Going for It –> DOING It!
Published in Blog, December 31, 2011
I remember when I quit my job in 2009, and hopped on a boat with 12 guys to surf the Mentawais off Indonesia. My mom had given me a greeting card that said, “Good things happen when you go for it.”
“Going for IT,” became my mantra. While to some charging means dropping into 20 foot faces, to others it is just running five miles outside their houses, using recycled bags versus plastic, giving up coffee or embarking on a new career, relationship, etc.
My definition of “Going For it” has morphed the last few years, though the words have given me experiences that have invigorated in me more a sense of really living life than ever before.
Sure, I shed plenty of tears, accrued a plethora of battle wounds. Heck, when I left Costa Rica last July after my last entry, I came down with Dengue Fever … probably one of the best things that ever happened to me because I finally had to really REST. For the first time in my life, I watched TV, laid in bed all day, and I watched my body go from feeling like it was being beaten by a crazy masseuse to breaking out in a crazy fever and rash, then recovering stronger than ever. I learned that when you rest and listen to your body, you can cure almost anything… even break bone fever.
The first two years of freelancing, I pitched, I nailed a few, I was rejected a bit, and stressed about $$ and where my next paycheck was coming from. I was always worried.
A friend reminded me the other day that I was no longer trying to make it… that I was literally living the dream I set out to make… that I was DOING it; not rather than just going for it.
I sometimes still wonder where my next pay check will come from, but it always works out and my rejection rate is pretty low these days. The last six months I have been lucky to land assignments writing from the remote jungles of the Amazon where we were one the first groups to standup paddle the river via Peru. I also landed assignments in Utah, Vegas, all over San Diego, covering China, and finally back to Costa Rica.
When I got back last summer, I landed a front page story in the San Diego Union Tribune… my first story in that paper since I was 15 years old when I published my first journalism piece in that very publication. That story helped ignite my desire to later become a journalist in the first place.
Fifteen years later, I was assigned a piece about a guy running barefoot from Argentina to Alaska to raise awareness for the environment. The interview was in Spanish.
Looking back, I wish I would have blogged more openly the last six months.I wish I would have written about the dengue, my crazy adventures, and the incessant stream of stories that have been filling my time.
Instead, I have literally been grinding — publishing and writing more than I ever thought I would. I still have a long ways to go, and my goals have changed slightly from two years prior. But I figured I’d end 2011 with at least one more entry and a few more goals for 2012.
To Keep Going for it. To keep Doing IT. To not get sidetracked by tempting offers. To pursue the book. To continue to do at least a few inappropriate things a day. To keep laughing. To keep trying things that scare me… but in moderation. To hire and mentor a few upcoming journalists . To update my blog once a month… To be less of a dragon slayer. To censor less, and to divulge more.
Feliz Ano Nuevo!