“Heather. Nothing lasts forever.”
Four simple words but none I haven’t heard before. Yesterday, I was chatting with a former ad man on Twitter about McGarryBowen’s loss of the Marriott Hotel account (or a sizeable portion of it anyway) to Grey which delivered on what has to be the most direct someone has been with me in a long time. Direct in a way that is not painful or rude either, but a simple truth: nothing really does last forever.
I am often told how lucky I am. People will say things like “I wish I had your life!” but what they wish is for the easy, glamorous portion that looks practically handed to me. It’s not. Nothing is and nothing ever will be.
The portion of my life I am most grateful for is the side that is not seen publicly. It’s the side where I’m staying at the office during the holidays until 6 PM or later. When I’ve been up all night writing until 2 AM, tired but satisfied. When I take a day off from work, but continue to check in with all my emails and update the company Twitter account. It’s the blood, sweat, and tears of the operation that keeps me going and alert. Nobody writes tweets or statuses about that. A “status” indirectly refers to success on a constant loop and Facebook users prefer looking like kings as opposed to serfs.
I owe a lot of this to my father. When I was 13 years old, my Dad told me I didn’t have an edge in life. Not yet, at that age, but I would need to develop it quickly to beat out the competition and he would help me. I was so angry when he first said that to me. Angry because it was true. And because I was 13 and everything made me furious at that age but nothing made me more upset faster than the fact that my Dad was always right about everything - and aware of it.
Life doesn’t care about the vision you have in your head for it because it won’t ever move in that direction. Nor does anything, particularly in this economy, last forever. You can live for today and believe there isn’t a tomorrow coming which is exhilarating but steeped in problems, or you can acknowledge that you can lose everything in a moment’s notice and know how to either cash out before that or face that fear head on and deal with it as it comes.
I suppose the moral of this story is that we all have a whole lot of life ahead of us. Bad situations will not last forever and neither will hopeless ones, unless you are of a mindset that forces you to think they will. Hard work is a constant that will never go away. You will grieve and glow and grow and crash and burn with it. But it’s your ticket to these glittering moments, as well as the upsetting ones that come along for the ride. Work will change you, adapt you, make your skin tougher if you understand that it is indeed work. Don’t complain about having a good job on Facebook, don’t pontificate about escaping to Paris for what seems like greener grass on the other side. Do your job and do it well and continue to do it better and better. You can only ever go up when it comes to working if it’s within your field and even when it isn’t.
“You only live twice. Or so it seems.”