Exactly one year ago to this date, I decided to set off on a new journey. One that involved understanding the game of the world that we live in, searching for true happiness, and taking risks.
Understanding the Game:
A year ago I wasn’t happy with what I was doing. In fact I had felt that way for an entire year before that. Correction, it wasn’t that I wasn’t happy with what I was doing, It was that I wasn’t happy with how I was spending my time. Not that I didn’t love the people I was working with but being at the mercy of someone else’s decision without a clear thought process or logical explanation makes you question “What’s the point?” Yes I make a monthly salary, yes I have nice things and live in a nice place but I’m not happy. If I continue this path, what’s next? Move up the ranks, get a higher salary buy nicer things maybe a new car, a bigger house and eat at fancier restaurants. Not a bad path at all, for some this makes sense, for myself it doesn’t fulfill a void that I had been feeling. I realized that no matter how much money I make or the nice things that I have, I am still giving up a lot of my time for those things. Which made me realize that Time is the only real luxury and in life we only have a finite amount of time on this earth. So from this I asked myself several questions.
The money that I make, what is it going towards? In other terms, the time I spend to make money, what is it going towards? Which boils down to, how am I spending my time? Then asking, on this earth, how do I want to spend my time? Which in turn means, what do I really want to do with my life? Which for most people, this would be called a mid life crisis. If at the age of 26, at the time I started asking these questions, this would mean that I’m looking at a lifespan of 52 years. I hope this isn’t the case because I love the world and everything it has to offer but what I guess what I’m trying to say is that most people don’t really ask themselves or are afraid of asking themselves what they want to do with their lives. It’s a difficult question to answer but one that we should continue to ask ourselves and to continue to seek the answer for.
After a year of asking myself this question I realized the answer was very simple. I want to do something that makes me happy. That’s it. Happiness. Everyone has their own version of what makes them happy and the best way I found to figure out what truly makes me happy was to look back on my childhood. It’s strange for someone who day dreams of the possibilities of the future to reflect on the past but at a time where there were no worries of bills, food, scheduling, and work, it was a time I remember being truly happy. Playing sports, making model airplanes, creating jumps for our bicycles, building tree houses, playing video games, stealing chunks of concrete in the new homes being built in the neighborhood to dig for dinosaur bones, discovering new music, creating art and hanging out with friends. Not much has changed aside from sports and playing video games but I still miss those activities. Basically what I learned is that the reason why I loved doing those things came down to two things, Learning and Creating. Those two things equate to having new experiences which meant that my happiness comes from learning and creating new things. So realizing this and seeing where I was at the time, I wasn’t fulfilling my happiness which is why it was time to think about the future and to work towards a life filled with happiness.
Pursuit of Happiness:
Now the Pursuit of Happiness is a long and challenging road full of many hills to climb but I decided that I would much rather have a challenging life that is much more difficult, defined by my own terms, than to a predefined path with an end goal of retirement. Since I wasn’t tied down to anything, I didn’t have any kids, I wasn’t married, nor did I purchase a house or car (not that being married or having kids or purchasing a house is a bad thing, just priorities change), I really had the opportunity to take risks to become an entrepreneur and at the worst case scenario, I could go back to the 9-5 grind. Now, one year later, I am a Co-Founder and Creative Director for my own company and design label. I get to collaborate with new and interesting people. I get to create new designs and work on art and photography. I get to learn new processes of making, entrepreneurship and how a business works. Of course, it is not all fun and games. There is still really boring stuff, in fact you actually have to do more boring stuff as an entrepreneur, but it is working towards a shared vision that ultimately leads to success and freedom. Although we are still in our infancy and far from total financial security I’m extremely happy where we are and that we took the leap of faith.
Now why am I saying all of this? In the hopes that my story can be an inspiration for someone questioning whether or not they should take matters into their own hands, to be fearless and to take risks so that you can pursue something you truly love.
Thanks to the loving support of my friends and family and especially to Susie Gregson and Enrica Masi.