2015’s been a mighty impressive year for the #BloggerLife so far, with opportunities and accomplishments I’d never have dreamt of. Some of the more notable successes include:
- Butterball Canada choosing me as their first-ever male ambassador, looking to enter the summer with plenty of content about grilling, get-togethers and fun in the sun
- Published pieces on The Huffington Post Canada Parents, The Good Men Project and TELUS’ blog, giving the blog further legitimacy to my #BloggerLife than it had cooped up in my quiet corner of the Internet
- Ever-increasing opportunities to keep growing my brand through the funding and connections needed to continually pursue interesting things!
Things are great, but all this doesn’t come without cost. The nights are sleepless, often chasing after amazing ideas that’re entirely elusive, but far too tired from the nights pushing the envelope to ever catch them.
And the world? It’s not about to stop turning while you try to figure yourself out — you’re still going to have family wanting your attention, jobs demanding your best performance, and distractions and obligations aplenty to keep you on your feet. It’s not easy balancing everything out — my life’s got a healthy dose of apology and regret as I explain why I need to be up another night, go out after dinner for the second or third time in a week, or work late because the extra time I would’ve had for 9-5 emergencies before the #BloggerLife blew up no longer exists.
It all adds up, so there’re times the #BloggerLife has to go on the shelf. Problem is, you do it once. Then twice. You start doing more sponsored work than personal posts, realizing that only one of those has firm deadlines, and that you don’t have time for both.
You finally hit those points where you need to stop and re-evaluate — you’re losing yourself, and no one can help you find your way back but you.
“Why Do You Work So Hard?”
I’m busy, but so what — I’ve always been busy.
I grew up with the loosely versed mantra of Black youth everywhere as the undercurrent — that I’d need to work twice as hard to make it half as far as my non-Black counterparts.
Today’s not the day I discuss the accuracy of that statement, but rather examine who I am because of it.
Slacking off wasn’t an option growing up — when you have one parent working 80-hour weeks to put food on the table, and the other raising 3 rambunctious boys on top of their full-time job, you’re immersed in the concept of hard work from an early age, realizing it’s the only way you can expect to get anywhere in life.
And I’m pretty sure I took that lesson to heart — 21 different roles in 3 companies, 2500+ hours spent volunteering for 4 different organizations, dozens of articles written for several publications, playing on a few different teams, and years of coding, drawing and being a social butterfly later, I’m proud of this life I’ve built for myself. Were I more conservative, I’d simply walk this path for the rest of my days, raising my family in a two-income household, leading an idyllic life as I watch the years go by.
But where’s the fun in that?
My upbringing did more than just teach me how to work — it gave me drive. The drive to create — the drive to accomplish… the kind of drive that can’t be quelled with hors d’oeuvres and a couple of complimentary drinks.
Once, I was satisfied to live in the pursuit of swag, like I was perched atop some blogger’s throne with all the parties, events and attention I could muster. But today’s Casey is older, wiser and more experienced, seeking things out of life that a cocktail could never give him. The love felt from a family growing around you, knowing your efforts are having positive effects on their development. The rush that’s felt as you continue surpassing your limits, constantly trying to create content better than anything you did before. The feeling of being alive, making the most of every day you’re given, unsatisfied until you’ve created something worth talking about.
And that, my friends, is why I choose to continue struggling — always taking the difficult path despite the chorus of many who wish I’d just kick back and sit on my laurels. There’re still so many things to do and so much to learn — no matter how well I’ve done so far, I still want to do better. I want to blog more often; take all my half-formed ideas and mature them into something with meaning; and keep hatching grand plans like the 31 Things I Know Now That I’m 31, even when life has a plethora of other plans for my time.
‘Cuz that’s just the way I’m wired.
Nothing but a Minor Setback — Finding My Way Back to Moving Myself Forward
So the 31 Things I Know Now That I’m 31 are back* — and with 45 days left ’til I turn 32, I’m going to hammer out 26 entries that people can truly connect with, not some fluff work just to hit a quota.
*I mean, they were never really gone, but we all need to make our choices….
Am I irritated that I only managed to get five entries done before losing my way? Sure — but I need to be real about it… I don’t even know how daily bloggers do it when there’s a million and one other things all clawing for your attention.
But if there’s anything I’m not, it’s a quitter — there’re stories to tell, skills to sharpen, and a lengthy road to travel before I can even dream of saying I’ve lived this life to its potential.
All that said, I hope you enjoy what’s left of the 31 Things — it took me a heckuva long time to learn what I have so far, and if it’ll all help even one person out there, I’m good with that.
See you soon for post #6, and thanks for sticking with this blog, even when life requires my presence elsewhere!
Adios amigos, and may we cross paths a little more often,