Saturday, July 23, 2016

On being wrong

I let it pass quietly, but last Friday marked a pretty significant anniversary in my life. July 15 was ten years since my first post on a little blog called Jake Watch. I've reflected quite a bit this past week on the impact of that decade and there's an inescapable conclusion I keep returning to: the me of back then would have been incredibly disappointed in the person I am now. Where is my bestselling book series? Where are my millions? Where is my series of famous exes? (Thinking back, it's funny how my vision of life in the fast lane didn't include any stable relationships, just a bunch of high-profile flings. #iwastaylorswiftbeforeitwascool) Where is the me whose live-out-loud life made all of her former classmates jealous?

And what the hell is with all the running?

There's another inescapable conclusion, however, I keep returning to, and that's that I'd be miserable right now if I'd achieved the things that I deemed so important back then. Fame is a much cheaper currency than it once was, and no longer has any appeal to me. Books aren't the way anyone makes a fortune anymore. The pressure of being any sort of public figure in our increasingly tiny world drives far more people to madness than it does happiness, and the mistake that I made, which is such a common one, was in thinking that there was some accomplishment, some success or triumph, that would be The Answer.

I was wrong back then in knowing what I wanted (or needed).

But I think I was right to chase after the wrong things.


I was talking to someone just yesterday who has far-reaching dreams, and he said to me, "You just have to want it enough."

But that's not true. Wanting it isn't enough. Every person on this Earth wants something so badly they can taste it, so if all it took was desire, who among us would ever be disappointed?

And it's not purely hard work, either. Some of the hardest workers I know are also the least productive. Hard work alone means nothing unless it's paired with focus and that one piece of the puzzle that none of us can control: luck.

Success, it seems, is being ready when an opportunity comes and taking advantage of it. Wanting it and working hard are how you prepare. Taking care of yourself in the meantime is how you prepare. And being flexible mentally gives you an edge when it comes to identifying an opening.

I am where I am right now in my life because my experiences have given me a set a tools, and instead of chucking it all in when those tools didn't get me what I initially wanted, I repurposed them to my advantage when other openings came my way.

No, this isn't the life I imagined. It's much less glamorous, and it's real, and sometimes it's hard, and I can sleep at night, and when I look in the mirror I feel good about the person looking back at me, and though I have my issues (we all do) it's a good life. It's not a profile on It's deeper and better than that. And one of the things that I am most grateful for every day, even on the hard days, is that I grew into the person I am right now instead of the person I once thought I should be.


  1. Deep thoughts right there ...

    and I can second you for some of these thoughts - just not about the fame, fame was never something I was interested in.


    1. Yeah, I got really introspective with this anniversary for some reason! I was more interested in being second-hand famous, but still. Looking back on that whole era, it's amazing how much has changed. I'm glad I'm here, and it's now, and that I'm me. :)