Monday, 21 December 2015

Stumbling On To The Right Path


It's been 10 days since I did something pretty inconsequential but felt big to me, and today my fingertips quiver as I type this.

10 days ago, for the first time in my life, I stood up and proclaimed EXACTLY what I WILL get out of life, with no two ways about it. And never could I have anticipated just what a game-changer that would actually be.

But my phone didn't suddenly ring with a book deal because I said I wanted one. I didn't wake up verified on Twitter with an email from National Geographic offering to sponsor me around the world because I said it someday it would. In ten days, nothing has really changed at all. Except from one fundamental thing, and there's no real way to say it without sounding wanky as hell.

I woke up the next morning and my blood was different. I looked in the mirror and my face was different. My hands as they reached for the railing on the tube. The air as I stepped out of the station. My office building as I climbed the stairs to the third floor. Nothing had really changed... but everything was, and is now, suddenly very different. 

Because I've done something that's hitched a little snag in the trajectory of the path of my life; 

I've fucking admitted I want it. 

And ever since I did that, I've had this frisson of excitement fluttering and bubbling in my chest, tucked away beneath my ribcage and sizzling just above my stomach. I feel like by writing what I did, I've cast some kind of spell of destiny over my life that's pulled at the paving stones my feet were about to hit and re-directed the path of my life like the Grand Staircase of Hogwarts. Every atom in my being now vibrates with purpose and it won't stop.

In these past few days I've felt Lady Fate stirring once again and I can't help but feel like she kinda really wants me to fucking smash it. Because here, there and everywhere, I keep finding encouraging little pointers that I've stumbled on to the right track. That by doing what I'm doing, I'm moving in destiny's direction. I guess perhaps maybe I want this so bad, I could just be assigning cosmic meaning to coincidental occurrences. Either way, I don't care, because it goddamn works.

Just one example is a new podcast a friend happened to recommended me. It's called 'Start Up' and began this time last year, charting the ongoing story of how one guy was going to quit his job producing podcasts and start his very own business... creating and producing podcasts.  

Yep, you got it - a podcast about an ex-podcaster starting his own podcasting company.

One year on and that company ended up being Gimlet Media, a now-million dollar enterprise home to some of my favourite shows, all of which grew out of that initial podcast 'Start Up'. But what is truly so remarkable about this, (without even knowing how successful it was going to end up being), was how 'Start Up' began from absolute day one of Gimlet, before it even had a name, and documents in real time the progress founder Alex Blumberg makes along the way. Essentially the whole idea was a huge risk - if he indeed failed, he'd have it all perfectly and humiliatingly captured on file. As he says from the beginning, Start Up is 'the business origin story you never get to actually hear.'

But he doesn't fail. Of course he doesn't fail, because he never could. Not because it wouldn't be good listening - he genuinely had no idea how it would all pan out - but because by documenting his progress, he'd already manipulated fate in his favour. He'd taken the leap. He'd stood up and shouted GOD DAMN IT I'M DOING THIS THING, the bravery of which not only altered the plot line of how his story was going to eventually play out, but ALSO won over a whole host of listeners which fell totally in love with the idea of this dreamer actually making it, and the notion that they could actually help him be that guy, that mythical guy who in a world of failure, actually wins.  

And to me, Alex Blumberg of Gimlet and his podcast 'Start Up' is the perfect example of how just really fucking wanting it, (and what that leads you to do) can actually make it happen. Because that's the difference between a guy who wants to start a podcasting business, and the guy who starts a podcast documenting the trials and tribulations of trying to start a podcast business. 

It's not hard to see who's making it.

*Cue butterflies and Lady Fate smirking down on me, as the lightbulb finally dings in my head*

Then, I slowly realise, perhaps that's also the difference between a person who wants to become a writer, and the person who writes a blog documenting the trials and tribulations of trying to become a writer.

It's concious manipulation of destiny. A gentle but purposeful seduction of fate. A deliberate orchestration of reality comprised of stubbornness, determination and blind faith. All of which adds up to one conclusion: you just can't fail.

And in that moment it feels these butterflies are going to climb my interior walls and come spewing out of my mouth like music, because, maybe, just maybe;  

I think I might be Alex Blumberg.