THE HOT AIR BALLOON
I once watched an interview with a now successful artist discussing his time in college. In the interview, he describes how the way to “make it” is to prepare yourself during college, getting ready to have your plane/jet take off right when you graduate. In other words, its imperative that you be able to take off right out of college, so as to have no lag time in which you weren’t properly prepared to “take off.”
Since that year in college when I saw that, I have placed immense pressure on myself to “take off,” and every year that that doesn’t happen (especially since I’m two years out of college now), I become more and more disappointed in myself. The feeling that I’m failing and sinking deeper and deeper down below the surface becomes more and more overwhelming.
In this time though, I’ve been fortunate enough to witness powerful moments of success, even though they don’t mean that I’ve “made it.” Playing a sold out headliner, opening for one of the most legendary hip-hop groups of all time and developing a sound has reminded me of the progress I’ve made.
I think back to my favorite quote of all time, from Kid Cudi:
The only reason that my friends didn’t make it and I did was that I was the only one who just kept going.
This quote means everything to me. It shows me that I don’t need amazing talent or sauce or clout to make it. I just need to be savvy and to keep fucking going. Every time I feel like a failure and feel like giving up, I just have to think of it as a passionate story I’ll tell in interviews one day.
And the hot air balloon?
Rather than a jet or airplane, I’ve learned to see my career and goals as a ride in a hot air balloon. I will always feel like I’m not making progress and moving slowly. But if I take a second to look down every once in a while, I’ll realize that despite the amount of miles I still have to climb, my hot air balloon has definitely been moving. It’s moving slowly but surely up into the sky as I become the artist that WILL make it.
Just keep swimming.