Not Giving Up But Not Getting Anywhere

This morning, I read a very interesting post about procrastination by Rob McClellan. To summarize, Rob suffers from procrastination. More interestingly, he sees a root cause, fear of failing.

I love blogs that are about brutal honesty. The best way to point out a flaw in society is to start with our own world, the one we can manipulate and control.

Though I don’t suffer from procrastination, Rob mentions something that I can understand completely, fear of mediocrity. If there’s one thing on this world that scares the hell out of me, it’s being like my parents–complacent.

My mom takes care of hundreds of unappreciative people and my father works really hard to help his children. I don’t want you to think they’re failures. They’re successful in their own way, but I haven’t noticed any career advancements in the past ten years.

I’m no different. I’ve endured five years of undergraduate studies, only to graduate during the worst year of the recession, 2008. No jobs were hiring in Los Angeles county or its neighboring cities. In fact, several of my friends that graduated on time were being laid off of the jobs they were given the year before.

I was turned down from the five grad schools I applied to, but I was offered to major in a different field at Long Beach State. Strangely, something made me believe having a Masters couldn’t hurt, so I added another two years of education to my life, only to discover that people looked down on my degree. I mostly wanted to work with children and studying older adults canceled my undergraduate degree out.

I worked hard to apply to a new job every week for two years. My friends began knowing me as a resume doctor, but I still couldn’t get work.

To make a long story short, I never procrastinate. The second I see an opportunity, I leap for it. But no matter how hard I try, I struggle making it to the place I want to be in life.

Even when I realized I loved doing animation, I went after it with all of my strength, studying the trade 60 hours per week between grad school and part-time work (around ten hours per week). When I moved to the bay and finally found work–40 hours per week, $21,000 per year–I still dedicated 60 hours to the trade.

What were my results? Nothing.

I invested nearly $10,000 in the pursuit, but I couldn’t get good enough to land a job in the field. First, I’m not that good at it and probably need another 3-5 years of practice before I am. Beyond that, no companies were hiring animators without experience that are looking to move up in the industry and learn–the way it was done in the past.

Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. I applied to the two companies that were looking for noobs, but they were hiring one applicant out of the thousands applying. The other companies that would consider me are located in India. My wife and I checked every large and small studio from Cali to New York, nothing.

I ended up back where I started, nowhere.

Though I never had the courage to approach a girl on the street, in fear of being rejected, I never had an issue with being rejected by life.

If you keep knocking me down, I’ll continue getting back up.

I didn’t get that philosophy from my father or mother, it’s something life taught me. I’d naturally do it. It’s like a piece of data that was interwoven into my soul.

Fall. Get up. Fall. Hold self and cry for a second. Get up and try again. Crash. Head to the hospital…if it’s life threatening. Get up on crutches until I can walk again. Then run full speed ahead into another wall.

I’d love to tell you that my efforts led me to some crazy success. It’d be my pleasure to say I’m on my way to reaching my dreams, but I’m not.

Currently, I’m on my way to publishing my first novel. Though I’ve written four before, one which was only meant for friends and family, I’ve never published with the intent of changing my life around. I’ve never had the goal of trying to publicize my work and making it as a rising author, until now.

There’s a chance I fall flat on my face again, but I prefer that to never trying. Don’t get me wrong! I don’t blame people that don’t try. Most people that never go for something have a family to worry about. Their success or failure affects the ones they love. I don’t have that, and can’t judge them or their thoughtful decisions.

As for me, there’s only one options: Keep trying. The second I stop or give up, I won’t be me anymore.

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