Monthly Archives: January 2015

Lesson #192: Only takes one time.


I feel like when people say “It only takes one time,” nine times out of ten it’s an old person warning you about going to jail, or getting pregnant.

I’m sure you’re relieved to hear that I’m not here to report to you about either of those two things. Well, at least not today anyways. Sorry.

But I am hear to tell you that it’s true. It only takes one time. Or, at least, that’s a little bit of what I’ve learned in my experience.

Just a few months ago, I made a music video for a class project. If you read Lesson #144, you’ll remember me talking about this. My project partner and I decided we wanted to go all out. Full throttle. We didn’t care that it was just a project. We wanted to actually create something good, something cool. We worked for weeks, edited all night, and even shed some tears at assholes who tried to tell us the story wasn’t good enough. It got more than 1,000 views in 24 hours, more than 40 shares, over 60 comments, and more than 100 likes.

A class project.

People I didn’t even know were sharing it, and I was floored. I couldn’t believe it.

Over the past few weeks, I have been asked to film two weddings, more than four big events, and I even got a job offer—because these people saw that video.

I used to see people around campus doing big things, taking on large projects, and I was scared that I would never be able to do that. I was scared that I wasn’t good enough—that the opportunity would just never arise for me.

But to my surprise, all it took was one time, one video. And opportunity arrived.

I’m not saying one video (or product or presentation or book or pitch) will be your end all be all. Maybe it won’t. But maybe one video or product or presentation or book or pitch could. It only takes one time. One person you know. (It really is about who you know guys, make friends) And then you’ll find yourself in the presence of one opportunity. And then another. And another. And that’s how you get the ball rolling. That’s how you start.

Whatever you do, or whatever you aspire to do—

work hard and persist in absolutely everything you do.

Give it your all (I’m talking 100%), or give it nothing. (My personal philosophy, but feel free to adapt whatever floats your boat)

You never know who will see it.

You never know where one time will get you.

Day 192.



Lesson #191: Leaders need leaders.


Tonight a good friend told me, “Leaders need leaders.”

Leaders need a team.

We need more than one brain. We need others to strengthen us where we are weakest, and encourage us where we’re strongest.

Leaders need leaders.

Find your team.

Day 191.

Lesson #190: Talk yourself into it. (Or out of it.)


Sometimes you don’t need advice.

Sometimes, what you need is to talk yourself through the situation.

Tell me you haven’t seen a chick flick where Kate Hudson is gushing to her best friend about how much she could never have feelings for her best friend because he is just her best friend and they’ve been close since the ninth grade and it would just be weird and at one point she thought he was gay but he’s so nice and he is always there for her (like that time she cried over the man with the golden retriever that stood her up) and he is a great listener and he kind of has a nice body and— oh my gosh. She’s in love with him.

If you’re anything like me,

you’ve never been stood up by a man with a golden retriever.

But the Kate-Hudson-chick-flick stock character can teach us something.

Sometimes we don’t need advice. Honestly, do you really need another voice in your head?

What you need is a lunch date, a phone call, or a five minute chat in the bathroom—and another human being.

Really, take anyone who is willing to listen.

What is the dilemma? What are your choices? Why is this so hard for you? Why is this so easy for you? Is it serving you? Is it helping you grow? Is it not? What can you do without? What will you miss? What could you not give two shits about? Where do you see yourself in the future?

But these are just some questions I talked myself through today.

Every person is different.

And even for the same person, every situation you come across is different.

I can’t tell you where to begin, or what to talk about.

There is no order, or script, or agenda.

Just start.

Explain everything unapologetically. Bare it all.

I wouldn’t say this is venting, because it’s not.

It’s more like you, talking to yourself. Talking yourself through the situation.

Go ahead.

You’ll be surprised when suddenly,

you may know exactly what you want after all.

Day 190.


Lesson #189: Believe their colors.


I heard somewhere a long time ago that once people show you their true colors, you should believe them.

But whether you accept them or not is your decision.

Getting rid of toxicity in your life is hard. Getting rid of toxicity in your life is much, much harder when it’s someone you once cared for deeply, and for a very long time. I found myself going back to them time and time again, hoping and praying each time that the relationship would be restored. That it would be different. Or really, that it would just be the same.

It never was.

And tonight, when I was with them, there was this sinking feeling like I had never had any of the other times they stung me. It was almost a numbness. It didn’t hurt anymore, because I knew this was the end. I just knew in my heart that there was no going back.

I love hard.

I’m the kind of person who loves and loves, almost blindly. I want to trust people. I want to like people. And I don’t want to see the worst in them, even when it’s baring itself right in front of me.

I’m also selfish.

I don’t want to let things go. I want it to be the way it used to be, when things were good, because they’re still good… right?

But the truth is,

sometimes people change, and you have to let them go.


sometimes people show you their true colors.

And you have to believe them.

I knew I had to trust them less. I knew I had to distance myself.

But none of this was working—and now I know I need to just take them out of my life.

I don’t mean turning the cold shoulder, or ignoring them, or never speaking to them again.

By taking them out of my life, I mean taking them out of my heart.

It hurts. Like, haha, it hurts really bad. (Why do we laugh when something is uncomfortable, or when it hurts?)

I dial up my mom. She tells me that this is a part of growing up. This is maturing.

Being brave enough to say, “I can’t love every body. I can’t like everybody, and I won’t like everybody. But I’m going to deal with it. I’m going to make a decision that makes me happy. I’m going to make a decision so that I won’t be hurt by them anymore.”

You don’t have to provide an explanation. To yourself, or to them. When you continuously hit a wall of resistance, it’s there for a reason. Sometimes you just know it’s what’s best. And you don’t have to justify instinct. Be cordial. But be distant.

If someone asks?

“Things aren’t bad. Things are just different.”

She tells me that as we get older, it’s true; we must pick and choose whom we let and keep in our circles. Life is too short (and busy) for meaningless relationships.

Make room for more.

Don’t force yourself to keep hurting over someone who is already gone.

Stay true to your colors. And find those who do the same.

Day 189.

Lesson #188: Snow gods.


Sometimes when you gather hands, light a candle, and pray to the snow gods, they listen.


Day 188.

Lesson #187: Where you are/Where you aren’t.


You can’t be everywhere at once.

Sometimes you will have to make decisions, and you won’t be happy about that.

But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Weigh your options (Literally put them on your set of figurative scales—isn’t that fun), and see which has more value (Which won’t ever happen again? Which is more important? More pressing? Which can you miss without missing too much? Which can you truly do without, even though you really want to be there?).

Then be okay with it.

Because you kind of have to be.

Most of all—

once you choose,

Be there, and be present.

Don’t sulk over where you aren’t. If you do, you’ll lose the moments in front of you where you are too.

Day 187.

How to Adventure: A bonus lesson.

I’ve come up with thirty three options. So far.

Option one. Treat yourself to something familiar but rare.

Option two. Watch people you love in their element. It’ll put a smile on your face, I promise.

Option three. Watch people you don’t know in their element. It’ll also put a smile on your face. Or a laugh.

Option four. Listen to people tell their stories.

Option five. Listen to people tell stories they’ve heard.

Option six. Tell your own story.

Option seven. Have a really good cookie.

Option eight. Have something warm, because when your insides are warm it’s hard not to be happy. (If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what will)

Option nine. Google “The best (type of place here) in (city you are in).” Go there.

Option ten. Sit somewhere and talk.

Option eleven. Sit somewhere and don’t talk.

Option twelve. Watch.

Option thirteen. Listen.

Option fourteen. Walk. Just keep walking.

Option fifteen. Don’t actually shop and buy things. Just shop. You’ll find cool things that are beautiful. Appreciate them. But don’t need them.

Option sixteen. Jam out.

Option seventeen. Look in a section or place that you aren’t interested in, at all. You may find something you like. Or maybe you won’t. Who knows.

Option eighteen. Don’t follow the rules. Don’t be disrespectful, but don’t follow the rules. Will it really hurt anyone if you sneak a peek in there, or see what’s going on, or see what it’s like?

Option nineteen. Ask questions.

*Challenge: Find the answer if they don’t have it.

Option twenty. Be yourself.

Option twenty. Don’t be yourself. You’ll realize what it’s like to be someone else (kind of) and/or you’ll realize everything that you don’t desire to be.

Option twenty-one. Be a tourist in your own town.

Option twenty-two. Be an actual tourist somewhere you don’t know. Pull out your camera. Who cares. You’ll never see these people again.

Option twenty-three. Go outside.

Option twenty-four. Go outside.

Option twenty-five. Go outside. (There’s seriously something mysteriously, miraculously, magical about it. It doesn’t have to the middle of the mountains, or the woods. Just get out of your house, or a building. Don’t be confined to one space.)

Option twenty-six. Read parts of books or magazines. Find an excerpt you like. Or two. Take a picture or write it down. Move to the next book.

Option twenty-seven. See how long you can not look at your phone. Leave it in the car. Or the purse. Or the pocket. Let it die. Don’t charge it.

Option twenty-seven. Try new food. Or don’t, and just look at the menus. You’ll find some interesting stuff.

Option twenty-eight. Try old food. Well, try an old place. Get the usual, but add something new. Or get something completely different, because maybe you’ll like it.

Option twenty-nine. Actually talk to someone. Truly. Not small talk, or quick talk, or joking around, or catching up. Actually talk. It’ll be grand.

Option thirty. Literally just go somewhere you’ve never been.

Option thirty-one. Dance. Even if you’re bad at it. If you’re good, show off.

Option thirty-two. Bond with strangers over something, or nothing. It starts with a smile. Or a look. Or a hi. Or a high five.

Option thirty-three. Be.

Just be.