I drive a VW Beetle. We met one day back in February. It was in the middle of that cold streak, where it hurts to go outside but you're so sick of wearing the same stupid three coats, that you just wear a sweatshirt for something different, because, you wont need to be like, OUT in that cold for more than thirty seconds at a clip right?
If your car breaks suddenly and irreparably, and you need to go car shopping immediately, you might have wished you were wearing that coat. That was the situation I was faced with that day, my seventeen billion year old Pontiac Grand Am whom I'd purchased for $800 four years earlier, had finally made an abrupt, but predictable exit to the big junkyard in the sky. Having to work my normal job in the morning, I needed a car ASAP. My dad and uncle knew someone who knew someone who knew someone that sold cars, so off we went for a deal hunt.
Everyone who knows me knows I HATE spending money. I cling to money like Jack and Rose cling to that door in the last scene in Titanic. Some people collect hockey cards. I like to collect money. I just love to watch it grow. So the news of needing a brand spanking new car didn't really delight me, although I knew it was coming for some time.
The guy at the car place showed me a sheet with all the cars, and my eyes were looking for price first and ugly factor right after. Jeep? Meh too boxy. Buick? HEEEELLLL no, I'd had enough boat cars for a lifetime after my first Pontiac Bonneville. Beetle? Well, it was cute! And the cheapest thing on the lot. I was sold. I went out to meet her. It was love at first site when she looked up at me with those giant headlights, she looked so happy! (so what if Beetles stemmed from Hitler, they look so darn cute) I drove the car off the lot that day for $6000 cash. Ok, I didn't drive it, it was standard, and Id never driven standard at the time and had no idea how. But I like a challenge, I'll get into that story another time.
Anyways, I had several people in the last few days ask me how I think I can do what I love and ever have any money. No, right now, two months into doing this full time, I don't make "crazy good money". There used to be a time when I would pour over stats published about how much people in my industry are supposed to make, and how much average people make, and do I measure up?!?! Then I realized something. I ain't average. And I don't even want to be, so why worry about averages?! I have everything I need and want right now....and the point is that's different for everyone, and for 90% of that, you have total control over your life design. With the exception of medical emergencies and the like, YOU control how you set up your life. Forget stats ok? Because they are just that, AVERAGES. YOU might be the one that doesn't fit with that.
Think of crash test ratings. You spend hours looking for the perfect forty seven star frontal crash test rated minivan with side air bags, ceiling air bags, arm rest airbags, airbags in the cupholders and windows that you cant open from the inside unless you're cleared with the CIA, lest someone fall out mid cruise. You're going along on the highway, and Bob the truck driver fell asleep after one too many hours on the road. Hes crossing the median. He's got 20 huge steel pipes in his truck. You know where this is going. No cupholder airbag could have stopped that beam from taking you straight out in this case. Behind your supervan, was Joe. Joe drives a 1995 Geo Prizm. It has a negative 40 star crash test rating. Did they even put airbags in that thing? Joe slams into your van. Metal pipes come within inches of his head. Joe should be dead. But Joe walks, yup walks away from the crash. You're dead. Crash test ratings and averages, made zero difference here. This was a unique situation. The angle of the crash was just so that Joe walked out without a scratch. And you didn't. You're dead.
He lived, you didn't?! How's THAT for averages?
The point here is averages don't guarantee, promise, or mean, ANYTHING really. Fortunately, you have a bit more control over your life design than you do over your life on the road. People ask me how I live? I don't spend thoughtlessly. I don't have a TV. I buy new clothes rarely, I have MORE clothes than I know what to do with. I do my own hair. I paint my own nails. I am blessed with no loan payments, because owning a business was a plan I considered WAY back in high school with my family. I don't have kids. I live in a place where the rent isn't high, and I share it with someone. My cars have all been used and bought in cash. My biggest expense is food, because that's also the one "hobby" I've chosen to pursue.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. What a loser, God shes boring, her life must be so boring and absolutely suck, she has NOTHING, I have so much more, what does she DO with her time?! You'd be wrong on all counts, in my eyes. I am rarely bored. I don't care about TV at all, I forget it exists actually. In my free time, I work out because I love it, I research working out, I research and read online, I talk to my boyfriend and friends, I go outside. And oh yeah, I build my design biz. Because I want that. Because I KNOW I cant support five kids and a BMW and yacht on what I make now. NO WAY. But I'VE CHOSEN THAT.
You might choose different. You might want kids, more than you want to not work a "stable" job. You might be ok with spending all week away from the huge house you have to keep paying on. You might be ok with that big cable TV bill. That is entirely your choice. But don't just have things, because stats and society says you have to have things.
Do you WANT to pay for 7000 channels a month? Can you think of something better you might be able to do with your time here than lose it to fake story lines? Can you find a couple things you want to watch online for free? Can you drive a car because it gets you somewhere, not because its shiny and new? Do you need to spend hours working to pay for someone to coat your fingernails in plastic? Can you live in a cute little place that you made all yours, not caring who it impresses? Do you really want to start a family at this time? Can you still get a good workout in with $12 TJMaxx headphones instead of $300 dollar Beats? You get what I'm saying.
Of course some things will ALWAYS be beyond our control, as is the case with the metal pipes on that truck. You may fall ill, a surprise child might come along, your house might burn down. NO ONE KNOWS SO WHY WORRY! Only control what you can, to get you to a place of TRUE happiness that has NOTHING to do with what the stats say should make you happy. I'm pretty freaking happy, in my no TV small house with my non manicured nails in my favorite yoga pants, eating $13 dollar nut butter from a spoon handed down from my mom. Back up, HOW much was that nut butter?! Its ok, we all have ONE thing we enjoy spending on ;) Keep it balanced!
THINK big picture about the future, BUILD the life you want, do not throw money down the toilet and hope happiness will blow up back out at you. Usually what comes back up in that case, is pretty shitty. Pun intended. Start making the changes and thinking of how you can get closer to what you SERIOUSLY want. What are you willing to sacrifice? ALL goals require some sacrifice. HAPPY FRIDAY!
As always, check out www.tamaramorrisongraphics.com to see what I do!
Have you ever slept in your car in an airport parking garage? Ok, you probably actually have, as sleeping in airports isn't really that crazy. But have you ever done it right after blowing the entire life you knew apart and making massive changes, there because you have no where to call “home”?
I think not.
If you have, kudos to you, because you know its one hell of a ride, and one that I've been on.
2017 has been one crazy year. If you know me, you know that. If you know me from some vague snapshot on social media, you know some things have changed. If you don't know me at all and you've stumbled upon this in the deep crevices of the internet, you probably know someone like me.
This kind of a story isn't an easy one to talk about, mostly because its ugly. Ugly like: someone might not think I'm perfect anymore and riding on the backs of unicorns and following the rules that humans should follow so no one hates them on Facebook , ugly.
But here's the thing, and why I'm writing about this . Someone out there, is going to look at this and say OMG, that's me. That's me and my feelings and my life or that's what I WANT to be my life but I can't do it because its too hard.
And I want to be here to tell you that making huge changes IS too hard, oh is it ever. But you will be ok. And it will suck and you will learn more than you ever have in your life and emerge a better person than you were before.
Without going into too much detail out of respect for other involved parties, I found myself very unhappy in a relationship situation I was in at the beginning of this year. No, no one was a bad person, nothing outlandish happened to solidify the choice, and no one came at anyone with knives.
I just found myself to be living in a non authentic situation (aka a lie) because it was easy, all I knew for so long, and I didn't want to hurt anyone. The downfall was gradual, and almost went completely unnoticed.
However, as the commitment to forever presented itself and drew ever closer, my guts screamed Stop! Stop! NO! a little louder each day.
Always being one to listen to my guts, I realized a massive shift was about to occur and the power of knowing in my heart what I had to do was far greater than my fear of, well, upsetting other people.
The see-saw tipped one day, leading to a series of serious talks, difficult admissions, crazy truths, turmoil, disappointing and surprising many other people, and general out of body experiences that this was really happening.
I was really going to blow my entire life apart as I knew it.
Its so scary to talk about this. Why? Because disclosing anything opens a person up to judgment, duh. Everyone else will always have an opinion about how you should live, and be quick to point out what you did wrong.
But I know there are other people out there, sacrificing their happiness, living a lie, not taking action on their truth, because of this very fear.
So I want to tell you honestly what its like, how it feels, and what to expect when you make big changes, be it leaving a stable job, moving, or yes ending a long relationship.
So here you go, here's what to expect in my experience, when you make huge changes in your life....
1)People will hate you on Facebook.
We all like to nose around on each others social media for signs of what “happened” when someone makes a life change. Where does she work now? What happened to her boyfriend? Why isn't his dog in any of his pictures?
People will be doing this to you when you make a big change. They may have “heard something” through the grapevine, or they may be trying to figure it out on their own.
People who used to like your pictures and statuses will stop. You will get unfreinded. People will assume you are a terrible human being who haven't even spoken to you in five years.
You can do nothing to stop this.
It will be uncomfortable and you will want to justify yourself to everyone. It is not going to be worth it because remember, your life is yours and yours alone. Time will pass, and people who barely know you WILL forget it ever happened.
2) People will hate you in real life.
Be it ex coworkers you left behind when you went to a better gig, your ex partner and his or her friends and family, or the people you left behind when you moved to China, people in real life will be a bit peeved.
It is nearly impossible to part ways with anyone and anything without developing some kind of “side” in the situation. The other “side” will not share the same sentiments about the changes as you. If they did, they too would have made the same change at the exact same time.
You can part ways amicably, but almost always, the person or people who's direction you are moving away from, will not hold you in as high of esteem as they once did.
You will have to accept you can't make everyone happy, and life just hurts sometimes and things that will benefit you and others long term, have to hurt NOW.
3) You'll have to remind yourself often are not an awful person for wanting what you want in life.
At each stage of life, getting a job, getting married, having kids, moving, buying a house, etc, sometimes people just drift along with what everyone else around tells them they should want, or what they should think is “normal.”
You decided that something didn't feel right to you in your life, and you took action on it . That is a hard but brave thing to do (because of all the above points). Too many people can't bear the judgments that will be bestowed upon them, and for good reason.
It really, really sucks. It hurts.
But you don't want to find yourself
with three kids living in Kansas when all you really wanted was
to be a Brain Surgeon in the best hospital in Manhattan.
Because I have news, not to copy Gary V but he's right here: Someday, you'll be dead. You can't come back and do this over.
Sometimes, in the case of a breakup especially, these big choices will involve hurting other people. Unless you are a truly a POS human being, this will not feel good and it will not be fun. Because you are not dead inside, you will feel bad. That is normal, and it is OK.
Sometimes, the hardest thing and right thing are the same, just like that old song by The Fray. Remember, every human deserves real love, respect and to live a great life. In the case of a breakup, wouldn't it be worse to lead someone on long term?
You are not an awful person for making changes, even ones that temporarily hurt other humans. You would be a far more awful person if you lied your entire life away and robbed others chances at what THEY want.
Hopefully, being the brave human you are, you go through life listening to your guts before you make big commitments. The more responsibility involved in your choices, the more seriously you should take them. Options are limited sometimes, and you may find yourself making the best of situations you are in, which is great, but late at night in the dark and quiet, you know you will always wonder “what if”?
That long term unease is going to be worse than this short term sharp pain of change.
4) You will see who your friends and family really are.
When all goes south, who sticks around? Friends you weren't that close to at first will surprise you with the amount of support they give you for your choices. Friends you used to rely on, won't even return your calls, will judge you, and will not “side” with you.
They will not hear you out and will have already decided they don't want anything to do with you based on something they heard or saw on Facebook. They will never ask you for your perspective.
The same goes for family members. It will not be easy to tell family members about your life changes. They will need some time to come around and adjust, too. But if family is truly family, they will see you are happier and will support you fully in time. If they don't, you will have to distance yourself for a while, if not permanently if you discover some not-so-great truths about their loyalties. You must just bear this discomfort as it comes.
5) You will feel more determined than ever to get the rest of your life together.
Going through a breakup? You might have time to start that side gig you always wanted to now. Moving to Utah? Could be time to try skiing. Been wanting to spend more time growing your business, working on a project, adopting an animal or traveling?
The changes, whatever they were, will have given you new perspective on things, new chances to do stuff you might have been wanting to do before you blew your life as you knew it, apart. These things were not the main motivator for changing your life, but they come as welcome and surprising benefits. This is called growing as a person.
6) It will take time to adjust and that is OK.
Feelz, thoughts, and demons will continue to surface for a while after you make a big change.
Things you didnt even realize you were going to feel, you will feel. Thoughts you did not even fathom having, you will have.
You will have to work through these daily for a while, and wonder why you ever thought changing your life would make you happier. Eventually, it will get easier, you will adapt, and you will be happier. If you are not, you will see the next move you need to make to find happiness more clearly. All of this will result in large amounts of personal growth. This is good.
Despite everything, there will still be people that judge you harshly, be it from their own jealousy of passing by their own changes to make the choices you did, or be it because they think (keyword think) that they would have done it better or differently in your situation.
That will always suck.
But what will always suck more is not living your truth. I don't mean to sound like some crazy, bullshit toting shamen, but if you don't live your life putting your own happiness first, how can you possibly give the best of you to others and to the world?
Not from a job you hate. Not from living in a town you're sick of. And not from a relationship that isn't working for you any longer, especially in your rapidly changing 20s.
Pushing through and ignoring these doubts you have to spare judgment, could result in, complacency, wasted talents, kids without an example of real love to learn from, and daily stress and unrest , that you continue to stuff down until you expire.
If you keep beating down doubt and signs that things need to change in your life like you're playing a game of Whac-A-Mole, This is your wake-up call. Ten years from now, is anyone on social media, or your real friends and family, going to care at all about what you did back in 2017 to progress your own life?
No . They'll move on to the next thing. They'll see your happiness, progress and growth and be unable to deny that you did the “right” thing.
Those you may have hurt temporarily, will hopefully be living a life doing what they love, because even if they didn't see you were holding them back from that, you were. If they aren't, well you avoided that type of person before things got more complicated by greater commitment and responsibility.
Think long term, think about the people that REALLY matter to you and the ones you know will always be there.
That should never change.
I wish you luck in all your big changes. And if you find yourself sleeping in an airport parking garage in order to MAKE these moves, despite the cold, and the trucks thundering over the joints in the damn thing all night, I assure you, it is without a doubt, 100% worth it.
Every now and again, you find yourself at a funeral. Sad music, sad people, weird clothes. A body on display like a turkey on the Thanksgiving table, except you're not sure if you should look or not. Can the deceased hear you? Are they really dead? What's dead like?
I found myself in such a situation, when my then boyfriend, now fiance's grandfather passed a few years back. I sat with the family, looped in a solemn horseshoe formation around the casket as people paid their last respects.
As I watched everyone pass, I couldn't help but feel suddenly, overwhelmingly out of place. Here I was, only having known the man for the past five years, yet I was front and center for the last moments of his time above ground.
I wanted to be there, wanted to support my boyfriend, but I wondered, was this who he expected to be left standing when he died? Would he be disappointed with this turnout? Did I even deserve to be here?
In 70 plus years of life, just think of all the people he'd known. From his first friends in grade school, to high school, his first job, former girlfriends, bosses, people he'd met doing sports, the list goes on and on and on.
And at the very end, here was me and a few other people. And this is who and what it'd all come down to.
That got me thinking about how sad and how scary it is, that we can all count on one hand the people who TRULY care about us. We go through people in our lives like we do coffee filters, and the time we take to brew each relationship before we change that filter, seems to be getting increasingly shorter.
How many people have you lost? No I don't mean they died, I mean simply "lost touch" with? Not because you wanted to or should have (that's a whole different story) but simply because you nor they could be bothered to continue to hold the relationship together? Your best friend in elementary school, do you still talk? Your college roommate? The person you met in zumba class and went to dinner with a few times?
Our relationships these days seem like a revolving door. We meet because we have something in common, be it work, hobbies, classes, mutual friends, whatever. We talk, we bond, we hang out, and then slowly, slowly, we talk less. We stop hanging out. Someone moves. Lives change. And soon we don't talk anymore at all. All those little things we told each other no longer even matter. We didn't mean enough to each other to withstand the heavy pull of life.
And I have to admit, sometimes it breaks my heart.
How many times have we become close to someone for a time, telling them every detail of our day to day lives, only to have it fade away as though we'd barely met at all?
Perhaps this is a natural part of life, and we're only meant to know some people for a very short time. They might come into our lives to help us with a problem or solve an issue, and for nothing more. But sometimes, maybe it would be nice to forge more friendships that would last until the end of our lives.
Not fancy, hang out every second friendships, but friendships that you could pick up right where you left off, friends that will be there for you no matter what happens friends that love you . We all have a few like that. Why cant we have more?
Relationships, like everything worth having in life, take work. We seem to want to do less and less work. It's easier to simply stop working to be a good friend and find someone else that fits our current needs. People and things change, and its easier to go out and find replacements than to work on what we already have, and add to it.
I'm guilty of holding onto strings better left to fray. When I befriend someone I try to give it my all, but I can say the only people who haven't let me down are a couple of my girls and my fiance. Probably good that I'm marrying him then!! ;)
Everyone else turns out to be somewhat of a letdown, They stop talking to me suddenly or slowly, they fade away without reason, they lose interest in working for a friendship. It makes me sad. But I know that I am not alone. I see it happen everywhere, with everyone. I'm sure I'm guilty of being the letdown at least once, too.
Naturally, that's made me less sensitive to people that talk to me. "New friends" if you will. I am always happy to get to know people but I don't expect much to come of it. I don't expect them to remember me when I'm 75, or 45, or in many cases, 30.
What does this teach us? To always embrace ourselves and our independence. The things that keep me happy I've learned to find within myself, my design, my work, my goals. Fitness. My dogs. People are additions to your life, and shouldn't ever become your reason to exist, or your motivation to go for those things you want for yourself.
Perhaps you must let them fall in and out of your life, maybe that's how its supposed to be. Perhaps life is meant to be lived meeting, loving and losing as many friends as we can.
That doesn't mean it isn't sad when we realize someone we used to (or still do) care about has stopped talking to us slowly. That doesn't make it any easier when we leave a job and we never see the person we spent day in and day out with, ever again.
What if it didn't have to be that way? What if we put a little more effort into telling the people that we want in our lives, that we want them there? Or better yet, showing them. What would we have to lose? I'm not talking about horrible exes, or mean bosses, or former friends who turned into something we don't even want to know anymore.
No I'm talking about those silent faders, where nothing ever went wrong, nothing really changed, but the friendship ended because no one put in the effort. Those are the saddest losses, those are the ones that make us wonder if anyone truly cares about us at all.
So...... go out there, weather it be in your personal life or your business life, and send an old friend a message. Meet up. Tell your current friends they mean something, and don't allow them to fade without any negative reason for doing so. Cut people slack. Forgive minor imperfections and offenses.
Put in some damn effort. Just like you should with your professional life, your spouse, your kids your health and your pets. Put in some effort and care a little bit.
Someday that's gonna be you. Laying in that coffin. When all is said and done who is going to be there to remember you and what you meant in your time here? Assuming they haven't passed before you of course, who will be able to say they really knew you through a big portion of this thing called life?
Who will you support throughout this life, who do you want there. There's never a wrong time to remind them of that. Remind them now. Before the sad music and the weird clothes and the coffin thing.
Before its too late.
"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
I think it does. I think it makes the same sound it would if it were surrounded by a crowd of people.
But you read the quote. No one is around to hear it. No one cares. No one will come chop the tree up into logs. No one will plane the logs down into boards. No one will build a chair or a table or a baby crib out of that tree. It doesn't matter if it's among the finest Mahogany in the country. It will rot, marred by maggots and larvae, unseen and forgotten into the ground.
It could have been so many wonderful things.
Like all trees do, it began as a seed sailing on a puffy little cloud, or some happy crap like that. (More than likely, it was stuck to a fox's left ass cheek, and was carried a couple of miles before dropping off.) It found a comfy place to live, and it put down roots. Because its a tree, it cant put a for sale sign out, call for a U-Haul and move. It would be stuck there for the rest of its life. It would have to wait for people to find IT to determine it was worthy of being made into something.
Good news. You are not a tree! You can move wherever you want. You can interact with whomever you want. You can be made into whatever you want.
Of course there's always gonna be that crowd that wants to sit home in their pajamas and is content working at the 7-11 for the rest of their lives. Key word: wants. Getting by doing the minimum is enough for them, seriously. But what if that's not you?
What if you want to start a company, what if you want to create art seen around the world, what if you want to be a pro athlete or create a clothing line or increase awareness and raise money to cure a disease? You can't be the unseen tree. And you can't be scared to rip yourself up by the roots.
You need to be everywhere. People often think its bragging, or gloating about themselves if they continue to promote to the world what they do well. We all know that asshole on social media that posts 3040 selfies of everything they do and every other post says "F#*K the haterssss!" But just WHY does that person bother you and I so much, you fellow hater?
No its not because you're jealous. You're actually, seriously nauseated by their content. It's because their content isn't real. Everything's always perfect. They never get upset, or fail or have a bad day, or fart in a crowd and blame someone else, or fail to wash their hair for six days. You, unfortunately, can't relate to them. You fail often and forget to be perfect. Therefore, you wish they would just go away. They don't make you feel good about yourself. They make you feel bad . Why would you buy what they're selling or support them in their missions?
The people and businesses you look up to and ultimately buy from and support make you feel great. They share not only the good, but the bad. They make noise and its real. They put themselves out there flaws and all. You can relate, it feels like you know them. You'd buy sawdust in a package from them because even if you've never met them, they're your friends, and you trust your friends.
So there's good noise and bad noise. And then there's no noise . We all know that artist that THINKS no one will like his work so he hides it in his closet, even though he's the most amazing thing you've ever seen. Or that great writer who was told by someone that publishing a book is unreasonable and stupid, so they put that dream on the shelf and stayed silent. Or that ice cream shop whose owner doesn't know or care how to use a computer, so they aren't on any social media. No one knows they make the best banana split for 50 miles.
You're good at something and you have dreams. Whether you think you'll ever get there or not, you don't stand a chance if you don't put it out there. Social Media has made it easier than ever to share with the world what those are, and to remain humble. Don't spam people or be fake and perfect. Be real. Be someone they can know without ever having met you. People go with what they know and hear consistently. They support it, they think of it often, they buy from it.
Be in people's heads. Not screaming spammy crap, but be there for what you're good at and for who you are. Don't be afraid to be imperfect and don't be afraid to be really good at something and tell the world. You're good at it because it was meant for you and you love it. You're going to mess up a LOT because you're human.
You're not a tree. You can do whatever it takes to succeed. Email everyone you know and be yourself. Do it again a couple months later. Talk to people, meet people. Walk up to them even though you have no idea what to say. You'll look stupid. You will. You'll feel stupid. Deal with it. Anyone who got anywhere, dealt with it. It'll separate you from everyone that quit.
There's so many cool people out there, with cool examples and inspiration. Whatever it is you want to do, someone probably already did similar. Find out how and then do it better.
Talent is worth nothing if no one knows you have it and you're too scared to use it. Its yours, go own it before its too late. Be the tree that grows next to the Eiffel tower, not in the middle of Montana. Make sure everyone hears you when you fall.
For graphic design and help with YOUR social media for business as always check out www.tamaramorrisongraphics.com :-)