Fashion is the way I introduce myself to the world, every day, without saying anything.

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I am desperate for the enrichment of the everyday. I don’t just want the sun to shine, I want it to devastate me with it’s glow. I don’t just want that food to nourish, I want it to embolden me deep in my bones. When people talk about life’s meaninglessness, I edge toward angry defiance because I know there’s depth in every moment.

But there are days when I sit and stare at Facebook for two hours straight with a numbed mind that borders on comatose. So, you know, we all have our ups and downs.

We exist in a constant state of flux that, if we’re honest, causes us to see eighty different variations of living one day. This fluctuation shakes things up for us because it seeps into the one thing that’s supposed to be reliable – our work. Our day jobs and night jobs and gigs and contracts. Eventually, our body of work feels like a living organism that breathes in the limitless elements of this world and exhales a combination of those elements that doesn’t always make sense. A blog post here, a gig there, a day job we love, one we hate, sitting at a desk, building a start-up. All of these things materialize into something that resembles us, but we can’t quite see the through-line. And this is where my conversations have led me lately:

How do we manage all the things we are?

Everyone is well aware that very few people nowadays have one job for a lifetime. The economy has made sure of that. And with the way social media has started to drive business (every kind of business), we have better access to each other and more chances to define exactly who we are. And define we will because we know that if we’re not very clear, who we are gets lost in the shuffle. But beyond these imposed social profiles and strict definitions, there is a small hum inside our guts that tells us: there’s more. Not just more to get done and more to add to your plate, but more down deep. More of the good. More where that came from.


Right now, I have three main paths. I’ll call them paths for now because one makes me money, one will make me money, and one may never make me money. But nonetheless, they are my life’s work every day. So, three paths. Incredibly different. They feed each other now and then, but they require access to different parts of me. And this reconciling is what gets me tied up in knots. This piecing together of those different parts is where my mind starts to spasm.


However recently, I have been mulling over Steve Jobs’ famous quote about connecting the dots. I never really understood why it was so significant for so many people. I used to think, right, of course we don’t know how anything is going to work out yet, we can’t predict the future. This is not profound. But when I re-read this, I finally picked up on why this advice is crucial:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

When we are balancing our eight different potential paths, we feel lost. Am I going to end up doing this? Or that? Or a combination of the two? Is this really who I’m supposed to be? But when we realize that whatever that generator is that is humming in our bones is exactly who we are “supposed to be” because it’s exactly who we are, we can see that the type of work we do is less important than simply committing to doing the work. In other words, if our message is being transmitted out into the world, the vehicle is secondary.Tweet: If our message is being transmitted into the world, the vehicle is secondary. - @courtneyromano via @littleredswell


Director, painter, musician, and meditator David Lynch says this about the different ways he will make a film:

“See, a painting is much cheaper than making a film. And photography is, you know, way cheap. So if I get an idea for a film, there are many ways to get it together and go realize that film. There’s really nothing to be afraid of.”

argHe’s not attached to the film. He’s attached to the transmission. He’s attached to creating and communicating. He has developed a body of work that on paper seems to be a thrown together collection of hobbies, but in real life, is an intricate and logical plan that allows him to constantly create without the fear of having to “give anything up.” The dots are connected because the body of work is connected to him.


How do we manage all the things we are? By always doing the work. That hum in your gut won’t go away until you communicate it. Instead of trying to manage it, we might be better served by releasing all of our anxieties about the type of work we “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing, and getting ferociously committed to communicating that ebb and flow that exists in all of us. We might finally see the bigger picture, create the balance, and connect the dots by just going ahead and letting ‘er rip.

When do you clearly see your through-line, if at all?

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