I’m only 27 and I’m only getting better – Aubrey Drake Graham
These uplifting words belong to my favorite modern-day philosopher, singer, rapper, actor, scorpio and ‘yellow boy that used to play up on Degrassi’- Aubrey Drake Graham.
Yes, yes, I know. We either love or we hate Drake.
But either way, Drake’s quote has become a mantra for me.
My recent 27th birthday arrived quickly with overtones of excitement, motivation, hope, and happiness alongside feelings of inadequacy by comparison, fear, anxiety, and pressure. I had been feeling as though I’d plateaued in many arenas of my life and had done something I’d always preached not to do: become too complacent within a sphere that was inhibiting my potential. While there are times with which we should enjoy complacency and comfort, we need challenge in order for growth. We cannot be stagnant and expect growth. There needs to be something that sets it all in motion: a feeling, a thought, a phrase, an action. I can’t really pinpoint what that exact element was for me. However, whatever the inspiration was, it presented itself full force and without the ability to be ignored.
From an outside perspective, I was living the dream. I was managing international operations for one of the top producing energy drink companies, living in sunny West LA in a very small, yet very comfortable, thimble of an apartment, and was surrounded by great vegan food, friends, and a plethora of social events. I had a rather comfortable life by societal standards. The only issue is that this was someone else’s dream. Or perhaps it was my dream at one point in time, and then I progressed and set my sights in a different direction. The point is that I was yearning for a change. Something more fulfilling.
I remember calling my father and rattling off things I was unhappy with in my life. I felt like I was a hamster on a wheel- constantly running in place but not actually getting anywhere substantial. I was working for a company that perpetuated an industry I didn’t support on a personal level, while spending most of my time surrounded by people I did not share values with. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed some aspects of my job and worked with some really great people, but most of my time was not spent with them. My time after work was allotted to a side job that I had picked up to make extra money and my weekends were reserved for errands. To top it all off, cost of living was substantial in comparison to my paycheck, thus it wasn’t like I was able to stack up a bunch of chips while I was diligently working away. I found myself estranged from many things I valued greatly while being stuck in a routine that was no longer serving my best self.
After I was done with my complaint monologue, my father expressed something that resonated with me far beyond what I realized at the time.“For now and for the rest of your life, Marchesa, it should always be true, that you have nowhere else to go and nothing better to do, then to be here, right now. If that’s not true, then head right out the door to find your soul and your passion!”
… I kid you not, these were his words. My dad is always dropping lyrical truth bombs on everyone. It’s usually deeply inspiring, unintentionally poetic, and makes you feel like you are the lead character in a musical. I did find out later that he had written this down and was waiting for the right time to say it to me. But this really is nothing new.
At first, and per usual, I challenged his statement with a regurgitation of fears deceptively disguised as legitimate reasons… because after all, I needed to bolster my weak case against why I was not doing something I inherently wanted/was capable of doing.
I quickly spat out,
“Head right out the door to find my soul and my passion? What, are you Jason Mraz’s ghost writer now? Is that even really possible? It’s completely impractical and unsustainable! What about monetary expenses? How can I afford to do the things I am interested in and live? If I quit my job, what if I am unable to find a comparable job later on?”
My father replied in his typical irritatingly simple, yet profound way-
“Don’t bet against yourself.”
Damn it….he’s right….