This post is one that probably won't resonate as strongly for many of you, but I’m going to share it anyway because — as my loyal readers and subscribers — you’ve been a part of this journey all along, even if you were utterly oblivious to this fact.
As of right now, this site averages over 12,000 views from about 3,100 unique visitors — people just like you — on a monthly basis. It also rakes in even higher amounts of readership due to cross-traffic from my official Facebook page, where I’m able to do Live videos, post daily commentary and generally spew out my egotistical thoughts on whatever political, cultural and religious issues I choose to address. I admit that when I first started this blogging venture, I never imagined that I’d see such an increase in page hits and followers over the years. All I knew is that I loved to write. I’ve loved it since high school, where all of my English teachers told me I that I was “already writing on a college level,” whatever that meant.
When I finally did go to college, I figured that I might as well get a degree in this whole “writing thing,” so I earned a Bachelors in Journalism and minored in English. I’ve been published in a couple of local magazines, but I never thought that anyone would actually want to listen to my personal opinions. You’ve all proven me wrong and I’m eternally grateful. Every comment, share, retweet, e-mail, compliment, Facebook message, insult and death threat is immensely appreciated.
Anyway, as some of you know from my bio, I also juggle a full-time digital media position at my church and serve on the worship team as lead acoustic rhythm guitarist. And up until November 11 of last year, I was working part-time for Old Navy Clothing Co./GAP Inc.
I say “was” because I’ve officially been out of the sales world for about four months now. It’s still a strange sensation. After all, I had been a retail peasant since 2003. Fourteen years. It was familiar. It was safe. It was comfortable. For a long time, it was the only form of paid employment that I knew.
Unfortunately, the high-stress environment ultimately took a toll on my epilepsy last year and started triggering my seizures (which had been dormant from childhood to 23-years-old) more frequently. I prayed, sought God’s face and had conversations with my parents. After much deliberation, we decided that the most optimal decision for my health was for me to leave my job. I could do part-time yard client work with my dad to earn extra cash during the week. Besides, it’s not like I was making a fortune folding ugly jeans and running a cash register five days a week. My parents graciously offered to help cover some of my medical expenses.
As much as I detested my actual job, it wasn’t easy to walk away from the customer service industry. I spent most of my formative young adult years in that world. I had been molded by it. I gained some independency there. I had met people and made friends. I’ve also never been much of a risk-taker. Ask anyone in my family. I don’t do well with unpredictable circumstances, particularly when it comes to finances. But, here I am now — living on the edge of the unknown — cutting grass, blowing leaves, trimming hedges, teaching guitar lessons, proofreading high school students’ research papers and whatever it takes to earn enough money just to get by, hoping that everything will somehow work out, wishing I didn't have to depend on my parents for money or my family for transportation.
So why am I telling you all of this?
Fast-forward to present day.
This certainly isn’t the life I thought I’d have at 32-years-old. It isn’t the life I want. But, guess what? I still have dreams, hopes and goals. One of those goals is this website and its content. Over 3,000 people read what’s published here every month according to my analytics dashboard. I don’t know why, but they do. This month I might even exceed 4,000. That’s certainly a far cry from the authors and nationally-syndicated columnists who have millions of readers. But, it’s progress. So, I’m going to keep writing, posting and publishing and let God handle the rest. That’s all I can really do. It’s all any of us can do. Maybe I’ll get picked up by a Christian media outlet or conservative digital publication. Maybe I’ll get hired by a Christian author, speaker, church or organization. Who knows? Only God does. And that’s half the fun.
There’s certainly nothing special about my site. It doesn’t boast a slick, modern design (although this may change eventually.) It doesn’t have any fancy gizmos or gadgets. No flash animation or impressive apps. My web design professors from college would probably give me a “C” at best.
Likewise, there’s nothing special about me. I’m just a guy with seizures who writes how I feel about stuff. For some reason, people seem to like what I say, so they read it and leave comments and sometimes they even share it on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t have a particularly climactic, breathtaking or emotional story. At the same time, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and my journey hasn’t always been one full of happiness, fun and success. Indeed, there are parts of my story that have been difficult, dark, terrifying and challenging.
In spite of all that, there are some risks worth taking in life. This writing venture is that sort of risk. I honestly have no idea where it will lead or if it will lead anywhere at all. God could have something else in mind altogether. All I know is that — for the foreseeable future — I’ll still be writing and posting as often as possible. I’ll be doing videos more often. I’ll also be submitting some of my work to well-known sites, publishers and authors. Pray with me that this whole process goes smoothly.
Of course, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you. My readers have brought me this far. You’ve shared my articles, left comments, promoted my blog online and by word-of-mouth. You’ve left my cards at local restaurants and coffee shops. I hope you’ll continue to read and engage with my content.
I also hope you’ll be just as adventurous with your ambitions and aspirations. Don’t let fear and all the “what if’s” cripple what you could be doing, especially if you’re still young and single with your entire life ahead of you. Do whatever it takes.
Now isn’t the time to be making excuses, creating safety nets or devising some sort of fallback plan for yourself. I don’t say this because I’ve mastered the art of living life. In fact, I say it because I haven’t. I’m still trying to figure this all out. But, one thing is certain: nothing worth achieving ever came without hard work, sacrifice, sweat, failings, dedication and passion.
Perhaps that’s my ultimate point, if I even have one at all. Like I said, there’s not much to me. I’m just an average dude who writes stuff and puts it on the Internet and on social media. So, if you’re reading this right now, thank you. It means more than you know. Stay tuned for future additions to the website and how you can be engaged and get involved even more.