I was talking to a friend yesterday and the question was raised: Is it better to not expect much out of life (and thereby lower your risk of being disappointed) or live every day trying to live your life how you want it with the abiding hope that you can do it (thereby increasing your risk of failure)?
The answer is obviously a complicated one. But, in its simpler, broad strokes form, it's one that makes you think.
And it's a question that brings me face to face with my life nemesis: uncertainty.
As a kid, I made things like Christmas almost unbearable. I would fixate on something I wanted and drop at least twenty different hints a day (in the form of newspaper circulars with toys of interest circled and starred, phone calls to toy stores to check stock on said items in an exaggeratedly loud voice, handwritten pricing memos delivered to mom and dad over the course of the holiday season-- don't worry. I was eight.). As the day approached, I would almost work myself into tears with the fear that I might not get what I wanted. Neurotic? Yes. Determined? Also yes.
In college, I spent most of my freshman year in a panic because I felt like I had to make my mark on the world and quick. I was a print journalism major at the time (really dodged a bullet there) and somehow got it into my head that if I wasted a single moment or didn't know exactly where I was going and what I was doing that my ability to succeed in life and change the world would be mortally wounded. Let me tell you, it was a year of exhaustion.
And now. This has been another one of those years. I am exhausted. There have been so many things over the course of the last twelve months that I don't understand or know how to solve. There have been deep disappointments that have tempted me more than I've probably ever been tempted to just release the tension and stop hoping. Hoping is hard when it's tied to things that mean the most to you-- and that you don't know are going to turn out the way you want to.
But it's essential.
The key is to let the hope control the uncertainty and not the other way around.
Junky, while it may not appear to be so profound (it is a stationery company), has been a great exercise in that for us. We hope that it's possible to do something that you love every day with talented people who you respect and care about. We hope that we can create a place where work and play seem surprisingly not so far apart again. We hope that we're going to get everything ready in time and have a great experience at the Show. We know that there are about five million things that could get in the way or make it not work. But all of the things we're hoping for are worth enough to us that not even uncertainty can take them away. And it's okay that hope alone can't take away all of the uncertainty either. It wouldn't be so sweet when we finally get there if it could.
So, with that said, we're about to go into a CRAZY week.
We leave Wednesday for New York. On Monday, we will be unveiling our website and the rest of our product line here. We are so excited-- but there is a lot to do before then. Thanks for reading and commenting and encouraging us and being along for the ride. It's about to get a little more interesting.
Christmas Surprise Balls
5 hours ago