What better example that I’m always learning to embrace mine, than to have started with other posts before going for the obvious selection to begin with, the blogs namesake as first entry. Never have I ever been able to do things as they’re supposed to be laid out in whatever pre-made standard playbook. Bill Belichick, Alex Ferguson, Phill Jackson, Joe Torre, all had their own playbooks, undoubtedly different of course as much as their sports are, but their common strategy was to reach their objectives, they lost, they won, were they wrong for taking different strategies for different paths? That’s about as much as I have in common with them though, facing the challenge and move forward, how it’s done, it’s all different for everyone, and success is as well, however you measure it.
Many years ago, I was writing in this leather journal I have and was trying to come up with a motivational first page message, sort of an inspirational send off every time I chose to write and unwrap my thoughts. Blocking myself from starting for the lack of a perfect opener I put it aside and started browsing away, 5 minutes in and I found what later became my mantra of sorts and is written on that first page.
“You’ve got to jump off a cliff and build your wings on the way down.” – Ray Bradbury
I was hardly an exemplary student, I had my share of arguments with my parents, lacked discipline and partied myself out twice over as well. All that sounds some sort of normal, my problem was I handicapped my life because of formal academia. Growing up in times where having some sort of learning disability was the total opposite of what it is today, shrinks & teachers, my nursery school teacher being the first picked up on it and told my parents, he’s different, learns different, gets it, but differently, she’s still awesome till this day, from the rest I would just get some more time to complete things because I was easily distracted. My parents did the best job, not tried their best, did the best, always supportive, my dad is the strong silent type but always had my back, my mom and my aunt (a teacher and a second mother) both worked with me, never will I forget learning on flashcards with different colors and drawings both of them acting things out so I could learn, very funny and it stuck, I smile till this day remembering that. Later after sitting with Dr.’s here there and everywhere, I started taking these pills that made me feel like Bradley Cooper in the movie *Limitless. I felt lazy and as if I was cheating myself from my potential by doing this, if I wanted to think, pop a pill, make my bed, pop a pill, study for anything, pop a pill. So I got off the pill, ate it big time for a while, until I figured out that my only way to move forward was by embracing my clutter, instead of struggling to be ¨normal¨!
Now, this whole learning disability thing, I’ve never used it as a crutch or tool for getting some pitty for my failures, if anything it was/is my biggest blessing. Took me a while to figure it out though, it was frustrating of course not being able to get things in my head that easily and having Dr.’s tell me I had a gifted mind and an IQ over 146, whatever that meant, all I knew was I was dumb for not getting good grades. I did start noticing after I stopped beating myself up constantly that I had learned everything on a whole lot of other things that I was interested in real easily. Now, we come back to that quote, in short form, it means figure it out, at least for me it does, and quickly or else, splat on the floor! I dislike when having conversations with people and they say ¨I don’t know¨. It’s something embedded in my head of course from not knowing things when I was younger, I always ask silently or out loud, depends, ¨Why don’t you know? Do you not care enough to know? Or, you just haven’t looked it up¨ I repeat this quote or the short version of it in my head, several times a day, many, not a few, many! It’s a driving force, my head is going at a thousand anythings per second so I have to constantly be figuring it out, readjusting, shifting. Transcendental things, trivial, non consequential, whatever get’s in my head and I’m interested I have to figure it out, discarding what I’m not interested in is a huge W(in) for me, frees up space for important things.
So my clutter is my mind obviously and it’s my superpower, I have a good number of shortcomings and things that I could have done differently before accepting this. As cliche as it sounds there is only one thing in my past that I would have done entirely differently and it’s getting up from the breakfast table that one morning to talk to my aunt(the teacher), she just wanted to say hello on the phone, I thought we could talk later so I kept to my breakfast, said i’d call later. The following days she went in for an operation and passed away, never talked to her again. That is the only thing that I regret, the rest, has brought me to where I am today, and happy. That lazy stupid mistake though taught me my biggest lessons, to always tell people you love them when you feel like it, always be there for someone if they want to talk, always help someone if you can and never be apologetic for who you are, if you’re trying your best and your end game is giving your best to serve others, keep at it.
Thanks to my head full of clutter, I can manage to work on my formal job, be involved in two completely different social projects, be on three different boards, dedicate time to my family, give time to my friends, not enough but working on it, and now starting this project, that if all goes as planned, a blog is only the beginning. On all these ventures I know I have so much room for improvement, I work on them constantly to be better at each aspect. My successes or my failures on them I don’t measure by money, you can’t put a monetary value on saving/changing lives. Nothing of what I just said before is meant to give me props, if your perception is that it was, I have no say over your perception and quick judgment, thinking you always know best or know all the angles makes you foolish, we’ll work on that. For whomever reads this and believes what I said or at least got curious, I hope you join me on this trip and have it be a space for journeys, thoughts and mutual growth. If I, in this flawed existence can do more, not to a perfection, that doesn’t exist, but I put in the effort and the time to personally make a difference, what’s holding you back? What’s your excuse? We have none, we can always do more, cluttered minds (many out there), clear minds, a fulfilling life doesn’t have time to make excuses!