Lately I have grown exhausted.
Search & Social has grown to be a pretty important player in the search marketing space, although we normally remain pretty quiet about it. Our second venture, Second Step Search, hasn’t even been officially launched into Beta and is already cash flow positive for the entire year of 2010; no small feat for a software based endeavor. And all of this has led to my energy consistently draining.
I stay up at night thinking about things like profit margins, growth projections, and how to stay ahead of the insane learning curve that the internet poses to marketing companies and entrepreneurs alike.
None of this is natural.
Man is supposed to worry about finding shelter, food, and keeping their family unit secure. Most of our modern concerns are not bound to reality. They are concerns that revolve around money, the future, and other things we have little to no control over.
Then in the middle of concerns over nothing, sometimes reality comes creeping in, and the force between the two opposing ideas can literally cause a person to crack.
Case in point:
Today I had to go read story time at my son Dante’s school. He is 4 and attends a Montessori day school here in Tampa. Each week they have a parent come in, and this week I volunteered. Early this morning I dreaded it because I was in a horrible mood, worrying about all of the things that I become focused on during the course of a work week.
I showed up early to Dante’s school, and got to hangout with him and his friends on the playground.
I felt a swelling in my throat. Weird enough, but I moved on.
Story time was set to begin. I brought two books from home, Pog and Dr. Seuss’s ABCs, and we all headed in to hear them.
We sat down, and first up was Pog, which is a cool story that flips the concept of monsters upside down. I started to read, and again felt this swelling in my throat as I looked over to Dante’s glowing face. He was so excited to have his daddy at school, and sharing “our story time” with his friends.
I finished the first story, and we moved on to the next. It was our ritual that Dante helps me read Dr. Seuss’s ABCs since it is one of the only books he can help me read. He scooted over to me when I was ready, and began to read the first page with me.
Here I was with my 4 year old son, who was reading openly to his class. I quickly realized how impressive he was, and important to me. How Dante, his brother, and mother, our family, is the MOST important thing I have accomplished in my 29 years.
Reality crashed into my unnatural concerns and I cracked.
One page into the story I had to excuse myself. I walked outside of the classroom and began to openly weep. Now imagine that sight! You are a teacher and in your hallway there is a 6’2. 275 pound, tattooed man crying. I know some people will think this is ridiculous behavior for a grown man, but I really don’t have much respect for those people.
I was crying tears of joy. I had realized what my reality was. It was not what car I drive, how much money I make, or any number of other things I dwell on daily. It was my family. Before you say thats because I don’t have to worry about money, remember where I came from.
I regrouped and returned to story time. Dante and I reading OUR story to the delight of his class. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, and I am still reeling from it as I write this post.
It’s strange how the universe chooses to bring us back down from the great heights we create for ourself. Hopefully I can hold onto this grounded feeling for a while.