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  • rileysoloner

This Might Not Work

As a high school student, I allowed the stress and anxiety over grades to boil over. "I'm going to fail," I would say, sealing my fate. They were self fulfilling prophecies.

Throughout my twenties, I carried a general optimism as I stumbled through a budding career in comedy. I worked hard in the right place at the right time. I didn’t know how it would work, but I was certain it would.

And it did!…for some time. Once I was up to a certain rung on the ladder, I assumed things would be easier. Entitlement crept in. I held onto memories of earning a coveted spot on a stage or in a show. I wasn’t doing enough mental preparation to take on the harder challenges ahead. I rested on some of my laurels and grew expectant that opportunities would be handed out based on achievements that didn’t matter so much. I looked too closely at other people’s success and compared myself too unfairly instead of merely doing the necessary work. I’m being a bit unfair in how I’m telling the story back. I did work hard often. I’m writing with selective memory to make a point about where my mind is now.

I can’t afford that general “it’ll work out, somehow” optimism I had before. I’ve jumped into a new act that doesn't come naturally. Tuition is paid and my auto payments on my loan have commenced. In a sense, I have burned the ship I sailed in on. No going back. I’m doing a good job of keeping up a cautious optimism, plus honesty and pragmatism. This might not work. So I better not slouch my way through this. Counterintuitively, this has motivated me to stay on target.

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