(This post was originally posted in 2012 or so… but I’ve updated a bit. It’s interesting how I find recurring themes in my writings… Common struggles and but also hard fought victories. )
It was the summer between high school and college.
Part child and part man was I…
Preparing for the unknown future, I wanted to hold onto some of my past.
My decision, similar to many others’ my age, was to get a tattoo.
It was to be a mark of independence, a symbol of my passion…
The idea wasn’t truly serious until I ran across this poster outside of Trappers Alley in downtown Detroit.
It looked to be some type of Chinese or Japanese artwork. A colorful scally dragon curled up with a trumpet at its mouth.
…an ad for some musical or opera.
And it was astounding!
So after seeing that poster, I was certain its image would be permanently branded on my chest reminding me to never again turn from my love of the trumpet.
Fast forward fifteen or so years.
I’m sitting in a little restaurant enjoying my tempura shrimp rolls and my guest is telling me his thoughts on tattoos.
I share with him my story of how I “almost” got a tattoo.
(Yeah, I changed my mind – but that’s another story).
The interesting thing was that he gets all prophetic on me.
Some how saw a connection between the tattoo and how I was living presently.
From his perspective, he aligned the trumpet with my marketing company, and then the dragon to my personal growth content.
He told me that the “dragon playing the horn” was like using my marketing skills to broadcast the personal growth related content, clients, and products.
You see I’ve struggled for years on how to bring more integrity and unity with my life.
Instead of having my passions take the back seat via an unknown blog, (formerly dyingempy.com) and having my day job/company assume the majority of my time and energy, but lacking passion.
What he saw was a unity or integration of my private passion and public occupation.
The dragon was playing the horn
Could the passion, power, and message that fuels my life, be leveraged by my businesses ability to make noise and get attention?
Could my dozen years of learning and consulting marketing/web/design services all be a preparation that I would end up turning on its head and begin spreading my own message?
It’s kind of like the Bible story of Joseph serving time in Potiphar’s house and then jail, managing and leading — all of which prepares him to manage the most powerful nation of the world through the catastrophe of drought and famine.
Perhaps your life has been going in a direction different than your hopes or plans.
Perhaps you’ve made decisions based on just getting by and thought your dreams were sacrificed indefinitely.
You can never know how things will end up.
Like Joseph, you too must be faithful where you are.
Do your best with what you have, and stay hopeful.
Hope will allow you to see and take advantage of opportunities as they come.
Discouragement, bitterness, and criticism will blind you to the value of your life’s story and hinder you from receiving the gifts that lay right in front of you.
I believe every part of your story, your experience, passions, and skill can eventually come together in a meaningful way.
Just don’t settle. Keep growing.
Create a Great Day! – AC
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