What frustration and fear are for


Try saying that headline three times fast.

No. Don't.

You're already frustrated enough, aren't you? I know I am. These days, for every moment of wonderment, and happily, there are many, and happy moments of wonderment, at that, there seem to be three of the WTF-OMFG-WFHIT* variety.

People are craaaaaazy right now. There is a craaaaaazy amount of fear in the air, and an actually not-so-crazy amount of scrambling accompanying it. Because all the rules have changed, or seem to have, in the middle of the game. (I'll make the rather existential argument that we've all been living in a fantasy hullaballoo of our own creation, but for our purposes, things got nutjob, fast.)

I was musing on (about? over?) this today because I had a Creeping Panic Moment of my own. Jesus Christ on a busted-ass Segway, what the hell is wrong with me? I wondered. I spend over a year figuring out "where I'm at" (to cop a 70s phrase from my favorite 70s movie) and in which direction I want to point my guns, and now I'm going to spend another year, or two, or five, building it? A brand new service business, in this market? What am I high on, my own fumes of delusional self-glory?

Somehow, the moment passed. Actually, I know exactly how the moment passed, and I'm going to share this AMAZING AND ALL-POWERFUL SECRET with you: I worked.

I sat down and did some bona-fide, best-of-my-ability, all-out marketing consulting work for a wonderful woman up in Palo Alto doing her own wonderful work to change the world with her own gifts. We worked, the two of us. And on the other side of that, after we'd gotten some good work done, I'm guessing we both felt better. (Well, she has a worse cold than I, by the sound of it, so she can't have felt entirely better-better. But still.)

After the call, when I set about to some puttering (I must needs putter after a call, I'm so hopped up), a crazy thought popped into my head. An analogy, which is one of my favorite kinds of thoughts, a whole string of them, actually.

It's been like this before, thought I, when I couldn't get a college paper to work, or before I first jumped up on stage in front of a bunch of strangers. It was like this when I got my sorry ass kicked out of the Groundlings Sunday Company. It was like this when I quit advertising, when I started acting and sucked at it, when I sucked again and finally had to walk away.

It was like this when I first rode the bus to school by myself, when I tried out for the basketball team in the seventh grade and again every single time I was called off the bench to play (not many for a 4'11" point guard, but I went up with my heart in my mouth each time). It was like this when my dad drove away after dropping me off at my freshman dorm; it was like this just before I finally capitulated and went into therapy for the first time. I don't remember it, but it was probably like this when I first learned to walk and talk.

These craaaaaazy times are calling for a lot of faith. Not in some celestial force, although that's fine, if it works for you (and if you don't hand over the reins to the point of missing your truck, boat and helicopter). Given the tightness of money and the uncertainty swirling around us, there will probably be more lag time between risk and reward, IF there's a reward.

I'm going to try to remember that things generally work out; I'm also going to try to remember that even when they haven't, I've not (yet) been engulfed in a tower of flame or turned into a pillar of salt.

I'm just going to try.

How about you?


*See here and here for those of you who weren't psycho enough to have been ardent Parker fans from the age of 16.

Image by Waponi via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.