Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Brief Diversion

(Cut from the previous post in order to make it shorter & more readable.)

Sorry. Getting sidetracked. While I'm already derailed, let me talk for a second about writing and about this blog. I know it's not polished, maybe even deliberately so. I had a big problem with writer's block for a while, so much so that I refused to acknowledge the identity of "writer," for a very long time. I went to graduate school at San Jose State University, and during my time there I somehow caught a pretty bad case of perfectionism. It's an insidious disease. So it's very freeing for me now to write these vignettes with near total abandon. (I'm exaggerating, anyway. The really abandoned writing is all in, which is a lovely, lovely site. Big plug!!)

I write these things in one sitting, usually, and I only do very minor editing.  I'm not here to write masterpieces. Several people have questioned or remarked on the"adult content" warning, and I've put that in place deliberately to allow for greater freedom of topic and language. I haven't pushed the limits of that yet, but I have little doubt that I someday will.

I'm not here to write on purpose to help you, or to help anyone else. If something I say gives you a good feeling or inspiration, I'm always excited to hear. But no, it's profoundly selfish. I want to practice writing, get a feel for blogging at a pretty elementary level. And I want to just write. With no expectation of perfection and no real hope of being understood. I want to tell the truth, as I seldom manage in everyday life. The truth is a tricky fish. Slippery.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Facing the Stranger in the Mirror

Have you ever really confronted your own shortcomings? I am, today. It wasn't something I quite planned to do. But it's a funny thing, how I've always promised myself I would face these things, someday. I was so busy running all the time, that I find myself alone at last, and utterly at a loss for where to begin. I'm beginning, anyway.

I'm learning. I have big ideas and projects that I want to tackle, and there are a lot of moments along the way where the going gets difficult. I refuse to quit. Progress comes from a lot of small decisions, and from doing things, and having them work or not work, as the case may be. So I'm sitting here alone (and yet the whole world is in here with me, thank you, internets) and I'm looking right at the problem. Staring it in the eyes, so to speak.

Can you look yourself in the eyes, when you look at yourself in the mirror?

I can see myself reflected, and yet I feel like I'm looking at someone else. We look at each other, this stranger and I, and I promise her that the two of us are going to be just fine. I like her, very much. I feel protective of this new stranger that I am.

So I'll sit here, and face those shortcomings, and fight them, and find ways to flip them around and make them into strengths. I will. Because before action just comes the willingness to do, and the courage to decide. I won't let past failures stop me. Those were just trial runs.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Feeding Myself

Well, I can't just keep writing about being a mess, can I? Here's me, still recovering from the World Domination Summit in Portland, OR. I'm all full to bursting with ideas, and my world is overflowing with new people and projects and excitements.

Meanwhile, I have messes left, right, center. I'm looking for a path. It looks like the way forward is to do *something.* Anything.

There's a metaphor I've been using a lot, in conversation with other people. It's one I keep coming back to. I feel as if I have a million-piece jigsaw puzzle, and here and there I've managed to put together some sections of it. These are things that call strongly to me, that I love deeply. There are things I'm good at, and things I love to do. There are people I absolutely love, and people I want to be around. So I have clues, and pieces, and parts.

But somewhere in the middle, the connecting pieces are missing. Other people have tried really really hard to help me with this. I've tried to figure it out, more than once. One of the things that came out of the Summit is a commitment to A) not giving up- I have unwavering faith that this picture will someday come clear, and I refuse to give up. B) letting myself have the space in which to move and C) asking for help without feeling obligated to do what other people advise.

I know you want to help me. I would want to help me if I were my own friend. But if there's anything that's come clear in the last six months, it's that I might just not be ready to be helped. This is something I need very much to work through, myself. That doesn't mean I won't tell you all about it all the time. I don't mind sharing the struggles, or the journey. I don't mind that people want to help or that they try.

What I'm looking for has to come from inside. It has to be my own thing. I've had enough of other people's dreams and expectations. I'm as passionate as can be and will happily throw myself after your dreams, if you let me. I haven't minded. But now I'm just plain tapped out. I don't have anything for you.

I need to feed myself.

Lovers Without Love

It's funny how the music I'm listening to tends to take on the color of the moment in time that I'm passing through. The title of this post, Lovers Without Love, comes from a song by Joshua James. Lyrics:

This road has over taught me lessons 
About my lonely soul
I am young and getting wiser,
soon I will grow old
Strip my heart from misconceptions 
Fill my eyes with grief
Let me make my own connections 
In this endless sea. 

Oh muscle, cars, and endless bars, and shopping centers for the teens.
High price propane and crack cocaine,
And lovers without love like me. 

I see so much my vision's blurry, 
In the world i live
If we're to change them we must hurry, 
The devil's moving in. 
Love and hate can not see colors, 
Like the human eyes, 
So priests and preachers, parents teachers, 
Don't act so damn surprised

Its the world we've made and living in
Of greed lust and poverty, 
Of war and pride, teen suicide,
And lovers without love like me
From topless dances to Marilyn Manson,
And lovers without love like me. 

There's kids in gangs 
We have coveted fame 
We have sweat shops across the sea
We have abortive mothers, 
We hate each other

There's lovers without love
There's lovers without love
There's lovers without love
Like me

This song really struck me the first time I listened to the album, which is The Sun is Always Brighter (and that's not an affiliate link, btw, this is just plain old me saying "you can get it from Amazon if you want.) It's the last song on an emotive album that I've discovered at an emotionally stormy time in my life, and I am already quite attached to the music. It's been a long time since I adopted a new musical artist or purchased music on someone else's recommendation.

I was introduced to the music of Joshua James last weekend, when I was fortunate enought to spend some time in company with Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, the two writers of The Minimalists. They both highly recommended his music, particularly a powerfully moving live performance they'd seen. It's now on my list of things to do: see Joshua James in concert.

But my attachment to the music also relates to the timing of this week. All of this year has been tough, right since January first, heading through some of the strangest and most poignant months of my life, to now, June. The last few weeks have been the darkest. I haven't lost my sense of humor, nor my optimism, nor my determination. But I am shaken. I'm doubtful. I'm stuck. Several things ended in May. I guess I'll be starting over, many times over. I'm getting comfortable with failure. I just wish I could handle it differently.

So I was running from all of that, and yet we have a way of finding what we are looking for. I'm hanging on to a couple of moments of joy from last weekend. There were many, but at one point, it was dark in San Francisco, and we were on the bus, which was warm after the cold of the street. And Joshua was finding the directions for where to get off the bus, so that was alright, and Ryan was off his broken ankle and sitting down, so that was alright. Nobody needed my attention for anything in particular. And I had these two really great people, one on either side, that I'd been hanging out with and talking to, and laughing with, and we were in motion, and I've mentioned how I feel right now about movement. I love the feeling of moving, anywhere really. So all of these great things. And Ryan turned on Joshua James, which I was hearing for the first time. We shared a set of headphones, one each, and I just remember listening to this music, and the feeling of being completely, totally, relaxed, happy, content.

I don't know what any of it means. Just that it was meaningful to me, and somehow it's part of the million piece jigsaw puzzle. I still believe that somehow if I keep following my heart, the picture will come together. I know it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Letter to my Future Love

I saw this on another person's site, and I just love this idea. It's romantic and silly, and I'm both. Open up and talk about love? Why not? I've been on a roll today.

I'm going through a divorce. This is a hard thing. It's my own fault and my own problem, but I started this blog as an exercise in honesty, and it's still something to strive for, even through these difficulties. I don't tell it all, but I acknowledge the struggles, and the pain. So I know my ex is likely to read this, and that's another hard thing. To know that someone wants you back, whether you deserve it or not. And I don't. And I don't want to go back. More hard things. Nobody said this would be an easy road to take.

I don't ever want to go through this again. I don't ever want to get married again, not through our legal system. I never want to experience this. All of that said, It's now been just about six months since I discovered that I wasn't in love with my husband anymore. The divorce still isn't final on paper, but in my heart, I've really started that strange process of letting go of the past. I'm looking around me now, and discovering an amazing new world of people to love, not all of them as romantic partners, but friends and companions and acquaintances and intellectual partners, and yes, some as potential lovers.

But who, in their deepest heart of hearts, doesn't still dream of true love, not even though the cruelties of real life experience poke holes in that dream an achingly endless number of times? So here, then, is my letter to my true love, whoever that person may be.

To my darling,

Tonight, I do not know who you are. I can't see your form in front of me. The color of your eyes is a great mystery. Are you dark or fair, thin or broad, slender or strong? I wonder. Are you someone I know, or someone I have yet to meet? Or are you someone I'll never meet at all?

Whoever you are, in this imaginary future, I am in love with you. And so this is my letter to you. Here is what I ask. Be with me, nearby. Breathe the air with me. Feel the sunshine on the grass. Go places with me, and hold my hand. Walk with me, and talk with me, and share my world. Be proud of me. Take pride in yourself, in your work, in your life, in your passions, and yet always return to my side, if not for rest, then at least for relaxation. Play with me, and laugh. Move with me, and accept me, and my need to always be in motion. Read on the train, take me on an airplane, drive the length of California with me in my car. Be ready to go. Go with me.

Accept my children, and be aware of them, of their youngness and their frailty, of their fears and their sadnesses, of their beauties and their strengths. Stand with me as I struggle to parent them, but stand never between us, but always at my side. Care for them as much as you can, and inspire them to be like you, in all the best ways. Accept that I will always love them deeply, and that you will therefore never have the full of my heart. Take what is yours, and realize that there is bounty enough in that.

Be prepared for excitements, and passions, and a million crazy dreams. Keep my feet on the ground, but don't put me into a cage. Help me to succeed. Recognize what is good in me, and help me to grow it, little by little, day by day. Help me map a thousand laugh lines onto my face, and rejoice at the appearance of every single new one.

Expect some darkness. Expect some troubles. Be ready to chase the shadows. Be there when I come running from them. Stand strong when I am at my most weak, but don't protect me from the problems I create for myself. Let me get into trouble, and back out again. Have some faith in me. I always land on my feet, in the end, but it takes someone brave to wait through the storms.

Wake up with me in the morning, and make me coffee. Go to sleep with me at night.

Make me feel like the brightest and most beautiful woman on the planet, every time you look in my direction. Smile at me. And bring me flowers on Tuesday afternoons.

Oh, and everyone else? None of these directions will work if you're not the one I picked out in the first place. Otherwise, it would all be too easy, now wouldn't it?

What will you get in return? Oh, nothing much worth mentioning. Affection and loyalty, excessive obsessive passion, obsequious hero-worship, alarming intelligence, amusement and excitement, being just some of the offerings. If you can handle that sort of thing. I expect you'll manage just fine, once you get over the initial shock.


What do I have to Offer?

1) A wicked, and strange, sense of humor.

2) I have the endings to all Jane Austen novels memorized. In case you didn't know, the girl gets the boy. Every time. [Edit: and apparently, I can misspell Jane Austen, and I can correct it later upon noticing... :)]

3) I can type pretty fast.

4) I suffer from a complete inability to pay attention to anything but what I'm passionately interested in. If that happens to be you, well. Merry Christmas!

5) I'm really good at making very pointless lists, and at changing the subject.

6) So, read any good books lately?

7) Oh, I can mostly write ok, and spell, and stuff. LOLZ.

8) I think what I'm mostly good at is shenanigans. And mischief. Sometimes in that order.

9) I am very good with Instagram. I have instagrammed many things. I have made instagrammed into a verb.

10) You tell me?

Jackie, Why are you on Blogger?

Hey. So some of you are going to wonder, why the heck have I abandoned the shinynewness of Wordpress for homely old Blogger? The answer? It's all about the content, baby. This is easy, it's comfortable, I know where all the "stuff" is.

I'm about to dive back into the fun that is WordPress, so I haven't given up. But I'm abandoning the site at for obvious reasons- name change, anyone? I'm not sure what I'll end up using in the end. But for now, the fact that I'm back on the web cranking out my usual wacky-jackiness is a good sign, right?

I'm back. Watch your cookies!

But, Mom, I'm not Ready Yet!

Oh dearie me. So the benefit of networking with awesomely fabulous people via twitter and then going to meet them at cool and fabulous conferences is that they then actually expect me to do something. I keep promising that I will. I promise them, I promise myself. Now I find I've committed to doing something. Now. Tonight. Tomorrow. This weekend. It's not a big thing, but I'm pretty scared.

I made some friends at the Inbound Marketing Summit in San Francisco very recently. (Hopefully tell the full story of our meeting soon enough- it's a good one.) Brandon Yanofsky is among the group, and he's suggested that what I'm suffering from is a bad case of "analysis paralysis." I liked the term so much, I've been using it ever since. Yup. I'm suffering from an inability to act. A stuck-ness. Well, what are friends for, if not to rip us loose from the bonds that hold us in place and give us the kick in the rear that we need to get moving? I'm moving, I'm moving, ok Brandon?

So, here goes nothing. I'm getting geared up to start some mischief, classic Jackie-style mischief. In a big way. I'm scared out of my mind. I don't have the faintest fucking clue what I'm doing. But it's time to jump in the pool. I'm not doing so well at learning how to swim, no matter how long I'm standing here watching you guys.

Ok. So I've been focused a lot lately on what I'm not, and what I've failed at. (The answer: I'm not a lot of things, and I've failed- a lot!) That's ok, and I needed to process for a little bit. But here I am asking myself, what is it about me that's special? What is it about me that's unique? What is it that I have to offer, here? What am I passionate about? Where do I belong? Because it's my job now to pull myself together, put my big-girl panties on, and get a move on.

Let's hope I don't pee in the pool, is all I'm saying.


Well, here I am again, lost. Really lost. I'm sure I should be doing most of my writing privately, given the circumstances. But it's back to that "follow your gut," feeling, and something told me to come back here and give this another go.

I'm used to tying my identity to external things. I've always taken on something of the character and interests of the people I've dated, or of the friends I happen to be spending my time with. Being alone is uncomfortable for me. I don't mean being alone in the sense of "not having people around." I try not to do that too much, but even I need some time without people. By being alone, I mean not being in a romantic relationship, not identifying with a group of friends, not belonging to a religious group or a tribe.

I was raised in a very large family and I was raised as part of a very large church. I grew up in South Texas, where football is a religion and religion is more than fundamental. I've always felt an affinity for fundamentalists of every stripe, though I mostly feel compassion and pity for those who don't have a choice about it. Yet, as a long-time atheist I still have an odd kind of respect for those who believe they have the answers to life's difficulties. Don't I wish I could just grasp on to one of those ready-made solutions and fly with it?

By the way, if this blog seems increasingly selfish or self-centered, it's not coincidental. Too much of my past dishonesties have been in the misguided attempt to save or help other people. If I can't cope with my own mysteries, how am I ever to help you out? If reading my extroverted introspection does anything for you, then by all means, continue reading. Otherwise? You know where the exit sign is.

I'm not calling myself an atheist these days. Agnostic comes closer. You don't make a decision to go on a journey based on nothing but passion and interest and instinct and then have the gall to declare that nothing metaphysical exists. I have and have had parallel tracks- belief and unbelief. But it's still complicated.

That said, I'm having a hell of a time with morality these days, and more of a problem of identity. Who the hell am I? I feel increasingly that I am completely out of touch with the people, the things, the ideas, that I most cherish and love. I've become a collection of roles, most of which I was playing out to please other people and keep my network intact. As if it were my job to protect everyone around me from the truth, for fear they might all fall apart. The good daughter, the good wife, the caring mom, the productive employee, and so on and on. And more of my time was being sucked away by pretending to be a lot of things that I thought would make me happy.

Now, I don't know. Everyone has a different answer for me. I came away from the World Domination Summit with a great, glowing hope. I was determined to find the way through. I am determined. So I'm here, and I'm certainly not giving up.

But who am I, when I don't define myself by my relationships? What do I really love? What will I make, contribute, teach? Where will I go? What do I want to look like?

Most of all, how can I be good? Where does personal responsibility lie? I have children I need to feed. Should I take another soul-sucking, dead end job? That way lies madness. But keep living off of the kindness of family and friends? More insanity.

So do I believe in myself enough to make a go of something entirely different? (Everyone from #wds is screaming YES, right about now...)

Can people change? Can I heal from the past, get stronger, and go on to do something extraordinary? I wish I knew the way forward. Very much so.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Path to Personal Responsibility

Let's face it: I've been running, and running hard. Running is my natural response to conflict. I'm stubborn and strong, but I don't face trouble head-on very often. Instead, I like to run and hide. There's nothing more comforting to me right now than the feeling of being in motion. Planes, trains, and automobiles have been my best friends for months.

Growing up, and healing, seem to both be in part about accepting your true nature and embracing it rather than fighting with it. After all, the dark side of me runs from trouble, but the lighter side of me gives people the benefit of the doubt long past when others would have given up and fought them down. Our weaknesses are also our strengths, is that not the case?

But the truth is that I run, and yet eventually the problems catch me up and I have to face the consequences of my choices. Divorce is painful, and so is career transition, and I've got both on my plate at the moment, and both of those things stem from decisions that I made and actions that I took, or didn't take, in the past. I see the consequences in the eyes of my kids almost every day. Some things even I can't run away from.

We've been watching kids movies together, and I believe it's not at all coincidental that a lot of kids stories are based on the loss of one or both parents. It's a constant reminder for me right now of the choices I've made- for good reasons or not- and I'm still asking myself, "What now?" How do I get myself through this time, much less my children, who have no choice but to sail along in the same boat with me?

There's no easy answer. But here's the thread that I'm tugging on, from the World Domination Summit and other places: somehow the path back to happiness lies in taking responsibility. I've run from it because it had become such an iron cage gripping my life, from all sides and all directions. I just wanted to be free. But I know deep in my gut that the path to real, true freedom lies in somehow facing the consequences of the past and accepting responsibility for my future responses to them. There's always time to make new choices. So I see the road in front of me, but it's not easy to know exactly how to walk down it.

It will no doubt come clear, in time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#usguys is dead! Long live #usguys!

Howdy all!

It's been an amazing journey for me since becoming active on twitter last October. I first joined the #usguys stream on December 1st. Some of you may remember my chronicling the beginning of my journey with our virtual tribe, and you know I've since considered myself one of the core members and faithful supporters of the experiment.

The time has come for me to resign from my never-made-official post of west coast coordinator for the #usguys tribe. My interest in participating in the stream has dwindled, and though I love all of the relationships I've formed and the lovely people I've met, I simply can't keep up with the constant evolution of the tribe.

The torch has long since passed on to others with more investment in the group, and new members and leaders have emerged. Many of my old friends have disappeared from the stream. Maybe they will return, maybe not. Either way, #usguys is alive and well and kicking, but it's not the same group I joined back in December and have faithfully championed through the intervening months. It's neither better nor worse than before. Just made differently.

I have no doubt that I'll still get lonely and pop in from time to time to cause some mischief. But I won't any longer feel sad when I get on twitter and feel no temptation to join in the flow of the group.

I do expect to have another reunion chat at some point, and you know that if you hold a tweetup and invite me, if there's any chance in hell I can make it, I will. But I am removing my #putaringonit #usguys stamp from my profile. Yes, I'm that serious, and yes, I'm sad about it. I won't be planning any new tweetups for the SF bay for a while. I won't be checking in as often, and I'll be talking to more of you out of the stream than in.

Unless I change my mind, of course :)

Love to you all,


Monday, June 13, 2011

World Domination Summit, Part Uno

Well, for once there's simply no excuse about not having the time to write. Naturally, I thought I'd dive back in by tackling what is probably the hardest thing for me to write about, because I love making life easy for myself, and you. Whoever you are.

The topic is the World Domination Summit that I just attended recently in Portland, Oregon. This was a conference unlike any of the others I have attended. But articulating just why is a challenge, to say the least.

So I'll go back to the beginning and trace the path, and maybe this will help explain some of the magic. Back in March I had the great fortune to attend South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. During the "interactive" week of the festival, I went to many panels, parties, and events. But by far my favorite event was a tweetup near the end of my week, held by Joshua Millburn, one of the two writers of a blog called The Minimalists.

There was nothing overtly extraordinary about the people, the place, or the conversation. And yet, I found that there was the indescribable sense that I mentioned in my last post, a visceral, in-the-gut reaction of delight and joy at simply being with the right people, at the right time. It was extraordinary, and snippets of conversations from that evening have continued to be with me, ever since.

One of the people I met at that tweetup is a writer named Tyler Tervooren. He writes a blog called Advanced Riskology, and based on our brief but interesting conversation in Austin, I became a subscriber. I've been reading the posts as they arrive in my email, and in general, have great respect for his ideas and work. So when Tyler mentioned a couple of months ago that there would be a conference in Portland in June and that it would be "The greatest conference ever to come to Portland," I took a few minutes out of my day to check it out. Of course, the conference was completely sold out. But I put my name down on the wait list, and forgot all about it for a month or so.

To make this long story a bit shorter, I ended up with a ticket, at the very last moment, to a conference in Portland, with no idea what the conference was really even about, how I would get there, where I would stay. Nothing was planned properly. I just kind of showed up, and to make things even worse, because I had custody of my children on Saturday, I didn't even show up until 3AM right smack in the middle of the conference. I drove myself there and back, about 11 hours each way. It was fairly ridiculous, but something kept telling me I needed very much to be there. I still believe I was right.

It was a healing kind of environment. People asked me what I did, and when I answered "I just lost my job," the universal response seemed to be, "Congratulations!" (By far my favorite of these responses came from artist John Unger, who said it with a wickedly big grin, to boot. ;)

Here were people committed to living meaningful, useful, passionate lives. No one expected me to be anything less than myself. It was confusing and yet, illuminating.

I'm still lost, still terrified, still processing. But I'm also filled with hope.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Being Fucking Fabulous

On another note, I have recently discovered that I am pretty fucking fabulous. Seriously. I did not know this for most of my life, so it's a new thing that I'm exploring. I know I'm a bit of an odd bird. I've frequently felt lost and out of place over the course of my existence, but I never was quite sure if that was unusual or not. I can't tell what other people are thinking. Maybe you all run around feeling lost and confused, and it's just that no one is sharing that information with one another.

But back to the fabulous. This year has been crazy. It's been chaos. I've taken myself out of my usual environment and gone to new places with new people, and gotten way out of my comfort zone. And several times, more and more frequently over time, I've had a visceral reaction of "here is where I belong." I've been drifting until now, feeling dazed and confused and out of place, and then suddenly there will be a brief moment of fabulousness. I'll find myself in the right place, with the right people, at the right time. Magic happens.

I become fucking fabulous. I stop being afraid. I stop worrying. I enjoy the moment. But the key thing is that when this happens, other people respond to me differently. They open up, and they laugh, and they relax. I have a different energy. I know this is all very woo-woo but I am working it out, so bear with me.

I just have stopped thinking of myself as crazy or broken or weird. I'm lovely. Really. I'm full of life. I'm not just pretty, I'm beautiful. How the heck did I miss that, before? I'm smart and funny, I'm passionate and creative, I'm kind and thoughtful.

This is not to say that I'm perfect. No. I'm a mess, too. I've broken my commitment to my marriage and hurt my ex a great deal. I've lied to some people and broken some relationships and done plenty of things that were unwise or unethical or both. I'm ashamed of many of the things I've done this year, but I also don't regret them. I understand why I did what I did, mostly. I forgive myself, learn, and try to move on.

None of this removes me from the fabulous category. I have made a decision at long last. It's not an easy one and it's not something that I can articulate well at this time. But I know in my gut, and I will keep following it. I refuse to be ordinary. I refuse to be unhappy. I refuse to do the right thing just because it's what other people want and expect. Sometimes I am going to do the wrong thing. I am going to knowingly do the wrong thing. It won't excuse me from having to face the consequences afterward.

I have a right to be wrong. If I spend all of my time trying to lock myself down, I can't be fabulous. I know this is justification, as well. It's easy to find excuses for why being selfish is ok. It's dangerous territory to walk through. But I believe in the truth and I believe in being true to myself. I know what I want, and I won't be ashamed to want it. I want an extraordinary life. That means I'm going to screw things up and make mistakes. Lots of them.

And you know what? I'll still be fucking fabulous.


I really want to come back to this blog and update it, but I'm terrified. So much in my life has been upended since January. I've made a lot of decisions, and only time will tell which were good ones and which were bad, and some of them, I'll just never know for sure.

This blog was begun as an honesty project and an exercise in writing. It became one of my failed experiments. I can't be open and honest in a place where ex-husbands, future employers and family members can wander through. I want to, but I don't want to give anyone else any ammunition for accusing me of poor judgement. I don't have poor judgement. I have a commitment to following my heart. Sometimes that leads me to make odd choices, and I don't always like the consequences. But I believe in the principle.

I refuse to live an ordinary life. On that much, I am clear. The work it will take to get me to extraordinary? That's a tougher problem.