I have this discussion with my cohort all the time.
Being a writer for life is hard. The rejection, the humiliation, the “you will never ever get there” self-doubt, the looming red in your finance chart.
I have a LA Lakers #8 Kobe Bryant jersey hanging on the rack. It’s the shrine of my daily faith and inspiration.
How did he get there? How did he become who he is today? Well, he wasn’t born this way. Where did he get this monstrous GRIT that all the great masters have? How did he overcome the physical pain day in and day out for the better part of his life? How did he challenge doubt when he failed?
Those might be the questions I want to grill him if I have the chance to meet him. I think I may have the answer already as everybody else does way before you read this rambling post.
You probably know it already when you watched Finding Nemo —
Just keep swimming.
So at the beginning of another gorgeous day in LA, I will breathe in and breathe out.
I thought the world owed me. And I had every right to manifest that rage. I had few friends then. I never wondered why. I took it as a sign that I was simply too good to be in league with mediocrity.
In truth, I was just jealous; jealous of people who were born with good looks, good fortune, good family… In a word, the whole package. What they had was what I had been trying so hard to fight for. Maybe a Mulberry bag. I would calculate how many meals I should skip until I got it. I was hangry the whole time. I let stuff define me.
But what am I really?
Does owning [X number] of Balenciaga bags make me a better person, a happy person, a person of meaning and weight? No.
You see, I live with two younger gals who can afford expensive cars and luxurious cosmetics and clothes. They dine often at posh restaurants. Every day there are packages at our doorstep to be signed. The old me could get easily jealous toward them. Now I don’t.
Because I don’t, I see beyond those materials and see who they really are. They have great manners. One gal had her parents stay over during the Chinese New Year. Her parents always cleaned up the mess after they cooked. They even bought me a new bottle of olive oil since they used “quite a bit” during their stay here. They closed the door when doing the laundry. They kept quiet when in the common area. They invited me to dine with them on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Now I see where she inherited her well-groomed manners. The other gal’s only “vice” is her loving and enjoying the best things in the world. But she also possesses the best of the heart. We share an amazingly great deal of outlooks toward life. We can talk for hours non-stop on random things.
Now, if I were the old me — the gal with a chip on her shoulder, could I have made friends with those two beautiful souls? Absolutely not.
Be open. People surprise you, always.
All I did was loosen up. The world hasn’t changed. Just my attitude. That is all.