Rest In Peace, Steve. This is a story about what happens when you don't follow your dreams.
I've been web-savvy as long as there's been a web. Okay, since Toy Story came out. Thank Steve for that too given his role at Pixar. The first web site I ever visited was www.toystory.com, after a botched attempt at typing an email address into the address bar. But I only opened a website in my own name about 18 months ago... and I moved too late on that.
It was the fall of 2004. I had an iPod and thought podcasting was the wave of the future... I'm not sure I still think this. I realize there's a shitload of podcasts out there and a lot of them are great. I just don't listen to them since I seldom have long stretches where I can listen to them uninterrupted. But in 2004? Hell yeah, I had tons of time. So I'd listen to Adam Curry and Reel Reviews Radio - I even recorded some movie reviews of my own that I'm not going to link but you can probably dig 'em up if you're that interested - I was an idiot at 18 but I still had a pretty solid voice. I piggybacked on other hosts at that point - emailing in requesting to do guest podcasts and getting my stuff online that way. I never invested in the relatively minor cost of getting my own hosting.
One Tuesday afternoon, while sitting in a dull International Studies class (fun fact: Economics wasn't my first choice) I had an idea: what if someone had a personal podcast that started out as a normal day-to-day thing but then progressively got weirder and weirder and started introducing supernatural elements, eventually being revealed as a compelling supernatural narrative?
It was the product of taking the first few episodes of Lost way too seriously and not even remotely having the means to produce something on the level of Lonelygirl15 a couple years later (hell, YouTube didn't even exist yet) but the horrible, hokey result exists on the internet and there's no way in hell you're finding it.
I never recorded a second episode, though I had a sheet of notes detailing the entire narrative that I've long since lost. I didn't commit to it. I didn't throw myself at it with full force to make it the absolute best it could be. The idea was more interesting than my ability to execute on it, but that I never even tried... in those early days just being out there gave you some first mover advantage. No one knew what the rules were and weren't so you could experiment.
And I didn't because paying out of pocket for web hosting and a decent mic (in the grand scheme of things, a pittance and well within my budget) was too much money.
I'm not entirely sure what the point of this story is... but I think of myself back then, and how, rather than commit to doing something at the absolute peak of my abilities... I chickened out. I've changed a lot in the 7 years hence, but I still feel that way about myself, quite often. I don't go to the gym as much as I should. I eat shitty fast food instead of putting in the time and effort to cook for myself (and I'm a good cook! I swear!). I tell a customer they'll need to wait until tomorrow to chat because I'm swamped and I don't want to put in the extra time at the office.
I can be better than this, and there's no reason that I'm not beyond me knowing that people are still going to be happy with me if I can kick ass on stage (which I can).
I don't want people to be happy with me - I want them to be awestruck and intimidated by the scale of my accomplishments. I want to be Steve Jobs, and the chances of that happening are pretty slim, but they're absolutely nil if I keep accepting bullshit excuses from myself for my inadequacies. I'm going to bed now. I suspect I'll need it tomorrow.