I was talking with a good friend the other day and he paid me a pretty amazing compliment. He was telling me how he is always been impressed with my ability to get things done. Like, the ability to write a book. It reminded me of something my mom told me a few years ago over the phone. I had just finished up a sixty mile hike by myself on the Foothills Trial in South Carolina. She was telling my older brother about the hike and he said, "Dave is a doer. He does things. That's cool." Like any younger brother whose always looked up to his older brother, I doubt as if I'll ever forget that conversation.
So, I was thinking about what to do a blog post on and I thought, I could do one about how my brother thinks I'm a doer. I don't just think about things, I do them. Lots of boys dream of becoming a cop. I did it. A lot of cops want to join the SWAT team. I did that for seven years. How many people think about writing a book? Done it. I've heard groups of people talking about doing adventure races like Tough Mudders. I did two of them in 2012.
The more I thought about it, I was thinking about how I surround myself with other people like me, how hard I work at certain things-blah-blah-blah-blah-then I realized that I sounded like a pompous asshole.
I'm no better than anyone in this world. I'm certainly no better than anyone because I was on the SWAT team, ran a couple Tough Mudders and wrote a book.
So I went from being all self-confident and proud to kinda low. Suddenly my brothers compliment from so many years ago didn't mean so much after all.
I thought about this for the last four or five days. I wasn't brooding, well, actually, yeah I was.
Then I was brooding about why I was brooding. I know I'm getting real deep here, but I couldn't figure out why I was upset. Was it because I felt like I was coming off as cocky? Was it because I didn't know what I was going to do a blog post about? Was it because I was coming to some self-realization that just because I've done and accomplished certain things I'm no better than anyone else. Or, was it because, in my mind, if I did a blog post bragging about some of my accomplishments and advise on how you could also "do" things, that would make me worse than the person that wishes they were a "doer."
Then it hit me. I fail, all the freaking time. And because I was thinking of my accomplishments I was reliving my failures.
Out of college I applied to pretty much every big city police department in Georgia, including the City of Savannah where I had completed an internship. My goal was to become a homicide detective in that city. That was what I wanted to do. I ended up at the City of Statesboro after being turned down and because life can dictate otherwise I ended up where I am now, at the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
It took me three times to make the SWAT team. I wasn't even considered after my first tryout it went so bad.
My first Tough Mudder, I wimped out of the last event, called Everest. It's where you have to run up the half pipe at the end. I completely wimped out and walked around the event, and have regretted that ever since. (Although, if you want to see something funny, go to YouTube and search for Tough Mudder Georgia 2012 Arctic Enema, posted by Hitched Hike, I'm the second guy behind the one holding the GoPro)
And lastly, Who Is Olivia Green, was turned down by every literary agent it was sent to, and nine out of ten independent publishers.
So now I figured out why I'm upset, because I'm reliving my failures over and over, when I realized how none of this even matters. (Your welcome for dedicating an entire blog post about pretty much nothing)
I didn't become a cop or get on the SWAT team or write a book for anyone but me. It's more about what I enjoy, what fulfills me. And, yeah, I have failed a bunch. But I've also done some pretty amazing things. Without the failures I wouldn't have any accomplishments. And they don't define me or my relationships with other people in this world. Especially my close relationships with people I love.
So thanks, Mike. I've always looked up to you and I'm pretty proud that you told mom I'm a guy who does things. I appreciate the compliment. I'm sure I'll always look up to my big brother and anytime you throw a compliment like that my way, it will make me feel pretty great. Especially when growing up you were and are still one of the coolest guys I know.