One Step Back. Three Steps Forward.

Whoa! I missed August. It wasn’t intentional. In fact, I had hoped to keep the momentum going. I had a record amount of traffic with my “Taking my Life Back” in July. August brought nothing. Not one word and one image. What the hell?

I actually had a very full month, but I simply couldn’t find words to write here. In fact, I am still struggling with processing all the things in my head and that need attention. Maybe after I get some of this stuff written down and out of my head out, I can share some of my favorite pics and memories in a big catch up post. I just don’t think I can get to that unless I free up some mental space. While riding this AM I had some new thoughts and decided to just start with writing this stuff down and seeing what comes of it.

First of all, I am a bit sick about some recent news. Last week my former place of employment laid off 50+ more people. It made me sick. I was at Q during the 1st round of layoffs at the onset of the pandemic. It still makes me sick. It brought back memories, experiences and feelings that I am still trying to deal with. Those feelings I am having certainly can’t compare to the feelings of those directly impacted by the layoffs. But I am sick about it and more than ever I am extra happy that I made the decision to leave Q on my own terms 14 or so months ago. Yet, this past week, I have been unable to really move forward. Rather, I am stuck in the past with old feelings, anger, hurt, and frustration. I have some other feelings too but those are not meant for here. They are for me to deal with personally and directly as I tromp forward and create an intentional path forward.

If you are still with me thus far, you are probably thinking that this is a post sharing a bunch of negative stuff and what is wrong with the world. While I must admit that at times I have those thoughts, I assure, you it is not that kind of post. I am finding that kind of sharing to be fairly destructive, at least for me. It doesn’t help me move forward. Rather, I want to share two things with you have really helped me think about how to move forward during times of uncertainty and when events trigger and set me, or maybe you, back.

The first piece I want to share with you comes from a photographer I met at Mid South. His name is Joshua Heath Scott. If you don’t follow him on Instagram, I suggest you do. He is an incredibly talented film photographer. I’d say pretty prolific too in his ability capture A LOT of really really good images. I just love his style. He is also a really nice guy that I admire. He’s pretty well known in the guitar world too and if that’s your thing, check out his company JHS pedals.

Source: Joshua Heath Scott’s Instagram Stories

Over the last 14 months since I left my lifelong career in the bicycle industry, the one thing that has been abundantly clear is that I am a creative. I need to create. I need to take images. I need to write. I need to build things in the garage or in my basement creative space. I need to design things and fabricate them. I need to test and break things. I need to learn. I need to process and share. I don’t care if anyone likes my stuff, agrees with me or even reads/views this stuff. I simply need to do this stuff for me. No one else. Just me.

Remember all the things that occurred in your life between the ages of 20 and 50. Now look forward to the next 30 years. What will your life look like? Imagine all that you will accomplish from the ages of 50 to 80?

My wife

The second thought I’d like to share comes from a discussion with my wife. I am sorry that I don’t know where it comes from as I believe it was from a podcast she was listening too but I will give you the background. It was a discussion about Julia Childs. Julia Childs re invented herself and started a new career after she was 50. (sound familiar?). The discussion was about a framework to think about life moving forward. You can’t just look to retirement or a late in life change in career and do nothing. I believe that is why people die after retiring, end up back in their old profession or struggle. Look at all that you/we/I accomplished and experienced between the ages of 20 and 50. Now imagine looking forward and saying what will I accomplish in the next 30 years and start walking toward that just as you did when you were 20 years old?

Why, exactly, is this important? Well….I have been feeling a bit frustrated lately at the speed in which I am recreating my future. At times, it has filled my head with negative thoughts. What am I doing? Do I have the right skills? Am I an imposter? My little custom camera bag brand, Iceworm MFG, is off the ground but I am not making enough yet for it to be sustainable. It was fun putting some money into our bank account for the first time in a year! However, I spent twice what I deposited into our account as I have ordered some more sewing equipment to enhance my capabilities and purchased some additional raw materials for production.

30 years!? That is a big block of time. If you consider that I worked full time for the last 30+ years, my 12 months off before I launched my new brand and started marching toward the next 30 years is just a small amount of time. Maybe those 12 months are more than a blink, but they are still shorter than a catnap on a Sunday afternoon. So if anyone out there is like me or in a similar situation as me, I encourage you to take the long view and keep marching forward towards your goals and your dreams. Don’t loose sight of where you want to go. Don’t stop dreaming. Don’t stop.

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