Change is the only constant
I love the uncomfortableness of change. It’s such a beautiful feeling. I fucking love diving into a cold lake knowing very well the ice-hell that awaits. I love public speaking knowing I’m about to lose my shit right before going up – and possibly throughout. I love being amongst those who have achieved so much more than me, in hopes of getting a verbal beating for my shortcomings. I love exploring myself and life, looking for and exposing my flaws and hypocrisies. It’s in these moments of uncomfortableness that I feel alive. It’s in these moments that I achieve my gains.
I can’t remember exactly when, but there was a point I began to love the pain more than I loved the reward. I believe this has been, and will continue to be my secret sauce to happiness and success.
Remembering another life
One of my more notable memory of inducing pain was when I was 20 years old. It was a period of 10 months. I was so angry at my lack of finances, my debt, and my life situation – that I took on three different jobs on the same street, on top of working shift work at Intercon Security. Here’s how it went:
- Mornings from 8am I’d start at a place called Aro Collections. A shitty dungeoneous of a place, calling and yelling at people that can’t (sometimes won’t) pay their Bell phone bills. Why?
- Lunches: I’d run a couple hundred meters south to a place called The Duchess of Markham. For about 50 minutes I’d work in the kitchen prep’ng food for the lunch crowd and washing dishes. Then run back to my shitty collections job. Why?
- Finishing up from my crappy ‘office job’, I’d run down the street to start my pizza delivery job at Pizza Pizza. There I’d deliver pizza, serve customers, wash dishes, prep food, clean the place – including washrooms – and hopefully be done by 2:10am. Unless it was a Friday, in which we closed at 3am – in which too often some asshole would order a pizza at 2:58am and so I’d be stuck at work for another 30-40 minutes with no extra pay. Oh, and the fun I’d have on game nights. Drunk fucktards would metaphorically shit all over the place, and a few times, literally. Those nights I’d be around ‘till 4am, sometimes 5am easy. Again, with no extra pay. Why?
- And yeah, I’d take the occasional shift at a random place through Intercon Security as a ‘floater security guard’. I loved securing places like the CIBC Tower, in complete awe and confusion as to how some people had sooooo much money, and why I had so little busting my ass. Why?
- I did collections because I knew I was a punk-bitch (wussy). At this point, I’d been ripped off in life, business, and relationships on one too many occasions. And it wasn’t going to be the last. I knew I was a softy, and I had to toughen up. The people I met at and through collections defied my understanding of humanity. This little artist boy needed this rude awakening.
- I fucking loved washing dishes at less than minimum wage. I did it to punish myself. Punish myself for sucking at life. Punish myself for not living up to a potential I thought I had. I remember the day my boss told me I could even make a couple grand a month if I kept it up and took on full-time hours. I silently chuckled. He had no idea my sadistic reason for being there.
- I needed the money. Pizza Pizza was the only place that I could actually make a few decent bucks. Gas was cheap during those days, the geographic area we covered was manageable, and the tips were decent. Years later, I kept doing this job even after I didn’t need the money. Why? I wanted to never forget how it felt to clean some douchebag’s piss from the walls. I never wanted to forget the feeling of being discriminated against for a) not being white, and b) working at a pizza place while others my age were partying. And probably c) for having bad acne.
I wanted to feel other people’s pains; those who had no other options. I didn’t want to ever lose my humility and humanity in the dreadful event I made a lot of money. Doing this longer than I needed to was my answer.
- Alas, the best part of doing security work was sleeping on the job. This was sometimes my only way to get some sleep. I also took fancy to the idea that I could potentially earn money for upwards of 22 hours of my day – some of those hours being asleep.
While that young and confused 20 year old kid is someone I might not recognize today – and definitely not relate to – I thank him for his struggles. It’s that kid’s ridiculousness and audacity that gives me strength today. It’s seeing those video clips in my memory, no different from a movie, strengthens my resolve. I am unfazed and unafraid of the prospect of poverty or hard work.
Admittingly, the mild successes of business, relationships, health, and social life of the last few years has made me a bit soft. And that’s gotta change.
I look forward to you, 2016. I have great expectations of big wins, but more importantly, intense discomfort. Bring it on.