(courtesy of soelin on Flickr)
So, I met this hip, young lady the other night. Super cute and wicked accomplished. Intimidated the crap out of me. Could barely look her in the eyes to be honest.
Normally, I’m fairly confident about meeting new people. When I tell someone that I run a beer website for a living, they usually get a kick out of it and say something like, “That’s awesome, man!” I’ll ask them what they do and they say that they are getting a grad degree or working a desk job somewhere. I’m rarely assured by people that they are truly happy with what they are doing. In some twisted way, I think I come away more confident about the career path I’ve taken after these encounters.
This night was a complete reversal though. It was really humbling to meet someone that actually made me question how happy I was with the path I’ve chosen. While I’m proud of what I’ve done so far with Beernews.org and all that, I’m not yet where I want to be with it. It has been a ton of work over the past few years and a ton of time behind a computer screen. Still doing everything myself. And very little travelling and meeting people face-to-face.
I have absolutely no excuse.
She read all of it on my face. Every time I would bring up that I wanted to do this or that, I’d present some obstacle that has prevented me from doing it. “Yeah, but I don’t have enough money.” “They’re probably not going to want to do that.” I put up these walls.
The truth is that they don’t exist.
Only doors do.
When you see obstacles as doors instead of walls, you give yourself an opportunity to get past it. Maybe it will stay shut and you can never open it. Or maybe you just have to try really hard to bust through it…
Or maybe it will just open.
How to rectify this?
Bust through the door…
This summer, I took up running, building up my mileage into the mid-high single digits. Well, last week, I tried to run the equivalent of a half marathon for the first time in my life.
I only made it ten miles before my legs DIED. This happened with three miles left to go before I made it back home. I would walk for two minutes and then have to sit down for two minutes. I did this for about one hour on my way back. It was painful.
A couple nights ago, with this new metaphor of doors and walls in mind, I gave 13 miles another go. It was cold and rainy. A night run.
At the eighth mile, rather than run around this big ass fountain, I ran right through it. (Actual fountain pressure was full-bore at the time I ran through it). I came out soaked on the other end…and just a tiny bit liberated.
I had the same exact feeling in my legs on the tenth mile but just pushed through it. Sure, I felt like I had hypothermia when I got home and my legs hurt like $%^& but it was worth it.
As a kid, it feels like you can do anything. Then you go through life and people/society gradually tempers your expectations.
But there are no walls. Only doors.
And to empower someone to see life like that is one of the greatest gifts that you can give them.