me through to the finish line. I may not know how I'm going to raise $2500 for my mission trip to cap off my education this summer, but I didn't know how I was going to make it into the spring months either. It is my belief that after all is said and done, I'm going to have one heck of a testimony on my hands. That is when my real work will begin.

Stay tuned.