Mar 31, 2010

I'm Awesome! There, I Said It.

It's not by coincidence that I've decided to write this post on the day of my 26th birthday; although birthdays alone don't really make anyone awesome. In fact, feeling special about your birthday is similar to feeling special about breathing - we all do it, although I suppose in both cases if you're not able to enjoy your birthday or breathing chances are it's because you're not around anymore for it to matter.

What's really inspired me to write this is a recognition that it's become trendy - now more than ever - to feel under-appreciated; to be the anti-alpha male. The songs we listen to, the movies and TV we watch, and even the way we express ourselves online; self pity, begrudging the state of daily life, and feeling like things just aren't set up for us to be who we want to be. Hell, Michael Cera has made a film career out of specifically playing this character hasn't he?

My feelings towards this are that, sure, there's a lot of problems that need fixing and even a lot to generally feel bad about. But then why not do something? At the heart of the matter, I feel like the people who would rather dwell on how shitty things are (especially from a middle class perspective) are the same people who would open a fridge full of food and tell you there's nothing to eat. The problem isn't a lack of choice or options, the problem is people feeling like they should be exempt from putting in the effort.

Like a scene I recently watched in Six Feet Under, Ruth tells her daughter something like, "you're under the misguided impression that life owes you something". That's exactly the problem, we should all know it doesn't.

What I find interesting is that people who often take this stance are actually quite priveleged (in more than just a monetary sense). I think the mentality of being under-appreciated comes as much from being bored as it does from actually having a problem.

My point is that even when we're put in a corner, there's almost always at least two choices we can make. I've debated this continually. Just in terms of Editing Luke, my blog could be more popular, I could have more video views, etc. but then I look around. This all took so much work, and there's still so much more to do.

I've spent years addressing the things that bug me (and continue to). I've expressed myself candidly, I've shared, I've used this as an excuse to connect with strangers, etc. Day by day things have transitioned and I'm finding myself in an incredible position these days, valued both professionally and individually. After all the learning and humility it's required just to get this far, I'm genuinely proud of myself - I'm awesome! There, I said it, haha.

I'll also continue to lose from time to time. But, you know, that's part of being human, it's part of the challenge that keeps things interesting. It's worth striving for something than sitting around thinking about how your one attempt didn't work out. I think it's fitting that I quote a guy like Charlie Chaplin, someone who literally made his fortune playing 'the Tramp', the underdog, saying, "Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself".

So buck up folks, and may you also find a new way to make a fool of yourself today. I think we'll all feel a bit better because of it.

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