You know those stories of success? The stories that we love to stream? These are the tales of the entrepreneurs, the artists, the change makers. People overcoming the odds, doing extraordinary things.
The internet has opened these up from biographical tomes, bringing them to life through podcasts, YouTube videos, and Netflix series.
The most compelling of these stories nearly always follow the form of the classic hero’s journey.
In the journey, there’s an inevitable moment of despair - a time when they face the abyss.
It’s this inflection point - or rather, how they overcome the odds and battle back - that draws us in so deep.
Except, we only ever hear about these moments in retrospect. They are only shared with us as the protagonist recounts the tale from their position of safety - with the joy of hindsight giving it an embellished sheen.
All of this is to say I’m planting a flag in my own hero’s journey.
Because here and now, there’s 6 days to go until the end of perhaps the most difficult year I’ve ever faced. My personal life flipped upside down. My business took a massive hit. I found out who my friends really are. My wellbeing went up and down. And right now, I’m just 6 weeks from bankruptcy.
Things are at a knife edge. I’ve never been this close to tapping out before. It’s all relative of course, but it still feels viscerally real and present.
I’m doing ok, but I’m also not. Yet I am. I’m both. Because that’s what life is like - it’s never one or the other.
I don’t want to bore you with the specifics, so I’m keeping it high level for now. Very few edits and drafts - just riffing this out as it comes.
But here’s the thing - the real point of this post.
A friend suggested that when things turn around and I’m sharing the story from the position we all prefer, I should be able to point to an artifact that shows how close I came to to the cliff-edge.
So this is it.
Christmas Eve, 2023. Not knowing what’s next. Operating dangerously close to the edge. And being thankful for the support I have - because many people don’t.
I may not be able to turn it around. I’ve been here before, but the stakes are different now.
The fear is real, but the faith is still strong.
Here’s hoping one day I can point to this with that wonderful joy of hindsight.
See you on the other side.