I had a very intense conversation with a friend a bit over a week ago. We parted ways and went to bed.

Come the next morning, I found out that only I had been able to sleep at all. My enthusiastic belief in his ability to succeed induced enough panic to keep him awake and asking questions about every and anything:

I can’t sleep I guess.
I’m scared.
I don’t normally take chances
People don’t normally take chances on me
I suppose there was never really anything to take a chance on
I’ve always wanted to make video games
That’s what I’m in college for
A straight up interactive game studies program
I still want to do that
Even if my stream takes off
I still wanna go to school and get the degree and make games
Can you do that when you take off?
Work a 9-5?
And then… a 5-10?
Would I have time for anything?
College is so volatile
I have so many ideas
I’ve always been scared I wouldn’t be able to get them out
Then you and [readacted] came along
And now I’m scared my ideas aren’t good
Won’t be enough
I won’t be able to make them happen
I’m scared of the ideas themselves
But I’m excited
So excited
But I’m also unsure
How ahead of myself did I just get
I guess
You believing in me scared the shit out of me
And one message led to another


He asked me not to read this. He asked me to ignore it.

I read, then chuckled ruefully.

When I started the conversation, I said, “This is going to be terrifying. I want you to know and expect it. You will be afraid. Not because of any particular task, but… Well, you’ll see for yourself once I start talking.”

I said this because this is where things always become personal. When you meet success, it provides you a mirror and if you don’t see a clear reflection, it’s utterly unnerving.

If I’ve learned anything over the last few years – neverminding the many posts on it – it’s that people are saddened or sometimes angered by failure but they are terrified of success. We are always taught in every facet to prepare for the unexpected, but it’s always negative.

  • Keep cash in case cards don’t work.
  • Keep some money in savings for the proverbial rainy day.
  • Keep your work relationships strong in case you need the support.

No one teaches us how to succeed. No one teaches us what happens after that. No one teaches us how to handle being capable of great things. We plan for failure mathematically but still behave as if succeeding and continuing to succeed is magic.

Spoiler alert: It isn’t.

It’s relationships, timing, calculated risk, a ton of effort and sacrifice, with a (very small) dash of luck and the beginning of that is giving yourself the permission to be awesome and then allowing yourself the privilege of having other people support you when that eventually happens…

…and it will.


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