I have been in a bit of a funk lately. The constant struggle that I feel is currently laughing in my face is something that a lot of artists can relate to: the fact that I’m broke. Don’t get it twisted, my rent is paid and my dogs are fed. I never have the opportunity to enjoy the utilities I work so hard to maintain and typically when I do get a chance to enjoy my home, I commit to cleaning up the mess created by my two wonderful dogs.
My art projects, website, and all the work that formulating the next feature entails pretty much keeps me miserable at work. How do you know when it’s time to quit your 9-5 and commit 1000% to your dreams? Is it like having kids? By that, I mean: do you just never know until you are in it?
Personally, my option to work has been priority since I was 17. I’ve never had the option to go to my family or my parents considering our financial situations match. The one time I felt desperate enough to approach my parents (divorced), my identity was stolen including my birth certificate, ID, social, and even my College Transcripts went missing from my stuff. Not too long after, a warrant was granted and I was wanted for a Hit and Run charge in Texas. No one confessed. I have no family wealth. At this time, I am wondering one thing: How the fuck do I get out of this? Working hard all day every day is great and I have the stamina to keep up. But how do I avoid running in circles? How do I avoid being constantly on the move but somehow looking back and seeing literally the same thing?
To be clear, I am asking all of these questions without knowing the answers. I genuinely need answers. The only thing that makes sense to me is that QUITTING IS NOT AN OPTION. One size does not fit all, yet I find myself listening to speeches, TedTalks, and interviews of people that I look up to with the hope that I can decode the secret of how they got from Point A to Point B.
I’ll share with you what I have come to understand and please, please take your time to share with me what you have come to understand. I will start with the hard truth that we all define Success different. Success is understood by an individual based on their experiences, what they feel they lacked and/or needed growing up, and by an individual’s desires in life. For some people, success may be a Stable Home and a working car and for others it may be having the ability to own 4 cars at the same time. You may also have a person right next to you that defines success as the ability to feed 4 families at a random time, all at once (I’ve seen it at one of my serving jobs) and let me tell you: THAT was fucking inspiring. I think that learning this relieved a lot of stress from me because I was able to sit and really reflect on what I truly want to gain and why.
My awesome Boss Friend Marissa (CEO of PaceMarketing 2011) blessed me with this knowledge, “Keep in mind the Four F’s with whatever you are putting your energy into”. If you are unclear what the Four F’s may be, let me share with you what she shared with me. Behind everything that you do, there must be purpose. Live on Purpose! Live with Purpose! Now, whatever you put your mind to, whatever you decide to act on, and whatever you decide is YOUR mission, ask your yourself: “Am I doing this for Family, Fortune, Fame, or Freedom?!”. There is no right or wrong answer, but there is only one answer and that is the truth. Be honest with yourself and everyone around you. Be true to your own needs and desires. Ultimately, I challenge you to challenge yourself to give the world nothing but your true authentic self. True, not everyone will fuck with it but fuck it. All these flavors in the world and miserable people will always choose to stay salty. What can you do? Live your best life. Be You for You.
After you clarify with yourself what you define as Success and are honest with yourself as to why you are doing what you are doing, the last thing is to hold yourself accountable at ALL times. In running your own business, you must give yourself deadlines. You must remind yourself things, or eventually hold yourself to write everything down whether they are ideas, questions, and places, whatever! There will be times you feel too tired, too drained, and just too…too… not with it. Those days are ok. Remember, holding yourself accountable is not about blaming yourself rather it is taking responsibility for your decisions. Believe in your own dreams more than anyone else possibly could! If you have a great support system, that should only push yourself to push harder. If they believe in you, how much more do you need to believe in yourself? A shit ton. To me, accountability is taking responsibility for your life. At some point, you have to accept that the bullshit you have endured is no longer your Life. You must acknowledge your own power, your own potential, and your own responsibility to build the life that you deserve or to build a world that future generations deserve. It all starts with you, your actions, your habits, and you deciding to make your dreams reality.
Thank you so much for taking your time to read some of my ideas. Interestingly enough, after writing this- I no longer feel as down as when I started. Thank you for all of your support and all the challenges I have received per person. Thank you for making my to-do list longer by the day and thank you for making it clear that I am not as stagnant as I was feeling this morning. Now, what advice do you have? What life experiences are you willing to share to inspire others? What do you feel I need to know RIGHT the fuck NOW?
-Gabriela Nobody Gregori