I succeeded in beginning to work. I don’t know exactly how but after 6 months of struggle something clicked in my head.
However, the few e-mails I exchanged over the next few days with Noam were rougher, more employee-boss like. On one side I was happy because I knew it worked, on the other a bit angry with the way things had happened. I told Noam that I didn’t like the way he recorded the script for the video we’d been working on. In reply he told me to simply do it, and that I wanted him to be more strict and this is him doing it. I thought that my observations and suggestions were pertinent, so I got angry.
The next evening, as I was looking at Trello, I wondered whether my relationship of friendship with Noam may have taken a more formal turn than I thought. So I looked on the board in which he communicated with his coach. It was there that I saw a conversation that deeply marked me. Here are two excerpts:
'Someone who hasn't failed enough, doesn't put in as much effort because they don't know about the pain of failure.
Ruben, Seb, and Dan were all university graduates with a route filled mostly with successes and highs: good-amazing students, easy-spoiled childhood.'
I read this and I thought:
‘This is how he sees me. This how I truly am.’
At that moment, a few things became intensely clear to me:
1. I had lived, for the most part of my life, as a hedonist. I was not used to work, and my main drive for things has been pleasure.
2. I am spoiled. Only then did it really hit me of how much of EVERYTHING I had been given for free. I understood then that I started taking the job, and Noam’s help, for granted. This made me think about how I always managed to get away with the least effort possible, and still get good-great results. How all of the traveling I had done and many of the things I prided myself with were done with someone else’s money.
3. I am a liar. This was on was perhaps the most hard hitting. I suddenly got flashed back to many moments of my life. To how when I had to do home-work, I would simply dream away the time and never do it. To how my parents allowed relaxed rules so I would tell them the truth (and it worked). I realized that I was in the constant habit of lying to myself, and it was what I had been doing for the past two months.
a. I realized that the pressure to take my life in my own hands and become responsible was a large part of what triggered the escape reaction, wanting me to get back with my girlfriend.
b. I realized that I had been looking for an answer in all places except the most obvious one: In my actions. I was scared shitless of taking responsibility for my choices and actions, which is why I always kept searching for different paths and choices, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the ones I had.
c. I also realized that this was a big part of how I got my storytelling abilities. From the dreaminess, the escaping from life, I engaged in an exaggerated amount of fantasizing.
4. I understood my actual fear:
a. Responsibility. I hated the idea of hard work as it was so alien, so different from what I had always done, the very thought of it was extremely uncomfortable.
b. I feared losing my writing talents: I would look back at the times in which I wrote and I would think ‘But all of that came from chaotic living, drinking, and THE life, what will I do without it?’
Thinking back at when I ACTUALLY wrote, I realized that the writing was extremely focused and hard. Everything else only served as inspiration.
Here is the second excerpt:
Now in retrospect, I realize that it scared the shit out of me because now I realize that he's exactly where Ruben & Seb where: he's receiving money from his parents still so he doesn't understand the value of money... nor that when there's no more money, there's no more money.
It made me feel like he is not taking responsibility for the company as a whole and that he's just leeching as much as he can from me. I know he's definitely not doing this consciously / purposefully, but from ignorance and lack of understanding.’
It may not seem like much to you, but it hit me hard:
1. Noam had been incredibly patient and he is a truly dedicated coach.
I said before that as I lost meaning in my life, I lost faith in coaching. Seeing the conversation and the amount of attention that Noam paid to MY development, I realized he had given his best to help me shine. I hadn’t looked at all the options and all the care he had given me in the past 6 months.
All I saw in our most recent conversation was: ‘Oh my god, more work.’
2. Because I was lying to myself, I became suspicious of all the people who were trying to help me. In my attempt to defend myself from what I feared most, I was trying to find all the reasons that Noam was wrong. I also did this with the girl I stayed for, who put in a lot of effort in trying to get me live up to my potential. Because I lied to myself, I put others in a disadvantage as well and lost opportunities.
The third excerpt, which almost made me cry:
‘I know that you CAN do so much more than you think, but I can't do it for you and I can't "make you get over your fears and insecurities" (I've seen it with my Brother: as soon as he stopped working for, he struggled for 12-18 months and eventually discovered that he could do everything I wanted him to do... but for someone else).’
3. Noam had truly believed in me. Over and above everything else, I felt like I had betrayed him and myself.
Seeing this I was filled with an immense sense of gratitude. I went and took a walk to think things through:
All the while, I knew the choice now before me: Do or Don’t. That’s it.
I choose to do. I will not allow my fears to stop me from acting. I will not allow myself to trap myself in my own mind and forget to enjoy people and life.
I am going to work and write and create the life I want for myself, no matter how long, or what it takes.
Thank you Noam,
For being an incredible mentor, boss and friend.
I deeply apologize for the way I’ve behaved for the past months, but I want you to know
All that effort isn’t wasted and that I’m here to fight.
Let's Create Magic!