Part of my ongoing journey to authenticity and emotional growth involves reflection on lessons learned and observing where I was at a specific point in time.
About this time last year I was still in a deep depression, severely hating my job, and feeling irreparably stuck in life. When I found myself sobbing over Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg’s performance at the 2022 Super Bowl, I realized I had sunken into an odd mid-life crisis. Here were people who had pursued what they loved, and decades later, they were still going strong. I mourned the loss of my creativity and my supposed failure at resurrecting it through writing.
A few months later I was feeling better, but still frustrated and burned out. I shifted my outlook and leaned into my love of taekwondo to get me through the dark times. I got back to doing what I love, and through a bit of a deus ex machina moment, work got better, or at least more bearable (fast forward several months and I’m actually much more satisfied and happy with my day job).
Things were getting better.
The REAL moment of change for me, though, came at the end of 2022 when I saw my favorite rapper Prof live in concert. Prof is an artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota who has experienced what he called in an interview “incremental growth” over the last fifteen years. He hasn’t blown up yet, at least in terms of folks like Eminem and Dr. Dre, but he’s getting closer and closer, and for those of us who are fans, it will be more than well deserved. He’s funny, soulful, makes banging beats, and has a powerful singing voice. And I know he’s felt the same anger and frustration that I have about not “blowing up” and playing the comparison game with other artists.
Prof put on the best show I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen big players like Paul McCartney and Elton John. His love for his craft (and his fans) shone through, and his work ethic is evident in the work he constantly puts out in between albums and tours. At one point in the show he opened up to the audience about how the last few years have been life-changing for him, with both disappointments and triumphs. That inspired me.
Through it all, he persevered, and kept pursuing his goal.
Forget these TED Talking Heads or business gurus who can take off a year in their beach houses to write a bestselling book. MY business and creative inspiration comes from a scrappy, hilarious, trouble-making guy in Minnesota who has never given up, even when the odds were against him.
I’m never giving up. I’m going to be more honest and open about what I want in my day job, write like I have no limits, and keep snagging opportunities.
And, y’all seriously, check out Prof on Instagram and YouTube. Thank me later.